Tragedy of al-Zahra’: Doubts and Responses

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The events which al-Zahra' had to undergo and the tribulations were not directed against just her own self, or against her personality as an individual, as much as transgressing firm Islamic principles in order to reach what those who carried them out could not otherwise reach or achieve, matters which they had no right to attain. Al- Zahra' in fact, was a mighty bulwark that stood in the way of the achievement of such unjustified and illegitimate ambitions. This issue emphasized and confirmed the illegitimacy and illegality of such ambitions according to the nation's level of awareness, in her conscience, and in the Islamic and human consciousness as well. This brief review aims at displaying those inquiries which produced some sort of doubts among some people then register observations and provide explanations which clarify things and, God willing,polish the right image and perfect its necessary characteristics, providing explanations or answers to other questions or doubts raised about other issues relevant to al-Zahra' .

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Introduction

In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful; all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessings with the best of Allah’s creation: Muhammad and with his pure Progeny (as) and truly sincere companions.

Before starting my plain and honest discourse, I would like to attract the attention of all brethren readers to the following:

I hope that they all will read what I present to them slowly and in-depth without any prior notion that may cause them to pass a negative judgment in advance on this book, a judgment that may be greatly unfair and slanted. I also request them not to be in awe of any ideologist whose theory is presented to them to the degree that they do not subject such a theory to judgment, and that they be fair and conscientious.

Nothing should bind them to take what they read for granted even if the writer would like them to do just that... They also ought not reject what they read or hear based on fanaticism in favor of or against this person or that. Rather, what is aspired is that when there is right or wrong, they should accept what is right and reject what is wrong, acting on the statement of the Almighty saying,

“Those who listen to the word then follow the best thereof: these are the ones whom Allah has guided, and these are the men of understanding” (Qur’an, 39:18).

A good idea in any book should not be the reason for accepting a wrong one in it, even if it may be by mistake. Likewise, a wrong idea should not be the reason for rejecting a right one.

The most urgent and sensitive demand is that they should require us__ and they should require others as well__ to provide them with whatever convinces them, pleases their commonsense and satisfies their conscience so they may thus win the pleasure of Allah, the most Glorified One, and the pleasure and intercession of His prophets and the latter’s successors (as); they should accept no blame in following Allah’s path. Right ought to be followed. There is neither might nor power except in Allah; on Him do I rely, and to Him is my return.

Author’s Introduction

About four months ago, [the original Arabic text of] my book titled Tragedy of al-Zahra’: Doubts and Responses stirred an artificial uproar the obvious purpose of which was to achieve more than one goal. But I am not going to discuss this goal right here, though. Yet I have felt the need to clarify why I have written this book and the reason why I chose this issue specifically, i.e. the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) rather than any other, aspiring brevity and restricting the discussion to what is necessary without delving into undue details and without tackling many of our issues which may embarrass some people or cause them to lose balance.

This is exactly what happened when they felt that my afore-mentioned book came close to such issues; so, what would be the outcome if I go beyond that to state openly then to explain what I state?! For this reason, I will restrict myself to briefly touching on some such issues, simply displaying them without the attempt to explain them except whenever necessary, leaving to the kind reader the option to draw his own conclusion; so, let me say the following:

Choosing the Tragedy of al-Zahra’ as a Topic

There are two reasons behind choosing the tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa) as the subject-matter with which I will deal in a series of many topics the right wherein I would like to bring forth; they affect the issues of the creed and the sect; these are:

FIRST: This single issue, the tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa), demands an explanation and a clarification in order to remove whatever doubts that may entertain some people’s minds, procedural or scientific inquiries, as some people label them, which they have frequently encountered during scores of radio interviews, in the printed press, or in many meetings, correspondence or debates during a lengthy period of time. Many various “evidences” were provided to deny that any violence took place against al-Zahra’ (sa) at her home, or against Ali (as) at the home of al-Zahra’ (sa). Such “evidences” and “proofs” were granted “modern ideological labels” such as “provocations,” “question marks,” or “researched doubts,” up to the end of such expressions which have all become well known.

For this reason, I wanted to study this subject by dealing with such “provocations” in detail in order to be able to absorb all issues causing such doubts, and so that I may then be able to dismiss the “question marks” in their regard. Thus, I will perhaps deserve to be thanked as promised by someone who said once to me, “We appreciate the effort of those who respond to the question marks which we have made,”1 hoping that the subject will thus come to a conclusion and the doubts will be dispelled.

The “appreciation” promised by some people is actually distinguished in its type and is unique in its classification as we, by the will of Allah, will point out.

SECOND: The issue of al-Zahra’ (sa), due to certain circumstances, transcended its specific scholarly nature, becoming a label pointing out to a general trend that goes beyond history’s sphere to other aspects of Islamic concerns, such as issues relevant to the creed, scholastic theology, usul, hadith, fiqh, exegesis, and even linguistics, in addition to many other doctrinal and non-doctrinal issues. Yes, the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) has become the symbol, or the guiding title, that sums up its own diction and has its own specific stamp. It has its own spheres and characteristics, what it permits and what it abandons.

For the sake of all the above, I wished that my discussion of the said subject-matter be a contribution to accomplishing the duty realized by every believing Muslim, one who finds no justification in aimlessly standing by, a spectator witnessing the attempts launched against the beliefs and tenets of this creed the impact of which affects its aspects and renown personalities.

I shall do so not based on upholding the “holy legacy” of the faith of the forefathers, as some people accuse us of doing while also accusing all adherents of the creed of Ahl al-Bayt (as) and righteous Shi’ite scholars.2 Rather, I shall uphold the criterion of any decisive scholarly evidence that leaves no excuse whatsoever, thus laying the firm foundations of the truth.

When all such statements are made in order to raise doubts about theological issues, shaking their very foundations, everyone will have the right and the freedom to appropriately and scholarly respond to them, no matter from what source, without any compromise. Such is the responsibility of anyone who possesses the means of knowledge and scholarship that enable him to do so. This is what we actually witnessed when the foremost scholars of theology, in addition to many other scholars of the nation, did in order to denounce what someone has stated, declaring their rejection of the latter’s statements. We expect them to continue to carry out their religious duty in this regard, and we shall remain steadfast with them on the same path.

  • 1. __, Fikr and Thaqafi newsletter, No. 18 (October 19, 1996).
  • 2. __, Bayyinat (October 25, 1996).

To The Reader

All praise belongs to Allah; peace and blessings with Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, and with his pure Progeny.

The events which al-Zahra’ (sa) had to undergo and the tribulations were not directed against just her own self, or against her personality as an individual, as much as transgressing firm Islamic principles in order to reach what those who carried them out could not otherwise reach or achieve, matters which they had no right to attain. Al-Zahra’ (sa) in fact, was a mighty bulwark that stood in the way of the achievement of such unjustified and illegitimate ambitions. This issue emphasized and confirmed the illegitimacy and illegality of such ambitions according to the nation’s level of awareness, in her conscience, and in the Islamic and human consciousness as well.

One may find, as he tries to comprehend the historic sequence of events, that one may pretend that he lives a state of hesitation in accepting any reasonable justification for them, or at least subjective opportunities, for such events to take place at all. This stirs many questions in his mind about how accurate, or how precise, those who transmitted such events actually were. For this reason, he is not too embarrassed to cast doubts even if he cannot reject the issue or openly and publicly declare it as being unacceptable.

Yet the stand of such sort of people instills within them something which they take for granted, one in which they do not doubt. It says that the answer to such inquiries, then the verification of the authenticity of those events with seriousness and precision…, will by necessity imply a straightforward indictment and an open rejection of the “legitimacy” of all the events that took place in its aftermath. He will openly and bitterly find those who coined those events and who caused all those catastrophes that surrounded the truthful al-Zahra’ (sa) as being wrong, and this is something which they wish to avoid falling into.

This brief review aims at displaying those inquiries which produced some sort of doubts among some people then register observations and provide explanations which clarify things and, God willing, polish the right image and perfect its necessary characteristics, providing explanations or answers to other questions or doubts raised about other issues relevant to al-Zahra’ (sa).

We provide all the above with the emphasis that we respect and appreciate everyone’s individuality, that a different view and the recording of issues as significant as these should not spoil any friendly relationship.

It is from Allah that we derive strength and seek help. We ask the most Exalted One to inspire us to say what is right, to aspire what is right, to make our intention pure, and to help us act with the purity of intention. He is our Master and the One Who guides us to the Straight Path.

Ja’far Murtada al-’Amili
Sha’ban 10, 1417 A.H./December 8, 1996 A.D.
Beirut, Lebanon

Preface

In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful

From the very beginning, this book has been subject to many issues recently raised about the tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa) and what she had to go through following the demise of the Messenger of Allah (S) and about other issues relevant to her (sa) in a way which demanded me to clarify and edit.

Before dealing with what is most important, I like to remind the dear reader of issues and points most of which are relevant to agitations in the cycle of scholarly research and with which he has to be familiar. I have already dealt with some of them in an article which was published months ago titled “Not above making a mistake.”

I would like here to provide the kind reader with some of them in this Preface also due to their importance. He may not be able to refer to them in the said article. Following are points repeated or edited, and it is from Allah that all success comes.

Important Points to Notice

1. The points referred to above, which I discuss in this book, have been mentioned in many books, articles, lectures, press, radio or television interviews. I took special care not to name the person who made them in order not to hurt his feelings, for I did not want to tickle his conscience in the least. I have always desired to maintain my friendship with and love for everyone, wishing all people goodness. Had I not felt duty-bound to explain some of these issues, I would not have undertaken this review at all.

If someone considers what is contained in this book as being relevant to him and to nobody else, following the principle of “The skeptic almost said, ‘Take me!,’” then he may do just that. But I advise him not to do so because I mean by it anyone who says likewise, whoever he may be.

2. In your scholarly life, you may come across some of those folks who bear titles or labels and who parasite on education and knowledge, waging a scandalizing campaign against anyone who differs from them in views or who discuss such views with them, even according to the principle which one person in particular applied in order to support Yazid son of Mu’awiyah, when he considered cursing the latter as committing a wrongdoing. Said he, “But such sects fell into curses and condemnations, not satisfied with cursing and condemning the accursed Shimr but went beyond him to Mu’awiyah, Yazid and Banu Umayyah.”1

If I, too, face such sort of people, it does not frighten me in the least, nor does it prohibit me from writing books similar to this one that discuss various subjects put forth in a scholarly, subjective and calm manner, so long as there is a need to discuss them, or if I feel that the Islamic Shari’a obligates me to adopt a stand towards them. It has become quite obvious that there is no room to make a truce with regard to the creed, to the issues relevant to the creed, and to whatever relates to Ahl al-Bayt (as). I shall never pay attention to the intimidating attempts of some of such folks, for these are like mirage which the thirsty person mistakes for water.

Let Allah make righteousness prevail through His Words and cause the effort of the treacherous to go to waste.

3. Some people may say that discussing the ideas and criticizing them is regarded as scandalizing those who uphold them. The latter should be safeguarded and their mistakes should be covered up rather than publicized.

Let me say the following:

FIRST: If discussing and criticizing the ideas is “scandalizing”, all doors of knowledge and scholarship have to be shut; constructive criticism should be prohibited. Criticizing the ideas, even of the greatest scholars, has been throughout history the mark that distinguishes thinkers and scholars, especially those who follow the school of Ahl al-Bayt (as).

SECOND: Prohibitive scandalizing is one that deals with personal matters. Not so is the constructive and subjective criticism, nor o sot the correcting of mistakes in the doctrinal issues and issues relevant to conviction and ideology, especially if such mistakes reflect on people’s creeds, religious issues and concepts of conviction. These remain to be the most urgent of all. Safeguarding people’s religion is the most important and obligatory, more so than protecting those who jeopardize it or transgress its limits.

Everyone has to know his limits. He should not try to undermine issues and fixed beliefs of the faith, creed and conviction.

THIRD: Taking the initiative to criticize an ideology is neither victimizing nor scandalizing. Rather, insistence on bringing about issues which jeopardize the established creed, sect, history or other things, in a way which lacks scholarly precision and transgresses natural limits. Doing so does, indeed, lead to scandalizing one who espouses them.

4. Some people may be of the view that tackling some fixed creeds represents a form of innovative thinking, Islamic or historical education, and the like.

But the fact is that what is regarded as falling in such a category, generally speaking, represents a call to discuss issues which others in past generations had already discussed. Even many of them mention some such issues nowadays when holding discussions with Imamite Shi’as. Such a discussion traverses the folds of their words, spoken and sectarian renunciations, in their books, as any informed researcher knows. Imamite Shi’as have always answered the same clearly and precisely, in a responsible and an aware way, praise to Allah.

5. There is a statement which we have heard and read more than once saying that we should not have any apprehension against putting issues forth to people to discuss. It claims that the Qur’an has conveyed to us the thoughts of those who cast doubts about the Prophet (S) saying, “How can we know what they said about him being a madman, a wizard, or a liar, had the Qur’an not revealed their antagonistic stances?”

Let me say the following:

FIRST: Their claim that he (S) was a wizard, a liar, or a madman does not represent “ideologies” of those who cast doubts; rather, it is merely cursing, condemning and insulting the Messenger of Allah (S) within the scope of their media assaults against him. Those who personally said so, more than anyone else, knew very well that they were lying.

SECOND: Raising questions and throwing doubts and insults, accusing the Prophet (S), or anyone else…, is not considered an expression of an ideology, much less the “modernization” of an ideology.

THIRD: While narrating the statements of these folks, the Qur’an mentioned them as responding to the first party, falsifying them. The Qur’an was not satisfied with just bringing them about. Nor did it leave them up in the air so that they would rest in the hearts of people who had no means of knowledge to enable them to subject them to their judgment with precision, awareness and depth.

6. Some people say that the scholar’s responsibility is to demonstrate his knowledge when innovations appear within and without the Islamic reality, and if he does not do so, the curse of Allah will then be on him, as the Prophet (S) has said. Allah has said,

“Surely those who conceal the clear proofs and the guidance that We revealed, after We made it clear in the Book for men, these it is whom Allah shall curse, and those who curse shall curse them (too)” (Qur’an, 2:159).

Acting on this same statement, I have all my scholarly life obligated myself to face any challenge agitated from within or without the Islamic reality if and when it represents something new in our ideological heritage, or in our faith, or in the true sect the truth of which has been verified by the symbols of Islam, the pioneers of original Shi’ism, the flagpoles of scholarship, with clear proofs and shining evidences.

7. Someone may turn his own claim into his only definite evidence, so think about it!

8. Someone may try to undermine the proofs established by the scholars regarding a creed or some other issue. Regardless of his failure or success in such regard, when he does not provide an alternative evidence, he will thus give up the same creed whose proof he claims he has undermined, for he cannot uphold a creed for which he has no proof except if he imitates an authority in doctrinal matters, something which is not acceptable to anyone.

9. Someone may say that nobody has the right to advise him about not putting forth his own views and queries about matters relevant to the creed to ordinary people, belief in it, and the history about which he disagrees with the consensus of the sect’s scholars, symbols and genius theologians. He should not do so even if such an advice aims at safeguarding him from falling into the greatest sin. Such a sin is committed when anything which he suggests represents a serious deviation (from the creed).

Such a deviation obligates scholars, who are prohibited from hiding the knowledge and the proofs, to face him with the definite evidence, the terse proof, the similar style, or any legitimate style which explains to him and corrects him. Add to this the fact that it results in dire consequences with regard to the outcomes of these violations and their aftermaths and whatever method he imposes on others so they may deal with him and a way to face his queries, views and suggestions.

10. He also says, “Some people are concerned about putting ideological and doctrinal questions leading to undermining legacy ideas which may or may not be accurate.” Then he turns to people to say,

“Do not sell your minds to anyone, and do not remain stagnant as described by the verse saying, ‘We found our fathers on a course, and surely we are guided by their footsteps’ (Qur’an, 43:22),

since each generation has to open up to reality,” as he reasons. Then he provides an evidence for the necessity of putting his ideas and queries about the hadith saying, “When innovations appear, a scholar has to demonstrate his knowledge; otherwise, may the curse of All be on him,” citing the verse saying,

“Surely those who conceal the clear proofs and the guidance that We revealed, after We made it clear in the Book for men, these it is whom Allah shall curse, and those who curse shall curse them (too)” (Qur’an, 2:159).

I say, I do not know the justification for such a serious statement which implies an accusation that some of the ideologies and creeds of our true sect may not be correct! We never thought that the followers of this sect inherit ideologies and creeds without evidence and proof but only through blind imitation which is neither accepted nor is it rational! And we never thought that the followers of this sect are the ones referred to in verse 43:22 cited above!

What is worse is the “classification” of our (“inherited”) beliefs among the “innovations,” so one needs to “demonstrate” his knowledge according to the tradition cited above!

11. Someone may resort to projecting any “scholarly” treatment of the statements which he makes as related to personal motivations. Then analyses and speculations start, and accusations are coined, hence people will be busy with them, forgetting what is beyond that. We do not want to obligate anyone to think well of anyone else, although we believe that if he thinks well, especially on the scholarly level, it is what Islamic brotherhood calls for.

But we remind those who are busy with “scholarship” of an obligation mandated by Allah, Glory to Him, on all, that they have to distance themselves from making speculations, charges and backbiting, since all these imply transgressing the dignity of people without any legitimate justification. Such a transgression is rejected and is considered as a violation of the injunctions of the Shari’a , religion and conscience.

We would like to remind everyone of two things:

One is that this sort of understanding of issues does not decrease the value of scholarship or ideology presented for such a treatment which may be intended to hide its effect through such means. The scholarly spirit and strength of proof are the criteria and the scales for responding or accepting, if necessary, either of these things in any problem which falls in the essence of our concern and among our priorities.

The other is that we may not find any justification for such ill thoughts because the criteria mandated by the Shari’a are the ones which should judge any situation or conduct, especially if the relationship between both parties of the debate is warm and sound across a long period of time, had it not been for such an opposition to the ideas which a certain individual wishes to publicize and advance to prominence, defending them with might and means.

It was then that the other party felt the obligation of scholarly responsibility, or that of the Shari’a, in order to clarify what it finds to be true and accurate, and there is no embarrassment about that. Had such a responsibility not been thus undertaken, there would have been doubt about its righteousness and straight-forwardness.

12. Someone says that whatever statements he makes are merely due to his own ijtihad, that everyone has the right to practice ijtihad and to disagree with others’ views.

I say that there is no objection to anyone practicing ijtihad and disagreeing or agreeing with others in their views as long as the issue is confined and restricted to him and represents his own personal creed and is not the creed of anyone else. But when this individual wishes to disseminate among the public his own ijtihad, which is in contrast with the foundations on which the sect stands, and which agrees with irrefutable proofs and driven to by clear, authentic and consecutive traditions, so he calls on people to accept his own statements which disagree with such foundations..., then the stand towards him must be different from anyone else.

Challenging him and protecting people from following in his footsteps is a must in order to protect people from his views which disagree with the facts of the creed and with the fixed facts which the symbols of the sect and its most prominent personalities have confirmed. Everything should be brought out into the light and the difference between him and such personalities should likewise be made clear.

The obligation to challenge his dissertations becomes more pressing when we find him presenting them to the public under the label of an “ideology” that is in sync with what our scholars have agreed on as representing revitalization and modernization. He does so while not admitting at all that they differ from many established facts in the aspects of the creed and conviction, something which agrees with neither the ideological integrity nor the ethics of a man who is a transmitter and a critic.

13. It may be observed how someone exaggerates in his reliance on his own reason and in giving it the main role and the final decision even in matters where reason has no ability to explore. He may even make of his reason a criterion or a yardstick, claiming that he realizes the causes of the injunctions, so he probes the texts. When he comprehends their gist and finds himself in harmony with their contents, he accepts them and agrees with them; otherwise, he does not hesitate to reject them and to judge them as having been fabricated or “secretly” introduced.

We would like to explain the above within the framework of two suppositions from which error becomes evident:

One of them is this: The outward meaning of a text may obviously and clearly contradict reason in a matter which is one of the affairs of the intellect, one falling within the realm of reason and under its supervision. In this case, the text has to be interpreted according to what agrees with reason and with the principles of expression. If this is not possible, it has to be rejected. Such a supposition is the accurate one and the one accepted by the scholars.

The other is this: One’s rationale may fall short of realizing the wisdom or the cause of what the text discusses. For example, when the text says that the menstruating woman has to make up the fast but not the prayers, or when it tells us that near the end of time, Allah will bring back to life men from among the righteous, and men from among the wretches, so the righteous will receive eminence and nearness to Allah while the wretches will be punished because of some of what they had committed, thus the hearts of the believers will be healed.

If the mind is incapable of comprehending the interpretation of such an injunction, or such an event related by the text, it will unhesitatingly reject it or demand an interpretation for it saying, for example, that the meaning implies the return of the state and of authority (to the rightful people). There is no basis for such a rejection nor for demanding an interpretation because it does not presuppose that the mind of any single individual is capable of realizing all causes and injunctions for everything which has been or which is being mandated by Allah, Glory to Him.

Likewise, if one’s brain is incapable now of realizing some matters and mysteries, it may be able to do so in the future, or nobody will. Then future generations, hundreds of years later, will come to realize them, as is the case with many mysteries of life and of the cosmos which the Qur’an mentions, some of which we have already learned from the Qur’an.

Even if we did not realize them, with such knowledge remaining in the cycle of what Allah has kept for His own knowledge, or He may have taught it to His prophets and righteous servants, what is wrong with that?!

It seems to us that going to extremes in sanctifying the mind, since it is the “one and only” source of knowledge, making it the criterion for accepting or rejecting texts even in the last probability, that is, that it is learned from the Mu’tazilites, and it is their ailment as well as elixir, the cause of their tide’s ebb, and of their fire in the past generations which was put out. Here is history repeating itself.

We now witness a return to their same claim which proves the fallacy of what has been proven by evidences, and so have other claims which time has left far behind. We now witness such claims sticking their heads out of history’s cracks and hidden corners to be redisplayed once under the guise of modernization and once in the name of a new “ideology.” Allah is the One Who initiates and Who repeats, and He is the One Who does whatever He pleases.

14. Someone may claim that the reason why he criticizes the ideas of this person or those of that is his desire to prepare the environment against such a person [only] because he occupies a distinguished place, so fanaticism moved in this direction or that in order to cause his downfall. We say:

FIRST: It is quite evident that many people have declared their rejection of such claims, and they discuss them. They do not live the idea or the hallucination of “positions and labels” even if it is the label or the ideology of a specific religious authority, and this does not at all fall into the cycle of their concerns.

SECOND: We may find those who make these self-indicting statements to be the ones who initiate inflammatory ideas and live the worry of promoting their ideas through all means, once raising the level of suspension and excitement, and once lowering it, and facts have proven it.

THIRD: Besides all of this, the criterion and the balance of the ideology being discussed is the element of conviction therein and its share of the balance of right and wrong as well as the extent of its nearness or distance from the facts of the religion and of the sect.

Nobody claims knowledge of the unknown in as far as what the consciences of the people, the facts and the motives; so, let their motive be this or that, for this does not affect judging an idea as being right or wrong, nor does it underestimate or overestimate its significance.

15. We keep hearing that someone puts forth his ideas in various fields, ideas which do not agree with what the scholars have decided, nor are they in sync with a great deal of what they all agree about, based on the irrefutable proofs which rely on reason, or on authentic reports.

An attempt was undertaken to research these matters with the same people who initiated them in the first place and who were requested in more than one letter and through more than one messenger to enter into a scholarly debate, a written and a clear one, one wherein everything is clarified and right becomes distinguished from wrong through irrefutable evidences. All this is in the hope that it will lead, if undertaken, to sparing the field the negativity of their continuous advertising through what is not recommended, before establishing facts, reaching conviction and blocking gaps.

Unfortunately, his answer came back refusing such a debate unless it would take place within four walls and behind closed doors; such is his concept of a debate!

He refused to write me even one word by way of clarification, seeking an excuse of having no time to write, although he has been writing down about these same issues, circulating them everywhere, sometimes to particular people, and sometimes to people in general. He has been discussing them in articles, speeches and lectures through various news media outlets.

When he realized my insistence, he did not hesitate to refer to his dictionary in order to provide me with precious things of color, taste and smell of stinging language, stark speech plus a barrage of accusations. It was as though my request for a scholarly debate was equivalent to disbelieving in Allah, the Great, or even uglier, if there is anything uglier than that at all!

Perhaps the least harsh which I have heard and the most tolerable is that I am motivated by instincts, suffering from backwardness and complexes, falling under the influence of this or of that [individual], in addition to being described as having the “Iranian way of thinking” and of being a fanatic, an accusation which I like because I am fanatical about following the truth and defending it. It is, to me, something which is commended and praised by Allah and His Messenger (S), by His righteous servants and choicest ones, His blessings with all of them.

Till a few months ago, prior to writing these words, I was considered (by this individual) to be among the best of those who love and who keep him company. Nothing disturbed such love and friendship till we discovered lately what we thought we were obligated by the Shari’a to ask for a calm and terse academic discourse in order to solve this “complex”.

16. This book before the kind reader provides a large number of texts derived from scores, nay hundreds, of references, although it was produced within months not exceeding the number of fingers on one hand, a very short period, indeed, which does not permit a great deal of researching and investigating2, especially in the presence of many diversions which obstruct undertaking the slightest effort during countable days.

I find myself in need to remind the kind reader that the references mentioned in this book’s footnotes were so many that I feared lest I should fall into error in documenting the numbers of their volumes and pages, as I did in many places in the publication of several editions of the same book; so, let him notice the same.

Paying a special attention to references, as has been my habit, is based on placing the reader before the most minute particularities of an incident so that he may be the one to judge, to ponder on, to conclude and to decide through upholding the means of knowledge, directly supervising the issues put forth for discussion and by his being acquainted with their environments, circum-stances and conditions, so that his attitude towards issues will then be precise and deep and springing out of awareness and inclusion, originality and firmness.

This method may not be appreciated by some people, those who write hundreds, or even thousands, of pages and who delve deeply into foundations based on exciting words and big claims without supporting them with clear texts or opening horizons of direct and inclusive knowledge except very little of what the commoners circulate or, in particular, whatever supports one’s own ideas! He keeps a great deal from you when he thinks that his interest lies in so doing. If you want to know some of it, you will find yourself without any of its means. Nor will he let you gain anything substantial, i.e. something of which you can take hold.

He wants you to read his own “education,” his experience as an individual, and to fly in his horizons, to sense his pains, hopes, aspirations and even whims and fantasies; there is nothing beyond that but mirage, and only mirage.

17. Again, I am very, very sorry to say that this book has not been destined to treat a particular subject with a beginning and an end as well as elements incorporating details relevant to some people casting doubts, for one reason or another, about the events that took place to al-Zahra’ (sa) or about their aftermath.

Repeated Points

I would like here to select some points which we mentioned in a previous article I published:

1. Bringing forth to discussion similar traditions (ahadith) or issues difficult to understand by ordinary people, then insisting on such an exposition, without providing a reasonable and acceptable explanation for it, is not acceptable, nor are its consequences commendable. This is not expected especially from people who are looked on to solve problems and to clarify what is ambiguous, especially when such traditions, or complex problems, are not presented before specialized thinkers but to simple-minded people. Among the latter are young and old folks, men and women, the learned and the ignorant. And all this is done through the general news media and in the open!

2. Exposing bringing about sensitive issues and putting forth questions to those who do not have the means to know what enables them to safely and correctly solve what is complex: Someone is doing so without providing sufficient answers, through all the means he has at his disposal. We try to avoid innocent people falling into a great and serious error. And all this is done without any concern about restricting the discussion to criticizing the idea without insulting, scandalizing or belittling anyone but safeguarding one’s dignity and honour in a scholarly, civilized and dignified way.

It is not fair to bring about such issues in the open then expect others to remain silent and not criticize them except behind closed doors. An expectation such as this is understood only as an order of silence, a forced order; rather, it is extortion. It confines the right of speech to only “his excellency” or “his holiness” and to nobody else.

3. No courtesies are to be paid when it comes to the issues of the religion and the creed. Nobody should expect to receive them, be he near in kin or a loved one, no matter what status he occupies or what role he plays, for the truth, and the religion, are above all considerations.

4. The issues of the religion and of the creed are not the monopoly of one particular party rather than another. They concern all people regardless of their status or [educational] level. Everyone has the right to show sensitivity towards a statement which undermines such issues, and this must be granted utmost attention, so that one may determine where he stands. Yet all of this should be done within the confines of moderation and in a scholarly, subjective, terse and responsible manner.

This is underscored when we get to know the following:

The issues relevant to the creed should not be followed by (blind) imitation; rather, each individual should seek a convincing and an acceptable evidence for them first and foremost. The issues relevant to the creed are not on par with those relevant to the fiqh wherein an ignorant person refers to a scholar in order to obtain his verdict based on general proofs which mandate imitation [taqlid].

People should not be prohibited from discussing such issues, nor is it appropriate to require them to blindly follow them, to imitate fathers and forefathers, this scholar or that. Also, this is not appropriate. In fact, their tardiness should not be taken advantage of, nor should their purity. These issues should not be presented to them in a way which is incomplete and out of balance, for this agrees with neither scholarly integrity nor with the Shari’a which ought to be observed.

People’s sensitivity to issues relevant to the religion and creed and their energetic and enthusiastic interest are all healthy signs and sound indications which ought to be encouraged and safeguarded. They should not be assaulted, nor should they be faced with serious accusations with the objective to suppress them and to put an end to them. They should be emphasized, safeguarded, properly directed in a straight and sound way, so that such a creed will become more firmly established and deeper in its effect on their conduct and stance, especially when they are faced with challenges.

5. Islamic branches of knowledge are numerous. They have vast and spacious inclusion, in addition to precision, in many detailed topics. There is no harm in a scholar taking his time to answer many questions about various branches of knowledge with which he is faced. He cannot answer all of them except if he were on the level of prophets or Imams. It is said, “May Allah have mercy on a man who knows his limits.”

If a responsible person has not finished his research and investigation of certain issues, nor has he studied them minutely and sufficiently in a way that enables him thereafter to present them to the people with precision and inclusion, he is not supposed to issue final verdicts in their regard, nor should he answer questions about them.

If he has to do it, he must confine himself to the limits of presentation and dissociation from responsibility, providing an excuse that he has not sufficiently studied and examined them. There is no harm if he is satisfied with whatever great scholars of the sect have agreed on, without paying attention to what this particular scholar or that has singled himself out, for exceptions cannot be followed while leaving aside what is famous and what is backed.

But when one comes out to tell whatever he reveals within himself or answers every question by casting doubts which provide for him an escape route3, misleading people into thinking that he is knowledgeable of all the details of issues, and that he raises questions about them out of knowledge, responsibility and deep thinking, although he may not have seen the text in the first place, let alone having studied or researched it…, this is not appropriate. Such a method is not acceptable. It is neither logical nor rational.

6. Nobody has the right to require people to restrict themselves to inquire about issues relevant only to the Prophet (S) and to the Imams (as) authenticated by criteria applied to narrators of hadith... This means that people should remain silent about traditions dealing with most issues and questions, be they theological, historical, or others. Should one who requires people to do so confine his statements to the particulars of issues about which authentic proofs have been narrated by the Infallible Ones (as), he will find himself forced to remain silent, to sit at home, because he finds only a few that he will exhaust during a few days or less than that.

We, however, say, and so does he, that proving an issue is not dependent on the Abundance of authentic traditions narrated by the Infallible Ones (as), for there may be other proofs which sometimes strengthen the degree of depending on them, such as the tradition being weak and it is well known that it was acted on and relied on, despite the presence before their eyes of authentic support, then they did not pay it any attention.

Also, if the text represents a decision from a reprobate admitting something which indicts him or contradicts his line, it is not correct to say that this person is reprobate, so his statement cannot be accepted. Thereupon, various proofs have to be examined in fiqh issues and in usul, creed, history, etc., by the specialized people who benefit from them in order to strengthen a text whose support is weak, or vice versa, according to sources and to the existence of proofs.

7. There is nothing easier for anyone to stand and cast doubts or deny what is already proven. There is nothing easier than running away from being committed to issues or from bearing responsibility. This is neither a practical proof nor does it indicate the universality of anything at all. A scholar who delves deeply into issues, the critic, the researcher…, is the one who exerts a serious effort to verify the origins, confirms and verifies the facts, asserting what is proven and discarding what is fabricated.

8. Attributing any statement to a particular sect of people, or to any sect at all, is right only when the statement is made by him/them and publicly declared by their prominent figures and scholars across the centuries and is what their views have agreed on and their hearts accepted. This is known by referring to their assemblies, books, creed’s texts…, and to their biographies.

But if someone, or a people belonging to a sect, becomes the exception to the rule with regard to some views, it is not right to attribute the exception to the entire sect, or to its faqihs or scholars; so, what would you say when the latter are the ones who reneged in their speeches from the recognized pioneer who verified the sect’s issues?!

So is the case if someone understands an issue incorrectly, unnaturally or out of the ordinary: It is not right to attribute it to others as a generalization. It is then that the operation of scandalizing him with glittering words, exaggerating and magnifying him, starts. The end result is holding the sect’s scholars in contempt and thinking lightly of their way of thinking without any justification. Then he provides the alternative which he prepared in advance with sweet words no matter how weak and meek his alternative may be.

9. Putting forth for ordinary people issues which require explanations in ambiguous ways, though it may to a certain extent facilitate for the person who does it the means to avoid the consequences of his dissertation, does not exempt one from the responsibility of ordinary people considering the idea as the whole truth and the view, which results from research and study and anything other than it..., as being wrong.

Yes, none of this exempts him from responsibility so long as everyone knows that people understand the issues in a simple way. They do not pay attention to words such as “perhaps,” “maybe,” “we may imagine,” “we could understand,” “we may be inspired,” “we have to study,” etc.

We appreciate the efforts of sincere workers and pray for them to achieve success. We thank all sincere brethren who exerted a great deal of effort to make this book a success, especially my Brother, the great ‘allama, Shaikh Ridwan Shararah. May Allah appreciate the effort of everyone, and may He protect them and enable all of us to be sound of view and sincere in action. He is our Master, and He is the One Who grants guidance to the straight course.

  • 1. __, Al-Safir newspaper of June 27, 1996, in an article by a professor.
  • 2. The original Arabic text of this book falls into two volumes. The total number of their pages exceeds one thounsand. I have preferred to put them together for the kind reader. – Tr.
  • 3. For example, he once asked about something which exists in a text, saying, “This is not ascertained,” or, “The authenticity of the narration is not known,” or, “There are traditions which prove that this is not true.”

Part 1: Al-Zahra’ (sa) And Her Tragedy

Status and Infallibility of al-Zahra’ (sa)

We shall start our discourse in this Part by narrating the biography of al-Zahra’ (sa) since some people try to avoid, or even refuse to uphold or be bound by what the glorious Prophet (S) has stated, or by what the Purified Imams (as) have said, that is, that she (sa) was born out of the fruit of Paradise following the isra’ and mi’raj1, and that she (sa) married Ali (as) when she was quite young.

Such person senses a degree of embarrassment, so he avoids being convinced, preferring not to expose himself to such issues. It may neither be this possibility nor that. It may be something else which prompts him to make such a stand, and surely Allah knows the facts of all issues and knows what the hearts conceal.

Then we discuss issues closely connected to the infallibility of the purified one, peace of Allah with her and His blessings.

This discussion of infallibility is an acceptable introduction to the stations of eminence and the degrees of nearness to the Head of all Women of the World, peace and blessings with her, under the divine care and upbringing, without neglecting to point out to the subject of her connection with the unknown on account of the attributes, merits and divine boons which Allah, Glory and Exaltation are His, has bestowed on her, distinguishing her from all other women of mankind.

She was the woman on the occasion of whose marriage with Ali (as) the heavens celebrated before the earth, the woman who was pure and purified from all irreverence, uncleanness or shortcoming, so much so that Allah exempted her from whatever afflicts women of particular things relevant only to them without letting any of that have a negative effect on her personality in as far as pregnancy and childbirth are concerned.

Before exiting the circle of her eminent divine boons, supreme merits and attributes, we have quickly been acquainted with what Allah blessed her: knowledge relevant to the world of the unknown, with what Allah granted her, through a great angel who used to talk to her and to console her after the demise of her father S, the thing which resulted in a very serious book about which the purified Imams, peace with them, were very concerned and of which they were very proud. They used to read it and quote it, and it is known as “Mushaf Fatima,” the book of Fatima (sa), in addition to other books with which she, peace and blessings of Allah with her, was blessed.

We shall read glimpses of all of these matters in this Part, paying a special attention to making a good selection and to being as brief as possible. Success comes from Allah, and so does guidance.

When was al-Zahra’ (sa) Born?

The first that we come across, with regard to the biography of this truthful and purified one, is the date of her birth. Some people claim that she (sa) was born five years before the Prophetic mission. We say that this is incorrect. Accurate is what the followers of Ahl al-Bayt (as) know from their Imams2 (as); the people of the House know best what is therein. They are followed suit by many others. She (sa) was born five years after the inception of the Prophetic mission, i.e. in the year when the migration to Ethiopia took place (615 A.D.), and she died at the age of 19 (in roughly 13 A.H. or 634 A.D.). This is narrated by our Imams (as) according to authentic narrations3.

Let us add to the above that this date can be reached or supported by the following:

1. A number of historians have mentioned that the total number of the children of Khadija, may Allah shower her with His mercy and blessings, were born after the inception of the Prophetic mission, and that Fatima (sa) was their youngest.

2. There are many traditions narrated by a number of the Prophet’s companions, such as ‘A’isha, ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab, Sa’d ibn Malik, Ibn ‘Abbas, and others, proving that Fatima’s seed came as the result of the fruit of Paradise which the Prophet S had eaten during the isra’ and mi’raj4, the event which we proven as having taken place during the early period of such mission5.

If there is anyone who argues about the premises of some of these narrations in his own way, there is no argument about the others even if the same method is applied.

If anyone claims that this narration cannot be authentic because al-Zahra’ (sa) was born five years before the inception of the Prophetic mission, he actually circumvents the outcome because these traditions, which we are discussing, have been narrated by various narrators, and this is the strongest evidence testifying to the fallacy of such a claim.

3. Al-Nisa’i has narrated saying that when Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar sought the hand of Fatima (sa) in marriage, the Prophet S rejected them saying that she was too young to marry6. Had their claim been that she was born five years prior to the Prophetic mission, her age after the Migration, when both men sought her hand, according to the consensus of historians, she would have been about 18 or 19. Nobody can say that such a person is too young to marry.

4. It is narrated that the women of Quraish abandoned Khadija, may Allah have mercy on her, when she was pregnant with Fatima (sa), so Fatima (sa) used to talk to her and urge her to be patient7.

Some people may find it unlikely that Khadija could have been pregnant with Fatima (sa) five years after the inception of the Prophetic mission because Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) was too old to get pregnant. But this supposition is inappropriate because I have proven in my book titled Al-Sahih min Sirat al-Nabiyy al-A’zam (S) that her age then was about 50 years or, according to the strongest arguments, even less than that, although there is a great deal of disagreement in this regard. It is also possible that her birth after her mother was past the child-bearing age was a blessing unto Khadija and unto the Messenger of Allah S, one similar to the woman who said, “Shall I bear a son while I am a very old woman and this husband of mine is a very old man?!” (Qur’an, 11:72). This is out of place because had it been so, it would have become widespread, but we find no references to it anywhere.

5. Another evidence is the Abundance of traditions explaining why she was named Fatima, among other names given her, which point out and prove that her name came from the heavens according to the orders of Allah, Exalted and Great is He. These are many in number, and they exist in many references, so refer to them8.

Who is Superior: Maryam or Fatima, peace with them both?

The question of who is superior, Maryam daughter of ‘Imran (sa) or Fatima (sa) daughter of Muhammed S, may be answered by some this way: “Such is useless knowledge. It neither benefits those who know it nor harms those who do not. It is an intellectual luxury item, or even nonsense or backwardness.” Then one may add saying, “Since there is no dispute in this regard between Maryam and Fatima, why should we dispute about it? Fatima has her merits, and so does Maryam, and we see no problem here.”

To me, I would like to say the following:

FIRST: There is no doubt that al-Zahra’ (sa) is the best of all womankind, of the early generations as well as the later ones. As for Maryam, she was the head of the women of her time. Such is narrated about the Messenger of Allah S himself as well as the Imams, peace with them9.

This proves that since she is the head of the women of Paradise, she is superior to Maryam, and Maryam is superior to such women10. Another proof of her superiority is narrated by Imam al-Sadiq (as) who has said, “Had Allah, Exalted and Glorified is He, not created the Commander of the Faithful for Fatima (as a husband), nobody else on the face of earth would have been qualified to be her husband, be he from among the descendants of Adam or from among those of anyone else.”11 This tradition proves the superiority of the Commander of the Faithful (as) as well.

SECOND: Our inquiry about the superiority does not mean that we seek to be different; rather, it is the question of someone who seeks to know more about the status of those who enjoy nearness to Allah Almighty. We are urged to seek more knowledge about them because it requires us to know more about Allah Almighty. If we differ at all, it is not dissension or animosity. Rather, it is a difference of opinion which leads us to research the truth, to increase our knowledge, and to correct what is wrong or what is misunderstood by this party or that.

THIRD: We have to realize, each according to his ability, that we have to know the minute details of all contents of the Book of Allah, and all what was said by the Messenger of Allah S and his wasis, peace with them, which they conveyed to us, if we find a way to do it at all. It is knowledge of a great deal of significance. Those who are ignorant of it will be harmed, and those who know it will be benefitted thereby. Knowing it is not confined to political, material, social or organizational matters or to our daily practice of rituals and the like.

Mankind moves on the path of perfection, a movement which he carries out willingly and energetically and through his persistent effort. He sets out in such a movement prompted by his conviction, relying on the degree of his faith.

Such conviction and faith are nourished by knowing the secrets of life and its minute details, knowledge of the domain of Allah, Glory to Him, of the secrets of creation, of knowing Allah, the praised One, of His Attributes, of Prophets and walis whom He chose from among His servants, and knowing their high status and degree of nearness to Allah, such as our knowledge that Allah, Glory to Him, is the One Who chose a name for Fatima12, that He joined her in marriage in the heavens before doing so on earth13, that she used to talk to her mother when she was in her womb14, and such things.

All such knowledge increases the purity of the soul and deepens conviction. It leads to self-knowledge that leads to knowing the Lord, Glory to Him.

It is, then, quite obvious that the status of the prophets, wasis and the walis, and the degrees of their distinction varies in sublimity and differs according to their level of knowledge of all the above.

Yet, some branches of knowledge may require introductions so that we may absorb them and qualify ourselves to properly benefit from them. It will then be necessary to be gradual in undergoing the stages of such a path, just as a first grade pupil is not usually satisfactorily capable of absorbing the material given to a student of a higher grade like a university student. Instead, he has to go through stages that will prepare him to comprehend and absorb all of that so he may benefit from it.

Whenever one gets closer to Allah, he will be more in need of new branches of knowledge which suit his new station of nearness to Allah, and he will need to be more pure, more cleansed, and to formulate his feelings and emotions, rather, all his condition, accordingly. Such a matter has its originality and reality, and it does not agree with one who says that this is knowledge which does not benefit those who know it nor harms those who do not.

If Imam al-Sadiq (as) did feel above delving into a topic like this, when he was asked about it, and when he did provide an answer, are we, then, right in feeling above an issue which the Imam addressed without having to, while he is our role model?! So, we, indeed, need to know the lofty status and the station of nearness to Allah which Fatima (sa) enjoys and knowing her superiority over other beings. We need to know that she is the head of all women of the world, of the early generations and of the last ones, and that she is superior to Maryam (sa), head of the women of her time.

We are in need of all of this because it deepens our relationship with Fatima (sa) and it permits Fatima (sa) into our hearts, incorporating her into the soul, the feelings, the emotions, so that we may be more aware of what she says or does, so we may feel what she feels, like what she likes and hate what she hates. We are in pain when her soul agonizes, and we are happy when her soul is pleased. This increases our sincerity and purity, and it increases our knowledge of the facts relevant to those who oppressed her and transgressed against her. It makes us acquainted with the magnanimity of the injustice to which she was exposed, with how bad and how ugly it was.

Worthiness of al-Zahra’ (sa)

Some people may wonder saying, “The participation of al-Zahra’ (sa) in the Mubahala issue does not indicate the greatness of her value and distinction because her father, the Prophet (S), had raised all his family members since they were the dearest to him, the ones he loved the most, in order to prove that he was ready to sacrifice them for the sake of the religion, and it does not have any other implication.”

In answer, we would like to say that Allah, Glory to Him, involved al-Zahra’ (sa) in an issue that had something to do with the permanence of the religion and with its being the truth. She affects the essence of believing in it till the Day of Judgment because the Mubahala was to prove that Jesus (as) was only a human being, not a god.

The Holy Qur’an has immortalized her participation in the Mubahala in order to demonstrate that she (sa) had reached the pinnacle in her perfection, eminence and distinction, so much so that Allah, the most Glorified One, made her, in addition to the Prophet (S), the wasi and both grandsons (as) of the Prophet (S)the evident proof that the Prophet (S)was truthful in everything he said. Allah, Glory to Him, was the One Who ordered His Prophet (S) to use these individuals to invoke His curse on the liars; he (S) did not do it on his own.

Therefore, it was not done because they were his family members, his Ahl al-Bayt (as). Rather, it was done because Fatima, peace of Allah and His blessings with her, the Prophet (S), Ali and both grandsons of the Prophet, peace with them all, were, as such, the most precious of everyone in existence and the most distinguished among all of Allah’s creation.

It became quite clear that the most Exalted One wanted all people to realize that sacrificing those chosen elite ones meant sacrificing everything, that there was no value for existence without them, and the sacred hadith carries the same meaning.15

The exclusion of more than one man, and the restriction of the female gender to only al-Zahra’ (sa) in this issue, points out to the fact that no other woman came close to the status of eminence and nearness to Allah, Glory to Him, than did al-Zahra’ (sa). So, there is no room to attribute any merit to anyone else besides her (sa) by way of distinction over all other women. Some people attribute status and distinction to some wives of the Prophet (S), such as ‘A’isha, regarding her as superior to the nation’s women.

This cannot be right especially when we see how ‘A’isha behaved after the demise of the Messenger of Allah (S), how she declared mutiny against the Imam, the Commander of the Faithful (as), how she set out to fight the wasi of the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds, causing the death of a very large number of innocent people from among those who stood tall in their conviction and service to Islam. Satan did, indeed, show its horns from where the Prophet (S) had pointed; Allah, the Great, said the truth, and so did His glorious Prophet (S).

What ‘A’isha did, then, how she disobeyed Allah, can never be used as a justification for women’s political activity, as some people may claim, nor does it prove that Islam sanctions it or that it does not.

As regarding the conduct of al-Zahra’ (sa), it is but the criterion and the scales because such conduct was in obedience of Allah, for she was the purified and the infallible woman whose statements and actions are relied on when a verdict is to be derived from the Shari’a , be it relevant to a political or an apolitical issue.

Head of the Women of Mankind

What is evident is that discerning, providing an ideological restriction, or issuing verdicts does not grant the verdict, the ideology or the restriction strength or firmness in the hearts as much as when it is personified and formed into a living and moving reality. This is so because the rational or instinctive evidence, for example, may not convince someone or take hold of him. But the personification of an ideology makes one pleased and overwhelmed thereby, feeling contended and satisfied with it, following in the principle of the Qur’anic verse saying,

“He said: What! And do you not believe?! He said: Yes, but so that my heart may be at ease” (Qur’an, 2:260).

Mental, rational and practical satisfaction is based on clear and sufficient evidence free from any shortcoming or defect. But the soul’s tranquility may need a personification of the idea in the outside world so that the psychological tranquility may be in sync with the firm mental, rational and intellectual conviction; perhaps they may both form the rich fountainhead of feelings and emotions.

Al-Zahra’ (sa) was the very first woman in whom the role model and the most exemplary conduct for all women of the world were personified. This happened after humanity marched a great deal. During such march, many women achieved perfection till Fatima (sa) became the pinnacle of such perfection. Just as perfect man was first personified in Adam (as) so that it would be a living reality, a man living his well-balanced humanity wherein nothing happens arbitrarily, a humanity that he lived in all its characteristics and attributes, sincerity, purity and energy in reason, intellect, conduct, wisdom, and management, so much so that he became the role model for all human beings. He was Adam the prophet and the man, not Adam the dust. Rather, the dust that became a perfect human being in the true sense of the word.

The march for humanity’s perfection went on; therefore, many prophets (as) were perfect human beings, and many women achieved perfection, too, such as Asiya daughter of Muzahim, Maryam (Mary) and Khadija (as). Then perfection reached the highest pinnacle in the person of the Messenger of Allah S the man, and in al-Zahra’ (sa) the woman. Whims and desires, ambitions and instincts, as well as challenges, etc. could not prohibit man from personifying his humanity, live a life of conviction, the life of complete perfection and peace, not the one of environmental or social pressures.

Humans’ role models are those who stand and are able to convince man that he has to defy, to face, and to tread his path forcefully, that he can achieve victory so long as his highest examples are the Prophet S and the walis, starting from Adam and ending with the Messenger of Allah S and his purified progeny (as). He does not only receive from them an ideology, he sees the movement and the stand in the Messenger, the wasi and the wali. He, therefore, was not satisfied with just bidding or forbidding, as in the verse saying,

“... Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back” (Qur’an, 59:7).

Rather, He went beyond it to say,

“Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for him who sets his hopes on Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much” (Qur’an, 33:21).

He (God) shows him the movement, the stand and the purity personified before him in the person of the Prophet and the wasi, and in women who faced the greatest trials and tribulations, such as Pharaoh’s wife and al-Zahra’, Fatima (sa), who had to face people’s deviation from the right course. She faced hardship and oppression. And so is the case of Maryam daughter of ‘Imran who had to face pressures around her in matters that were most sensitive to woman’s gender in general.

The Social Activity of al-Zahra’ (sa)

Some people may bring about a point with a loaded meaning. It says, “We do not find anything in history that points out to a social activity undertaken by Lady Fatima al-Zahra’ in the Islamic society except in one or two traditions.”

Commenting on the above, I would like to say the following:

Each generation has its own requirements, technicalities and frameworks. A man or a woman is demanded to be or is judged accordingly. His/her activities, too, are evaluated on the same basis in as far as the size of their impact on the Islamic reality as a whole is concerned.

During the time of the Prophet S, al-Zahra’ (sa) taught women how to recite the Holy Qur’an; she educated them in the injunctions of the Shari’a and in the necessary theological branches of knowledge. She actively and effectively took part in the call to Allah, Glory and Exaltation are His, in various situations, including the Mubahala incident involving the Christians. She had a leading role in defending the issues of the fate of the nation, including that of the Imamate.

Add to this her magnificent statement which she delivered at the (Prophet’s) Mosque which by itself is considered as a school and as a fountainhead which nourishes the generations with knowledge. Add to all of this her participation, which suited her personality and abilities, during Islam’s decisive wars, in addition to her treatment of the needy, such as the orphans, the captives and the indigent, something which Allah, Glory to Him, has immortalized in a Qur’an that is to be recited till the Day of Judgment.

Greater than all the above is her powerful and effective stance wherein she played her role, including her demise and burial, in order to safeguard the fruits of Jihad for Islam’s greatest cause, just as her daughter Zainab (sa) did within the framework of her powerful and effective safeguarding of the fruits of Jihad and momentous sacrifices of Imam Husayn (as) and his companions in Kerbala’.

Yes, all of this and its likes prove that al-Zahra’ (sa) did, indeed, participate in civil activities, in political, educational and doctrinal fields as suited the reality, the dictates and the circumstances of her time and within the frameworks of its activities according to the then prevalent values.

She made essential achievements on the level of having an impact on protecting the Call, its dissemination, deepening the understanding of its concepts and filling the gaps in various fields within which the circumstances of that age permitted her to move. Such achievements may not be equaled by that of any other woman in history, no matter how great her activity might have been, how branched out its fields, and how diverse its particulars, because it aimed at firming the roots [of our Islamic faith]. It, therefore, has the greatest impact in safeguarding the tree of Islam and in granting it more strength, stability and power, and in making its fruits richer, more pleasing and more delightful.

All the above makes it clear that the difference in the fields of activity, its conditions and norms between the generation of al-Zahra’ (sa) and this generation does not place al-Zahra’ (sa) in the circle of backwardness, deficiency or shortcoming, nor does it make the achievement of woman in this generation of a greater influence, even when the demands of life are wider and the fields of activity and movement are more diverse.

It is only natural that the age of firming the foundations of the creed, of properly setting up the facts of conviction, of determining the issues that shape man’s fate as the most important, the most weighty, and the achievement therein being greater and more serious.

Thus, it becomes obvious that there is no sense in judging al-Zahra’ (sa) as having conducted a very small social activity during her time and base such a judgment on the fields of activity of women in this generation.

Having introduced all the above to the kind reader, I would like to remind him of the following matters:

FIRST: We wish that the same individual had mentioned to us the tradition or two to which he referred so that we might know what he meant by “social activity.” Does he mean that she fell short of carrying out her mission and did not fulfil her obligation as an infallible lady and as the daughter of a Prophet and the wife of a wali?

If her opponents find this to be her fault, her father and husband were then obligated to lead her to the right course in this regard. But if by “social activity” he means establishing schools, charities, educational societies, philanthropic organizations, or holding discussion circles, delivering speeches, writing books to give away or to sell..., it is then quite possible that al-Zahra’ (sa) did not do many of such activities which some women nowadays do, and this was not confined to only al-Zahra’ (sa).

It applies to all women of that generation and of the generations that followed. The nature of the social life and its potentials, and also the nature of woman’s life-style at that time, restricted the activity in which she could participate except in certain fields which are different from today’s, regardless of the legislative justifications about which some people talk in one way or another.

But if he means that history has not mentioned that she used to publicly declare the truth, for those who wanted to know the truth, nor did she carry out her obligation in teaching and directing women and in safeguarding the creed, on the level of the major Islamic issues, and on that of others, especially the branches of knowledge which she disseminated, even within the framework of those of her deeds that were relevant to worship..., what she has achieved in this field is as clear to the eyes of the beholder as the rays of the sun.

Her speech, which she delivered at the Mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah with him and his progeny), and with the women of the Ansar, is regarded as a school for the generations and as the fountainhead of knowledge across history only when it is well understood and benefitted from. This she did despite the presence of her father, the Messenger of Allah (S) and her cousin, the Commander of the Faithful (as), who were the axes of the social, human and Islamic activity. Her activity (sa) was part of the whole general activity of the time.

Yet his claim that there are only one or two traditions (referring to her social activities) remains unclear and imprecise. There are many traditions which have referred to her participation in various activities, be they social, political, or educational, and we have already mentioned some of them. Actually, some narrations state that she used to participate even in non-Muslim [social] functions when some Jews invited her to attend one of their weddings.

There is an incident narrating how she gave a bedouin her necklace and a bed on which al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) used to sleep, so ‘Ammar ibn Yasir  bought them back. This is well documented.

Even Allah, Glory to Him, tells us how she and her Ahl al-Bayt (as) are of the habit of feeding the indigent, the orphan and the newly released captive seeking His Pleasure.

When she delivered her famous speech at the Mosque, she went there accompanied by a crowd of women who supported her demands. Some historians discuss the presence of a bloc of women who supported her (sa) versus others who opposed her. Besides, she is famous for admonishing her children to look after the neighbor before looking after their own family.

This provides us with a picture depicting the nature of her concerns. Had she found any opportunity to carry out any social, civil or educational activity, she would have set out swiftly with full awareness and interest.

SECOND: The Prophet (S) continuously stressed her status and role, her position in Islam, belief and knowledge. This granted her a special status; she became an authority for the people who referred to her. Her house was often frequented by women coming in and out all the time16. The women of Medina [in general], as well as her neighbors [in particular] used to quite often visit her.17 People sought her to teach them from the knowledge that she had with her.18

The Prophet (S) used to personally send people who were in need of something materialistic to go to the house of Fatima (sa) as in the story of the bedouin whom she gave her necklace and a bed belonging to both her sons as we have just stated.

People used to frequent her house seeking knowledge, too. All this must have filled her life with movement and activity, in addition to her domestic activity, during a time when she used to use the grind-stone till her hands bled.

THIRD: Nobody, no matter who he/she is, can be evaluated based on his/her social achievements and activities or political shrewdness, for there are many politicians who are quite shrewd and who are not adorned by the true value of humanity. A social activity or shrewdness does not provide any value for a politician or a political stance.

Politics are ruled by their own principles and interests, and they are to be derived from an infallible person such as a prophet or a wasi, and from al-Zahra’ (sa), too. She (sa) defines for us where the political value lies, or the value of any other action, be it social or non-social. Al-Zahra’ (sa) does not derive her worthiness from her policies or social activities; otherwise, some criminals or deviators would have been valued as greater than prophets, walis or wasis, if one of them had conducted a huge social or political activity due to the Abundance of wealth, prominence and authority at the disposal of a prophet or a wali, peace with them all.

The truth is that the worthiness of a human being stems from within him, from the values which he personifies, from his ideals and humanitarianism, from his useful knowledge which produces piety and fear of Allah, Glory to Him. Anything other than these falls in the category of causes and outcomes, and it may be found on the other side of the equation.

FOURTH: We have first to verify the status of al-Zahra’ (sa) with relevance to the conviction of any Muslim and also verify the reality of the responsibilities expected to be undertaken in support of this religion and its structure. So, let us say the following:

The loyalty of a Muslim to the Prophet (S), to the Imams and to al-Zahra’ (sa), plays a major and crucial role in crystallizing his conviction and realizing his identity, personality and humanity. The presence of al-Zahra’, the woman, who is neither an Imam nor a prophet, being a woman perfect in her humanity, is what we need by necessity to be mandated by life, belief, conduct and daily process. As regarding her social or political activity, this does not have the same degree of significance or sensitivity in the presence of her father and husband.

We need such a presence so that we may be linked to it, so that our hearts may lean towards it, for it embodies for us values and principles and the human perfection which we need, too, so that our hearts may embrace it through embracing al-Zahra’ (sa), then it participates in building our creed and firming the Islamic concepts, the values and the principles in our hearts and minds…, so that it may coin our feelings and emotions, actually our existence altogether. Such is the role of Fatima (sa). Her role or theirs is not to establish foundations, civil organizations or charities, etc.

FIFTH: There is no doubt that al-Zahra’ (sa) plays a serious and sensitive role in keeping this religion alive and pure. Had it not been for her, it would have been distorted and become a thing of the past. Al-Zahra’ (sa) is the window of light, the proof of righteousness, the mirror of Islam that reflects its teachings, injunctions, concepts and outlooks towards the cosmos and life itself, as is the case with her husband, the Commander of the Faithful (sa). She and the truth are inseparable companions.

She is the criterion and the scales whereby people’s conviction is weighed, and so is their uprightness on the path of guidance, goodness, honesty and sincerity. We know thereby whether Allah and His Messenger (S) are pleased or displeased. This is referred to by the tradition of the Prophet (S) wherein he says, “She is part of me; she is my heart within my ribs; whoever harms her harms me, and whoever harms me in fact harms Allah,” or “I am pleased with whoever pleases her, and I am angered by anything/anyone which/who angers her,” or some such wording.

Notice how he has made her part of him, the very criterion for his pleasure with whatever/whoever pleases her and his displeasure with whatever/whoever displeases or harms her.19

It is quite evident that her being part of his physical body, being his daughter, is not the reason that whatever pleases her pleases him for two reasons:

FIRST: He does not set out from a point of bias towards his kinship or blood relation, etc. Rather, he wishes that all the particularities and privileges, material or immaterial abilities, should be at the service of this religion.

SECOND: Being the biological or non-biological father is insufficient by nature to win privileges of such a level of significance, though they may be important since they refer to the purity of the element and the purification of the kind, since she (sa) was a nur in the lofty loins and the purified wombs. When the son of Noah (as) who, according to some traditions, was adopted20, did not exert such an effort, he strayed and perished, so much so that Allah said the following about him to his father Noah,

“O Noah! Surely he is not of your family; surely he is (the doer of) other than good deeds; therefore, do not ask of Me that of which you have no knowledge; surely I admonish you lest you should be among the ignorant” (Qur’an, 11:46).

Thereupon, the pleasure of Noah’s son was surely not the Pleasure of Allah and His Messenger, nor was his anger theirs.

What is intended, in as far as her being part of him is concerned, should be a meaning hinging on her pleasure being also his, and her being harmed is his harm, especially since we know that he said so when she answered the following question: “What is the best for a woman?” She said, “That she does not see men, nor do men see her,” as will be discussed, God willing. Or it may have been said to Ali (as) in the presence of those who harmed Fatima (sa) when they told her that he had sought the hand of the daughter of Abu Jahl. Ali (as) said to him, “By the One Who sent you with the truth as a Prophet, there is no truth whatsoever in what she was told that I have done, nor did I ever contemplate doing anything like that.” The Prophet S said to him, “You have said the truth, and you are the truthful one.” Fatima (sa) then felt glad about it. She smiled till her father saw her teeth. One of the two men said to his companion, “What caused you to call on me during a time such as this?”

The Prophet S, then, wanted to tell the person who brought that false news to Fatima that he had caused her and him harm. No matter what, the meaning of this statement harmonizes with: harming her means harming him. Her characteristics are derived from those of the Messenger of Allah S and so is her perfection. Discussing her connotes that she is part of the Prophet S and his human and prophetic existence in all its attributes, in its particularities, minute characteristics, as a perfectly holy human being who represents humanity, perfection, purity, truth and righteousness, in the most precise and manifest of such means and in their most sublime.

Obviously, when Fatima (sa) is angry, she is angered when humanity is belittled, and when values and principles are violated. She is pleased when humanity is honored and values are firmed. Her being exposed to oppression does not anger her as an individual; it angers her because it is an aggression against humanity, spiritual perfection and ideological sublimity, and because it is an attempt to belittle this sacred existence.

To assault Fatima (sa) is to assault righteousness, natural disposition and honor, and this is what angers her and angers Allah and His Messenger. Every deed which is done according to natural disposition, safeguarding this existence, pleases her and pleases the Messenger and Allah.

Thus, she fits to be a criterion and a scale when she is pleased and when angered. We may make this meaning clearer when we refer to the Qur’anic verse saying, “Whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept all men alive” (Qur’an, 5:32). The body, which is composed of flesh and bones, remains present, and what is missing is its power of will, the ability to choose, reason as well as human characteristics of nobility, generosity, feelings, emotions... The body is emptied of its contents when the soul is separated from it.

Al-Zahra’ : Her Father’s Mother

One of the most strange of what we have ever heard is a statement someone made claiming that al-Zahra’ (sa) compensated the Prophet S for his mother who had died when he was still a child, and that for this reason, she was called “mother of her father.”

The same individual says the following verbatim: “The Prophet started his life complaining about having lost his mother’s love because such love could not be provided by a wet nurse or a governess... So she [al-Zahra’ (sa)]provided him with her maternal affection by embracing him, and the Messenger of Allah said to her that the gap which he had felt through the loss of his mother he could now fill through his daughter.”21

I would like to say to him that such talk is not acceptable, for we cannot agree that the Prophet (S) used to suffer from an inferiority complex resulting from losing his mother, so he needed someone to compensate him for what he had lost. Rather, it simply means that al-Zahra’ (sa) used to take care of her father like a mother taking care of her son. This does not mean that doing so was a compensation for the Prophet (S) for an emotion which he missed, nor was it to complement a shortcoming.

Can this person accept that someone else other than al-Zahra’ (sa) was able to fill that “gap” had she cared for the Messenger of Allah (S) and given him the emotion which he needed?!

Finally, “mother of her father” explains only the fact and the dimension of how Lady al-Zahra’ (sa) treated her father. It does not connote any “filling of a gap” or untying an inferiority complex in the sacred personality of the Prophet, God forbid.

Does Infallibility Force One Not to Commit Sins?!

1. The same individual says that the infallibility which manifested itself in al-Zahra’ (sa) was the result of the environment and the iman surrounding her wherein she lived and grew up because it was an environment of belief, purity, virtue and righteousness.

It is clear that this statement implies something which requires a bold and sensitive question: What if al-Zahra’ (sa) had lived in another environment, in one stained with vices and abominations?! What if someone else other than her had lived in the same environment? Will the result be the same? Some women did, indeed, live in such a stained environment, so why was the case not so?

2. Despite all of this, we find the same person talking about the “forming” of infallibility, implying endorsement of the theory saying that the Almighty “forces” some people (to be infallible), a theory the error of which has been proven and which Ahl al-Bayt (as) rejected, saying that there is neither forcing nor commissioning but something in-between.

I say that I do not wish to go into detail in making a distinction between obedience and disobedience. Rather, I contend myself with referring to the following:

FIRST: Leaving aside acts of obedience is by itself an act of disobedience. One, therefore, cannot afford to leave them out. How can he, then, have a choice in doing or not doing them, and what do you mean when you say that he has the option regarding certain acts of obedience?!

SECOND: Such a distinction lacks evidence, and nothing leads to it. Rather, it is merely judging things. Why not reverse the case and give him the option to leave aside disobedience while being obligated to do acts of obedience...?

What is noteworthy here is that when the writer had to face these questions, he resorted once to citing al-Balkhi, who says that rewards for obedience are granted out of God’s favors, not because His servant deserves them, and once to what some claim that one who deserves to be rewarded is, indeed, rewarded out of God’s favors. This, like al-Balkhi’s, is a statement unworthy of anyone’s attention due to the evidence that obedience is earned when one deserves it, not due to preference.

The evidence referred to above is this: Obedience is a hardship mandated by Allah on His servant. If there is no purpose behind it, it is then oppression, it is senseless, something too ugly to be attributed to the all-Wise One. But if there is a purpose behind it, if it comes from Him, the most Exalted One, it is false because He is not in need of anything at all. But if it is relevant to the obligated person, and if the purpose is to harm him, it would be ugly oppression. But if it is for one’s own benefit, it must have been right for the Almighty to initiate it for the benefit of His servant; obligation will then become senseless. But if it is not initiated by the Almighty, and it requires obligating so that one may be worthy of its benefit, it will then be exactly what is required.

The outcome is this: Rewards are granted because someone earns them, not because they come due to preference.

As regarding al-Balkhi’s statement, it is wrong from its foundations because he derives his conclusion from the assumption that an obligation is mandated as means to thank the Almighty for His blessing, so one does not deserve, because of it, any rewards. Rewards are granted as a favor from the most Exalted One. There is no doubt that this statement is erroneous.

What we are discussing is what is pleasant and what is ugly. Wise people consider it ugly for someone to be preferred over another by receiving a blessing, then he is obligated to thank the Giver for it without receiving any rewards for carrying out the same obligation. They consider it a shortcoming and attribute it to love for power and authority and such ugly meanings which do not come from the all-Wise One; so, we have to say that rewards are earned, deserved.

The ultimate goal is that it can be said, though this statement does not agree with what al-Balkhi says who also contradicts it and rejects it, that although Allah, Praise belongs to Him, is the Owner of everything, and His ownership makes Him the Originator in deciding the initiation of the rewards for those whom He owns for their good deeds, but, having determined this under the label of “wages,” granting them for it many times its worth, making it a divine law, it enters the circle of deserved rewards after it had not been there.

Because of the above, reason does not permit that Allah should grant those who disobey Him and withhold it from those who obey him. Had rewards been initiated out of His favors, this would have been permissible. This is similar to the case of a man who decided to grant his son a prize if he passed his school examination. If the son passes, he will demand his father to give him the prize, considering himself wronged and insulted if he does not receive it, let alone if his father gives it to his brother who did not pass.

Do Environment and Surroundings Affect Infallibility?

As regarding what is said about the effect of the environment and the surrounding atmosphere of conviction on the personality of al-Zahra’ (sa), we would like to say the following:

Al-Zahra’ (sa) is the noor that was created from the fruit of Paradise; she used to talk to her mother when she was inside her womb before she was born. She is among the best of the creation of Allah, Praise belongs to Him. He chose her to be infallible22, the purified one, the selected elite one, prior to her entering the environment which some people discuss, claiming that it is the main reason for the status and prestige enjoyed by al-Zahra’ (sa).

The individual’s statement implies that had al-Zahra’ (sa) lived in another environment, one which lacks righteousness, goodness, and piety, she would then have been stamped by its particular stamp, becoming an evil and a deviated woman, and we seek Allah’s protection against making such assumptions! Is this acceptable or rational?!

I insist that the environment wherein al-Zahra’ (sa) lived was not the reason for reaching a station of nearness to Allah, nor did it formulate and crystallize her believing personality or caused her infallibility or human perfection. Rather, her sound inner self, her pure soul, her wise mind, her balanced characteristics and human perfection, in addition to the care with which Allah Almighty surrounded her, being kind to her, guiding her and granting her success, and also her own individual and voluntary effort to attain more sincerity, purity and purification so that she could reach the degrees of nearness to Allah and to achieve His Pleasure. All that produced the personality of al-Zahra’ (sa), the infallible lady, the purified one.

Infallibility does not mean the inability to do something [prohibitive]. It means the ability and the knowledge, making the right option, the strong and the effective will that works with the great mind, in addition to the divine kindness, care and support. Being a senior or a junior or the amount of bodily growth are not the criteria in the purity of the soul or the perfection of faculties and human attributes, nor is it in giving the lead to reason, or the power of reason and realization, or in vast knowledge and being worthy of attaining the stations of divinely-granted glory.

Allah granted wisdom to Yahya [John the Baptist (as)] when he was a child, and Jesus (as) spoke even when he was in the cradle thus: “Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet; and He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and zakat as long as I live and [to be] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed” (Qur’an, 19:30-32).

Al-Zahra’ (sa) in no time had the mentality of a child, nor was she ever on the level of abilities, realizations or ambitions of a child. Ali spoke, and so did al-Zahra’, peace with both of them, at the time of their birth, and al-Zahra’ (sa) spoke to her mother before her birth. Narratives and history books, and others, of both parties, mentioned for us all of this and its likes in relevance to Ahl al-Bayt, peace with them. This proves that she and they were as such; may Allah shower them with His blessings and shower her Shi’as and those who love her till the Day of Judgment.

The Ability to Revolt Against the Environment And the Surroundings

As regarding what is related to the environment and the surroundings, we do not deny their effects on one’s soul, psychology and moral code. But we say that this is not the absolute rule with all people, nor is it inevitable to the degree that one loses with it his power of will, confining him and preventing him from choosing, prohibiting him from making options, chaining him against moving in the right direction, the direction of goodness, righteousness, success and salvation.

The Holy Qur’an has made all of this clear for us in a way that leaves no room for doubt when it told us about women who were role models such as Maryam daughter of ‘Imran and Asiya daughter of Muzahim. Then it talked about others from whom we may derive admonishment and warning such as the wives of Noah and Lot.

Referring to one of the wives of the Prophet (S) to whom he confided about a very important matter and who revealed that confidential matter, adding to it something from her own self, the Holy Qur’an states the following:

“Allah sets forth an example to those who disbelieve the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot: They were both under two of Our righteous servants, but they acted treacherously towards them so they (their husbands, the prophets) availed them naught against Allah, and it was said: ‘Enter, both of you, into the Fire with those who enter’. And Allah sets forth the example for those who believe the wife of Pharaoh when she said: ‘Lord! Build for me a house with Thee in the Garden and deliver me from Pharaoh and his deeds, and deliver me from the unjust people’. And Maryam, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into her of Our inspiration, and she accepted the truth of the words of her Lord and His books, and she was of the obedient ones” (Qur’an, 66:12).

We find Him, Glory to Him, providing an exemplary conduct for those who believe, not specifically for believing women, of that of Asiya daughter of Muzahim and Maryam daughter of ‘Imran. For those who disbelieve, not specifically for disbelieving women, He provides the example of the wives of Noah and Lot. In order to explain all of this, let us say the following:

Wives of Prophets Noah and Lot (as)

What aids in clarifying what we want to explain as the meaning of the verses cited above is to observe the following matters:

1. He has pointed out in the verse how a woman stood in the face of a man. Perhaps some people see men as having a distinction over women in certain areas. This distinction provides preference and precedence in many matters.

2. Both men (prophets) are husbands, and a husband enjoys a strong position, at least in his wife’s house.

3. Regardless of the above, a husband usually is the most knowledgeable of all people, including the parents, of the conditions of his wife, of her habits, of the points of her weakness or strength, because he is practically in continuous contact with her, and she usually lives with him. Such knowledge is most clear to him and is held in the highest degree.

4. This man possesses attributes of perfection and means of power, especially in his awareness, management, mind and wisdom, in his intellectual level and the soundness of such mentality, as well as in his ability to convince, let alone other things. He actually is the pinnacle in all of that, so much so that he has deserved to be a prophet, even a messenger of Allah. One of them, namely Noah (as), is one of “ulul-’azm” who possess the highest degrees of firmness, immunity and power. Who else more than a prophet/messenger who knows the means of convincing others, its methods and tools? Or is there anyone else more than him in his acquisition of the intellectual diction or anything else needed to do so?!

5. Moreover, this woman lived in an environment of guidance, in the atmospheres of purity, cleanliness, straightforwardness, virtue, conviction, goodness and righteousness where all of this is personified as a concrete reality which could be directly felt, rather than being mere abstracts.

As regarding deviation, evil and apostasy, these will be in such an environment strange, rejected, outcast, having no freedom of movement, and they will never be accepted.

6. Both of these men/prophets (as), one of whom belongs to “ulul-’azm,” had to bear the responsibility of guiding the nation, defending it, distancing it from the slippery venues of deviation and their ills. Providing such guidance is their primary and basic responsibility, and it is everything in their lives as a guiding message. It is not something casual, such as money which can be compensated, or authority which one can live without, nor is it power nor influence, nor house management. And it is not a materialistic interest, nor is it any of life’s affairs which can be overlooked. Rather, undermining it means undermining destiny and existence, the future, this life and the life hereafter. This mission is regarded and treated as a sacred thing from the standpoint of worship and adoration.

His wife defies him although she does not possess any of what we have listed above, rebelling against him in the depth of his responsibility and in the most precious thing which he had had.

7. Such defiance was a defiance of the environment and the surroundings because it sprung up from within the environment of righteousness, conviction, goodness and guidance.

8. What increases the pain is that she defied him in something towards which he aimed instinctively, something to which his heart and conscience were tied, and so were his feelings, soul and existence.

Yet even more bitter is that she wants to be the antithesis which is not confined to mere deviation, but she tries to demolish what he was building, taking advantage of the deviating environment which could help her achieve her objective, grant her a boost and enhance her determination.

On the other hand, this matter is not confined to one source which can be regarded as incidental or as the exception to the rule, for this same matter repeated itself and involved Noah and Lot, peace with them both, whom Allah puts forth as examples for what happened to them.

Maryam (sa) Facing the Challenge

As for the challenge in the case of Maryam (sa) it, too, is harsh and bitter. It is a challenge in a matter that touches her own person and being, a most sensitive challenge for a female who regards herself as the pioneer of purity and virtue, deploring her people’s sins and deviation. It is a challenge regarding chastity and purity. It came in a way wherein she lost with it all the means of self-defense.

How can a woman bring her people her newborn then claim that she never committed a sin nor had she had a relationship with any man? She claims that she was big with child without having been touched by a man, insisting that she preserved the meaning of virtue and purity in the precise sense of the word. She accepts no other interpretation in that regard, not even one wherein a forceful action (such as rape) is applied and because of which a woman is excused.

Even when a married woman gives birth, she is shy during the first days to a high degree especially before those who knew her and whom she knew. So, how is it if she goes to her people carrying a newborn to whom she had given birth without having gotten married, insisting that she was not touched by any man at all?! Could she not expect them to think or imagine that something else must have taken place?!

Yet Maryam’s belief was not shaken, nor did she retreat, nor did she hide that infant, nor did she send him away or dissociate herself from him. Rather, she accepted and was pleased, and she persevered and tolerated everything, seeking to please Allah, Praise is His. She was rightfully the head of the women of her time, and she was quite worthy of it, because she believed in the Words of Allah, and she supplicated to Him.

As for the truthful and pure lady, Fatima al-Zahra’, peace of Allah and His blessings with her, the greatest Messenger of Allah S had said that she was better than all the women of mankind from the early generations to the last ones, including Maryam, Asiya and others despite what the latter had been through, and despite what they had to face. This informs you of how great her status is and how tremendous her trial and tribulation based on the hadith saying, “The most to be afflicted with trials are the prophets, then those who are less than them in status, then the most exemplary, and so on.”23

Deductions from the Above

Many results have become clear from what is stated above; among them are:

1. From the examples provided by Allah, it has become clear that the environment and the surroundings do not make up one’s personality although they may sometimes have an influence on him, in the absence of an aware self-supervision, when man surrenders to submission and bondage.

There is no room, then, for anyone to say that the personality of al-Zahra’ (sa) is the outcome of the environment and the surroundings wherein she lived, and we will never accept anyone’s statement that had she (sa) lived in other surroundings, i.e. corrupt ones, she, too, would have lived the realities of her corrupt environment.

2. Maryam faced the pressures of the deviated environment surrounding her regarding the most sensitive and serious issue relevant to her without having any known means to defend herself except her pure conviction and great trust in Allah, the most Exalted One. Asiya daughter of Muzahim moved around in the depth of the den of deviation and apostasy, in the midst of its surroundings, facing the most powerful man, the one with the most means of oppression, enticement, challenge, injustice, iniquity and arrogance. Both of these examples prove that there is no room to justify the deviation that results from the pressures of the environment and the surroundings or the authority, nor to succumbing to the will of the husband, etc.

3. All the above has made it clear that a woman, as well as a man, possesses a real power and strength to determine the final decision regarding any issue. This stands on the same level with the Divine call, and it can reach the highest degrees that qualify her for the most sublime status within the scope of dignity and divine care.

4. The impulse to support justice, the upholding of the laws of Allah, the acting on His commandments, the upholding of the path of guidance and righteousness..., is undoubtedly something conducive to nature and reason. To deviate from it is nothing short of lagging behind the requirements of nature, taking rational thinking lightly and sacrificing the meanings of humanity, straight-forwardness and guidance.

  • 1. Refer to my book titled Al-Sihah min Sirat al-Nabiyy al-A`zam (a), Vol. 3, in the chapter discussing the isra’ and mi`raj.
  • 2. Refer to Diya’ al-`Alamin, Vol. 2, p. 2 (manuscript). Ibn al-Athir, Jami` al-Usul, Vol. 12, pp. 9-10.
  • 3. al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 101, quoting Al-Kafi through an authentic tradition, and also Al-Misbah al-Kabir, Dala’il al-Imama, Misbah al-Kaf`ami, Al-Rawda, Ibn Shahr Ashub, Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 75, and Ithbat al-Wasiyya. Refer also to Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 52, Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 1, p. 278 quoting the book about the dates of the births of Ahl al-Bayt (as) by Imam Ahmed ibn Nasr ibn `Abdullah al-Darra`. Refer also to al-Mas`udi’s Muruj al-Dhahab, Vol. 2, p. 289, and to other books.
  • 4. You can find such narrations in the books of the Shi`as such as: al-Majlisi’s Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 4-6; al-Saduq’s Amali, as well as `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida, Ma`ani al-Akhbar, `Ilal al-Shara’i`, al-Qummi, Tafsir; al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, and in others. Refer also to Al-Anwar al-Nu`maniyya, Vol. 1, p. 80 or any other book, modern or classic, which discusses al-Zahra’ (sa).
  • 5. In non-Shi`a books, you can find them in works such as Al-Mustadrak `Alal Sahihihayn, Vol. 3, p. 156; al-Dhahbi, Talkhis al-Mustadrak (as referred to in a footnote in Al-Mustadrak); Nuzul al-Abrar, p. 88; Al-Durr al-Manthur, Vol. 4, p. 153; al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Tarikh Baghdad, Vol. 5, p. 87; Ibn al-Maghazli, Manaqib al-Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib, p. 357; Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 1, p. 277; Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 36; Lisan al-Mizan , Vol. 1, p. 134; Al-La’ali’ al-Masnu`a, Vol. 1, p. 392; and Al-Durra al-Yatima fi Ba`d Fada’il al-Sayyida al-`Azima, p. 31.
    In the Appendices Section of Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 10, pp. 1-10, they are quoted from some of the references cited above as well as from Mizan al-I`tidal, Al-Rawd al-Fa’iq, Nuzhat al-Majalis, Mujma` al-Zawa’id, Kanz al-`Ummal, Muhadarat al-Awa’il, al-Khawarizmi’s Maqtal al-Husayn; Miftah al-Najat, Al-Manaqib by `Abdullah al-Shafi`i, I`rab Thalathin Sura, and Akhbar al-Duwal.
    The author of Diya’ al-`Alamin discusses it on pp. 4-5, Vol. 4, of his work and in his manuscript, citing a large number of references.
    There are other references which we mentioned while discussing the isra’ and mi`raj, while discussing the biography of the Greatest Prophet (S) to which you may refer.
  • 6. Refer to Khasa’is Amir al-Mu`minin Ali ibn Abu Talib, p. 228, critiqued by al-Mahmudi; p. 393, Vol. 3, of Al-Manaqib by Ibn Shahr Ashub (Dar al-Adwa’ edition); Tathkirat al-Khawass, pp. 306-307; and Diya’ al-`Alamin, Vol. 2, p. 36 (manuscript).
  • 7. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 2.
  • 8. Refer to Yanabi` al-Mawadda and to p. 219, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi; to pp. 221 & 229 of Al-Manaqib by Ibn al-Maghazli; to Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 4, pp. 6 & 9, where there is a plenty of researched material. Refer also to al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 13 and to its footnotes citing `Ilal al-Shara'i`, Vol. 1, p. 178. Refer also to Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 26; to Vol. 2, p. 400 as well as Vol. 3, p. 439 of Mizan al-I`tidal; to Lisan al-Mizan, Vol. 3, p. 267; to Tawali` al-Anwar, pp. 112-113 (Tabriz, 1395); to p. 51 (Dar al-I`tisam, Beirut, 1392) of Ma`rifat ma Yajib li Al al-Bayt al-Nabawi by Ahmed ibn Ali al-Maqrizi, and to Ahmed Fahmi’s book titled Al-Batul al-Tahira, pp. 11 & 15.
  • 9. Refer to Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 43; to Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’, Vol. 2, p. 126; to Al-Jawhara, p. 17; to Al-Isti`ab (as referred to in a footnote in Al-Isaba), Vol. 4, p. 376; to Tarikh Dimashq (to the section dealing with the biography of Imam Ali and researched by al-Mahmudi), Vol. 1, pp. 247-248; to Al-Majalis al-Saniyya, Vol. 5, p. 63 citing al-Saduq’s Amuli; to Al-Istu`ab and p. 56, Vol. 3, of Sharh al-Akhbar; to p. 79, Vol. 1, of Maqtal al-Husayn by al-Khawarizmi; to pp. 178-179 of Nazm Durar al-Simtayn; to Ma`ani al-Akhbar, pl. 107; to p. 182, Vol. 1, of `Ilal al-Shara’i`; to al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 37, Vol. 39, p. 278 and p. 68, Vol. 37; and to Ibn Shahr Ashub’s Manaqib.
  • 10. Refer to p. 459 of Al-Rasa’il al-I`tiqadiyya, citing p. 36, Vol. 5, of al-Bukhari’s Sahih and also p. 262 of Al-Tara’if, citing Al-Jam` Baynal Sihah al-Sitta, and p. 61, Vol. 1, of Mir’at al-Jinan, and pp. 19-21, Vol. 2, of Diya` al-`Alamin.
  • 11. Refer to p. 461, Vol. 1, of Al-Kafi, to pp. 10 & 107, Vol. 43, of Bihar al-Anwar; to p. 11, Vol. 2, of Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript) citing `Uyun al-Mu`jizat; and to p. 48 of Kitab al-Firdaws.
  • 12. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 13 citing p. 178, Vol. 1, of `Ilal al-Shara’i`.
  • 13. Refer to p. 31 of Thakha’ir al-`Uqba; p. 98, Vol. 2, of Kashf al-Ghumma. Refer also to Kunuz al-Haqa’iq by al-Mannawi in a footnote on p. 75, Vol. 2, of Al-Jami` al-Saghir; and to pp. 141 & 145, Vol. 43, of al-Majlisi’s Bihar al-Anwar.
  • 14. Al-Qazwini, Fatima al-Zahra’ Minal Mahd ilal Lahd, p. 49; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 2; p. 227, Vol. 2, of Nuzhat al-Majalis; and pp. 27, 38, Vol. 2, of Diya’ al-`Alamin.
  • 15. Refer to pp. 179 and 198 of Al-Kafi; and to pp. 138-139 of al-Nu`mani’s Ghayba; to pp. 488-489 of Basa’ir al-Darajat. Refer also to p. 359, Vol. 8, of Al-Sihah min Sirat al-Nabiyy al-A`zam (S) where they are quoted.
  • 16. Ibn Abul-Hadid al-Mu`tazilite al-Shafi`i, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 9, p. 198.
  • 17. Ibid., Vol. 9, p. 193.
  • 18. The story of how someone went to her seeking to learn from her, so she asked for a book which the Messenger of Allah (S) had given her will come later in this book. When she [actually her maid, Fidda] did not first find it, the man had to wait.
  • 19. There is no doubt in the consecutive reporting of this tradition or in its authenticity. Shaikh Ja`far Kashif al-Ghita’, on p. 12 of his famous book Kashf a-Ghita’, has noted its being consecutively reported by both parties, so refer to it. Since this tradition is mentioned in various references which discuss al-Zahra’ (sa), listing its references is very hard, even impossible, and we find no need to do so here. We, however, will contend ourselves by mentioning some of them. Anyone who wishes to know more should review the books which discuss the biography of al-Zahra’ (sa), her miracles or merits. He will find this tradition cited wherever he goes. The references to which we would like to point out here are:
    Fara’id al-Simtayn, Vol. 2, p. 46; Mujma` al-Zawa’id, Vol. 9, p. 203; al-Khawarizmi’s Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 1, pp. 52-53; Kifayat al-Talib, pp. 364-365; Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, pp. 37-39; Usd al-Ghaba, Vol. 5, p. 522; al-Bukhari’s Sahih, Muslim’s Sahih; Yanabi` al-Mawadda, pp. 173-174, 179, 198; Nazm Durar al-Simtayn, pp. 176-177; al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, Vol. 3, pp. 154, 158-159 and its Talkhis by al-Dhahbi as referred to in the latter’s footnote; Kanz al-`Ummal, Vol. 13, pp. 93 & 96 and Vol. 6, p. 219 and Vol. 7, p. 111; Al-Ghadir, Vol. 7, pp. 231 & 236; Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’, Vol. 2, p. 132; Al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqa, pp. 186 & 188; al-Zarqani’s Sharh al-Mawahib, Vol. 4, p. 335; in addition to many others.
  • 20. It does not make any sense when some people say that Noah’s paternal feelings affected him, so he followed his emotions, not paying attention to Allah’s address in this regard. Refer to Vol. 2, p. 220, of Al-Burhan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an.
  • 21. Kitab al-Nadwa, p. 58.
  • 22. Infallibility in prophets and wasis is fixed by reason because the station of the Prophetic Mission and Imamate requires it. It is supported by narrations which may also explain its limits, scopes and other particulars.
    As regarding the infallibility of al-Zahra’ (sa), it is fixed by authentic traditions of the Messenger of Allah (S) and by Qur’anic texts, and it is one of the necessities of the sect and its fixed tenets. It goes without saying that infallibility cannot be known except from such traditions because the divine orders to do or not to do are not confined to deeds of the senses but transcend them to incorporate the heart, the self, the soul, and to coining the characteristics of a human being, his feelings, emotions such as courage, generosity, jealousy, love, hatred, belief, hypocrisy, intentions and other things with which we cannot be familiar without traditions quoting the infallible person.
  • 23. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 64, p. 200.

Part 2: Al-Zahra’ (sa) And The Unknown

Someone says that we have no need for whatever historical data is available regarding the marriage of al-Zahra’ (sa) and its unknown aspects, in the heavens celebrating it or in other such relevant things. He also raises reservations about the tradition saying that there were unknown elements or unnatural particulars in the personality of al-Zahra’ (sa), wondering what we could gain or lose, as he puts it, whether she is a noor or not, for such is “knowledge which does not benefit anyone who is familiar with it, nor does it hurt anyone who is ignorant thereof.”

Then he adds saying that we find nothing particular except the circumstances that guaranteed her spiritual and intellectual growth and her practical upholding on the level wherein the elements of one’s personality are balanced naturally in the issue of the personal growth, and that we cannot take for granted the tradition in question saying that there are certain unknown elements which get her out of the level of an ordinary woman because this is not subject to any “undisputable proof”.

We, in as far as the necessity of the education of the unknown is concerned, would like to record the following:

FIRST: Raising issues in such a way may be the catalyst for setting off a “domestic dispute,” since it aims at casting doubt about the importantce of learning about the knowledge of the unknown, something which is not acceptable, nor is it rational, for it is one of the issues of the faith and of the creed. Such issues are unreservedly accepted. There is no doubt that distancing a very important aspect of theological issues from the circle of interest through weakening them or taking them lightly is considered as undermining an important foundation of the creed. It is a genuine confusion of the leading Islamic ideology, and it implies raising question marks about the diction of other theological branches of knowledge, something which will lead to the weakening of people’s conviction, to diverting their interest from Allah, Praise and Exaltation are His, from his Messengers (as) and elite ones.

Their conviction of the facts of Islam and belief will be shaken, and it will raise many question marks about matters which ought not be subjected to a debate which is not based on a procedure or science, for it will then produce nothing but confusion in the general state. It will divert people’s interest to directions which are further from the reality, further from seriously contemplating on their fate issues, from whatever threatens their future and very existence. It will distance them from planning and confronting huge dangers awaiting them in their arena where they face the powers of grudge and haughtiness against which we should all unite. May Allah protect us from losing our minds or deviating in our thinking or action; He is the omni-Potent One, the Able, the One most capable of responding.

SECOND: There is no doubt that there are texts proving the Divine care of al-Zahra’ (sa) even to many of her miracles1 and attributes which were particularly hers and which are all too many in number to deny. They are justified both scientifically and ideologically.

If such size of texts does not prove one’s distinction, status, or Divine care, then there is no room to prove any other Islamic reality. The Mu’tazilites have preceded this man in denying that a miracle can be performed by a wali in the pretext they look like those performed by prophets, so much so that one prophet cannot then be distinguished from another2. They did not pay any heed to the fact that a miracle is performed by a wali only when he upholds the line of the faith in a way whereby he does not claim to be a prophet; otherwise, he would not have been a wali, nor would he have been worthy of Divine care from Allah, nor will Allah enable him to perform one at all.

THIRD: Allah, the most Exalted and Sublime, has said, “Alif Lam, Mim. This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (themselves against evil). Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them” (Qur’an, 2:1-3). There is no doubt that matters relevant to the unknown have a strong impact on a Muslim’s conviction, and that the unknown is one of the essential matters in the subject of conviction which Allah, the Praised One, requires of His servants.

Also undoubted is that it is insufficient to believe in the unknown by simply experiencing an ambiguous and mysterious sense of the existence of ambiguities and mysteries in some aspects of life then feeling incapable of attaining them, then developing a sense of fear and awe of them.

Nor is it sufficient to bring conviction, in its essence, in all its circumstances and vocabulary, unknown or otherwise, to reality in order to attain dry ideological satisfaction and arithmetic equation settling in the mind and in the consciousness of man, so that he may draw on such basis the map of his conduct or a life separated from the unknown, or one not in harmony therewith at all.

Neither this nor that suffices, for conviction is an option. It renews itself and continues, for Allah, Glory to Him, has said, “They believe.” He has not said, “They believed.” This is so because the present continuous verb conveys the meaning of renewal and continuity. That is, they choose this conviction, causing it to happen, to exist, personifying it continuously.

Since it is also obvious that fearing the unknown and ambiguously sensing the matters which are absent from our senses is not conviction, it contradicts the belief which sets the heart on an issue, embracing it affectionately, loving and understanding it, then feeling at ease in the heart in feeling comfortable with what it embraces; it feels comfortable with it, being pleased thereby:

“Surely by remembering Allah do hearts find rest” (Qur’an, 13:28); “O soul that is at rest! Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with Him), well-pleasing (Him)” (Qur’an, 89:27-28).

If the matter is as such, and since we can neither embrace the vacuum, nor feel at ease, nor be pleased thereby, there has to be an evidence leading to what is ambiguous, personifying it in man’s awareness, so that it may get out of its unknown status and into the reality of conviction and consciousness, becoming an evidence for conviction, even if it may be in its reality and existence not conducive with the senses, nor does it appear to them but remains separated and absent therefrom.

From such a junction, there is a justification for tying this unknown to the subjective reality so that it may become more effective in consciousness, deeper and more firmly settled in one’s beliefs. Such vocabulary words, which express it and lead to it, take it out of its state of cloudiness and uncertainty, making it more firm and more defined to the degree of realistic personification of the unknown meaning which prepares man to set his heart on it, so that the believing Muslim may be convinced about the unknown according to the Will of Allah, Glory to Him.

All this is accomplished according to the divine plan for its realization. Thus, we can understand, in depth, the statement by Ali (as) wherein he says, “Had the veil been removed from me, it would not have increased my conviction.”3 And when he was asked how he worshiped a God Whom he never saw, he said, “I am not one who worships a God Whom he does not see. Eyes never saw Him, but the hearts saw him through convincing facts.”4

Likewise, hearts do find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Praise to Him:

“Surely when remembering Allah, hearts find rest” (Qur’an, 13:28),

for the heart does not touch on the Divine reality itself; rather, it touches on its effects and actions, finding comfort in the remembrance of Allah. The Almighty has also said,

“And Allah’s are the best names, so call on Him thereby” (Qur’an, 7:180);

“Read in the name of your Lord Who created…” (Qur’an, 96:1); “In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful.”

It becomes clear from all the above that when Islam mandated belief in the unknown, it did not intend it to be cloudy and without a direction, empty and ambiguous. Rather, it wanted it as an objective and conscious unknown which is personified on the page of the heart and the soul. It becomes more clear, more deeply rooted and firm through the means whereby Allah, Praised is He, wanted to transmit the unknown element to our consciousness so that it may be its ever-present companion, depending and leaning on it.

The knowledge of the unknown, then, distances belief in the unknown from being a state of fear of the unknown, so that it may be a true vision of the heart on which one sets his mind, strengthening his conviction, subjecting his feelings thereto, setting out to be the life and the awareness of the conscience, and so that it may become a stand, a movement, a conduct, an attitude and a spontaneous norm of conduct which is honest and sincere.

At the same time, such unknown remains independent of the senses which cannot fathom it, remaining helpless towards it, for it is connected to what is superior to them, to what makes it independent of them, upholding its own means, setting out in its own sphere.

If we cast a general look at the means and proofs which personify this unknown in man’s heart, transforming him into an effective element of belief, we find out that Islam, in its treatment of this sensitive aspect, has intended the unknown to free itself from the bondage of reason and awareness, so it may settle in the heart, and so that such a heart may embrace it with affection, so that it may find with it pleasure and tranquility, and so that it may, thereafter, wander in the sphere of the soul, in an amalgamation of feelings, and so that it may be a shining and overwhelming feeling.

And it flows in man’s existence to coin his feelings and sentiments, and so that it may become his hearing, vision, intellect, character, language, attitude, conduct, stand and everything in his life.

For the sake of all the above, the intellect has to be incorporated into the feeling, so the tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa) the memory of al-Husayn (as) during ‘Ashura’, and the tragedy of his infant son..., etc., may become part of the ideological fact. Thus, everything uttered by the Messenger of Allah S and by the Purified Imams (as) represents an educational necessity to complement the belief in the facts of Islam, including believing in the unknown.

No wonder, then, that such a meaning given to the unknown is personified as a divine miracle and a living reality that influences man’s awareness. It is personified in the Black Stone to which Allah gave the trusts of the creations, in the isra’ and mi’raj, in the settling of Yunus (Jonah) in the belly of the whale, in the speech of the ant about which Solomon smiled, in the transporting of the throne of Balqees from Yemen [to Jerusalem] in a blink of an eye, in Fatima’s talk to her mother while she was in her womb, in the heavenly bridal when she was wedded to Ali (as) and in the angel’s talk to her which Ali (as) called “Mushaf Fatima,” and that the angels used to call on her just as they used to call on Maryam daughter of ‘Imran saying, “O Fatima! Allah has chosen you and purified you..., etc.,” so she was for this reason called “muhaddatha محدثة.”5

No wonder, then, when such unknown is personified in the fact that Fatima is a noor, and that she is a human huri created from the fruit of Paradise6 which is different from worldly fruits in its purity and purification.

Fatima increased this purity and purification due to the effort which she exerted and which was crowned with success through her knowledge of Allah and to what she achieved of seeing the secrets of creation and the laws of life. She, hence, earned the prize of being divinely guided, so she was the infallible woman: Allah is pleased when she is pleased and is wrathful when she is angry. She became the Head of the women of mankind, from the early generations and the last. All these matters prove that she (sa) was strongly linked to the unknown due to her status and to the divine bliss which she earned, one which our minds cannot grasp and our comprehension falls short of.

It becomes quite obvious from all the above that if the unknown is personified in certain symbols such as the prophets of Allah, or His chosen ones, His friends and those who enjoy a special status with Him due to the blessings which He bestowed on them, and in many other symbols, our hearts will then embrace her and will embrace with her the known deposited in her, so she becomes the axis of conviction and the hope of the hearts so that our souls may live in tranquility and pleasure, and our emotions may yearn for her, tickling our senses. Knowledge will then become useful for those familiar with it, and those who are ignorant of it will be grievously harmed by their ignorance.

The vocabulary of the unknown being personified in certain individuals, such as the prophets, the wasis and the walis, does not necessarily cause us to prefer this person over that. On the contrary; the nature of the stage or certain circumstances may be the ones that mandate such a particularity of the unknown.

As regarding making a preference, it has its own criteria. These have been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and by the Honored Prophet (S). This is not one of them. All such knowledge of the unknown relevant to al-Zahra’ (sa) and to others is part of this religion.

It enjoys a great deal of significance in formulating one’s belief, humanity and awareness of the message due to the attributes that bring about one’s humanity, existence, uniqueness, distinction and grants him a high degree of purity and purification. It also brings about a degree of connection with the friends of Allah and His elite, making him love them more and feeling a conscious interaction with everything which they say and do.

The Imams (as) have informed some of their close followers about some knowledge of the unknown. Among such followers are: Maytham al-Tammar, Zurarah, Muhammed ibn Muslim, and others. Surely useful is the knowledge of the unknown for those who learn it, and how magnificent the esteem, how great and how effective, and how badly we need it! How magnificent the Great Qur’an is as it depends on many terms in this procedure, announcing their extreme significance in building the civil and believing character that bears a message!

Ideological Connection is Insufficient

It is not accurate, then, what is repeated by some people who claim that we need to ideologically be connected with them through our knowledge of their policies, the norms of their personal conduct, and their social activities so that they may be our role models to emulate and in whose footsteps to follow, and so that this will make us feel happy, admiring them as individuals as we admire many a genius and many a thinker such as Addison or Ibn Sina (Avicenna).

No; what we need is an ideological, conscientious and emotional connection wherein the feelings participate and to which the senses respond spontaneously and willingly, one that causes shakes the whole being of a man, stressing the depth of his existence, willingly and unconditionally. What is needed is that these elite ones enter our hearts to be the life that sustains them. What is needed is that they enter our souls so that they may more intensely shine and glitter. What is needed is that they enter our being so that they may become more pure, serene and sincere.

What is needed is that they should have the greatest share in coining our believing personality, and that they participate in coining our feelings and formulating our senses.

Let us forever dismiss the argument of those who say that this is knowledge which does not benefit those who know it, nor does it harm those who do not. It surely is a harmful statement which certainly brings us loss and disappointment.

If we overlook all of this, the scales of benefit and harm about which they talk is not clearly defined. It varies in conditions and sources. To talk about medicine to a carpenter may not be of any benefit for his career. So is to talk about astronomy to the smith, or to the weaver, or to the administrator, each in his own career. But the matter relevant to the issues of belief and conduct do not necessarily fall in this category, although the degrees of knowledge of them and of their requirements varies from one to another, following the principle of, “We have been ordered to talk to people, each according to his level of understanding.”

Al-Zahra’ (sa) was above Menstruation and Postpartum

Someone says that the fact that Lady al-Zahra’ (sa) did not menstruate is considered a health problem which needed treatment, or at least it was a deficiency in her womanhood or in her personality as a woman, and it cannot be counted among her esteems or merits, and so is the case with her postpartum. He even labels such a condition as “nonsense.”

We say:

FIRST: It may happen to some women, though rarely, that one does not bleed while delivering, or she may bleed a little, and this is not seen as a deficiency in her womanhood or personality as a woman. As regarding al-Zahra’ (sa) having no menstruation, we say that slipping out of the straits of nature is not regarded as a deficiency. Rather, it is an esteem for her and a trait just like that bestowed on Mary (Maryam) (sa) who was pregnant by Jesus (as) although no man had ever touched her before, and like the wife of Abraham (as) who became pregnant at a very advanced age, and like the wife of Zacharias (Zakariyya) (as) who also became pregnant although she was sterile. There are many such super-natural esteems and blessings.

The fact that al-Zahra’ (sa) was above menstruation points out to her lofty status, to her uniqueness and distinction from all others since menstruation is a discomfort as described by the One Who has all the Glory7.

Such a “discomfort” causes the woman to be embarrassed, to feel psychologically and physically out of the ordinoory. It is an indication of a woman’s bad health, according to some traditions, and a sick condition, according to the physicians’ researches in this subject. It invalidates her fast and prayers and forbids her from entering mosques and from doing other things which point out to the woman being unable to live the spiritual environments with all her energy, tranquility, purity and strength...

Such a continuous condition, which neither ablution nor ghusul nor tayammum can remove till it is no more, was removed by Allah, Glory is His, from the Head of the Women of Mankind whom He purified from all filth with a perfect purification. She was chosen by Allah, Glory to Him, for His favour and esteem without in any way altering her feminine nature. Allah, the most Exalted One, is the One Who causes all causation, the omni-Potent Who can override the law of cause and causation not by “violating” it or annihilating it but through the law of causation itself. He, the most Exalted One, is the One Who brings about the miracles of His prophets through causes for them, the knowledge of which is with Him, and only with Him, and humans are not familiar with it, nor is it well known to them. This is the meaning of the super-natural which they discuss in the subject of miracles and super-natural phenomena. This may be more clear than needing additional explanations, proofs or evidences.

SECOND: Labelling the exemption of al-Zahra’ (sa) from menstruation and postpartum as “nonsense” is unacceptable from one who follows the statements of the Prophet (S) and the purified Imams (as) because everything articulated by the Prophet S and by the purified Imams (as) can never be nonsense, nor can it be useless knowledge for those who know it.

Such an exemption has been narrated by Shi’as and Sunnis who cite the Messenger of Allah S and the purified Imams (as) in numerous texts which are so many, they reach the degree of consecutive reporting. They all prove that Allah, Glory and Exaltation are His, exempted al-Zahra’ (sa) from going through menstruation or postpartum. Among such narrations are the following:

1. The Prophet S has said, “Fatima is called ‘al-batul’ because she was exempted from menstruation and postpartum.”8

2. He S has also said, “My daughter, Fatima, is a huri who never menstruated nor went through postpartum.”9

3. Al-Saduq, through his own isnad, has cited ‘’Umar ibn Ali quoting his father saying that the Prophet S was asked, “What is ‘batul’? We have heard you, O Messenger of Allah, saying that Maryam is batul and Fatima is batul.” He said, “Batul بتول is a woman who never menstruates, for it is contemptible for the daughters of prophets to menstruate.”10

4. Al-Qattan, quoting al-Sukkari quoting al-Jawahiri quoting al-’Abbas ibn Bakar from Abdullah ibn al-Muthanna from his uncle Thumamah ibn ‘Abdullah from Anas ibn Malik who quotes his mother saying that Fatima never saw any blood in any menstruation, nor did she undergo any postpartum.11

5. Abu Ja’far has cited his forefathers saying that she (sa) was called “al-Tahira” (the pure one) for many reasons one of which is that she never underwent any menstruation or postpartum.12

6. Imam al-Sadiq (as) has said, “Do you know what the meaning of ‘Fatima’ is? She was weaned from evil, and it is said that she is named so because she was weaned from menstruation.”13

7. The Prophet S said once to ‘A’isha, “O Humayra’! Fatima is not like other women; she does not suffer from (green) sickness like they do.”14

8. Abu ‘Abdullah al-Sadiq (as) is quoted as having said, “Allah forbade Ali (as) from taking another wife as long as Fatima was alive because she was purified and never menstruated.”15

The author/compiler of Bihar al-Anwar, Shaikh al-Islam ‘allama al-Majlisi II, has spoken very well about this issue; so, refer to him.

9. ‘A’isha is quoted as having said, “Whenever Fatima came along, her gait was similar to that of the Messenger of Allah (S), and she never menstruated because she was created from the apple of Paradise.”16

10. The author of Dala’il al-Imama, through his own isnad going back to Asma' daughter of ‘Umays, cites the latter saying, “I have been around Fatima and she had given birth to some of her children. The Messenger of Allah said to me, ‘O Asma'! Fatima was created as a human huri.’”17

11. Ali (as) is quoted as having said that the Messenger of Allah (S) said to him that Fatima was created as a huri in human form, and that the daughters of prophets do not menstruate.18

12. In a tradition from Abu Ja’far (as) he said, “So He called her Fatima (sa). Then He said, ‘I have weaned you with knowledge and weaned you from menstruation.’” Then Abu Ja’far (as) continued to say, “By Allah! Allah, the most Exalted and Sublime, weaned her with knowledge and from menstruation according to His covenant.”19

Al-Majlisi I described this tradition as strong.20

13. Al-Saduq, may Allah have mercy on him, has cited his father quoting Sa’d from Ibn ‘Isa from Ali ibn al-Hakam from Abu Jameela from Abu Ja’far (as) saying, “Daughters of the prophets, peace and blessings of Allah be on them, do not menstruate, for menstruation is a penalty, etc.”21

14. Abu ‘Abdullah (as) is quoted as having said, “Daughters of the prophets do not menstruate.”22

15. Al-Sayyuti has said, “One of the characteristics of Fatima (sa) is that she never menstruated.”23

16. Al-Sabban has said, “She was called al-Zahra’, which means the purified one, because she never bled in a menstruation nor during childbirth.”24

17. The Prophet S is cited in a tradition as saying, “Fatima was called batul because she was exempted from women’s ordinoory monthly periods.”25

18. Asma' daughter of ‘Umays has said, “I acted as the midwife for Fatima (sa) and I never noticed any bleeding, so I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! I never noticed any bleeding in Fatima during a menstruation or postpartum.’” The Messenger of Allah (as) said to her, “Have you not come to know that my daughter is pure and purified and she undergoes no bleeding during any menstruation or childbirth?”26

19. The author of ‘Umdat al-Akhbar has said, “Al-Hassan son of Ali (as) was born in the middle of the month of Ramadan. His mother conceived al-Husayn (as) after having given birth to al-Hassan (as) because Fatima (sa) never underwent any menstruation or postpartum.”27

20. Ibn ‘Abbas has said, “The Messenger of Allah (S) has said, ‘My daughter Fatima is a huri; she has never menstruated, nor has she ever been through postpartum.’”

21. In the Sihah books, Ali ibn Ja’far quotes his brother Abul-Hassan (as) saying, “Fatima is a truthful woman, a Witness, and the daughters of prophets do not menstruate.”28

22. Anas ibn Malik quotes Umm Salamah wife of Abu Talhah al-Ansari as saying that she never saw Fatima (sa) suffering from bleeding during menstruation or childbirth, that she was created of the water of Paradise, and that when the Messenger of Allah (S) went during his isra’ journey and entered Paradise, he ate of the fruit of Paradise and drank of its water. He also narrated the same from the Prophet.29

23. Ahl al-Bayt (as) are also quoted as having said that the way with the mothers of all the Imams, peace with them, is the same like that with Fatima: menstruation was removed from them.30

24. It is agreed on that the Prophet S is quoted as having said, “Fatima is not like any of you; she never sees any bleeding during menstruation or childbirth, like a huri.”31

Interpreting Texts

When someone has to face such numerous texts, he is puzzled and unable to reject them because they are consecutively reported or almost so. He will then tell you that we have simply to “interpret” these texts just as the case with those relevant to the raj’a (return) or other beliefs.

We say that there is no room here for interpretation, neither of these texts nor of those. Rather, we have, if our comprehension cannot absorb them, to render their knowledge to Allah, just as al-Khawajoo’i al-Mazandarani32 has said when he discussed the subject of raj’a, and here is his statement:

“We ought not express our astonishment at it, for the issues whose causes are unknown should not be regarded as odd. Have you not heard that our master, the Commander of the Faithful, peace and blessings be on him, saying, ‘This is knowledge of which people are vastly ignorant; refer its knowledge to Allah’? Yet some of such knowledge, like the walis winning the honour of being the supporters and the helpers (of Imam al-Mahdi (as)) and their elation at the inception of his State and Government, and like seeking revenge against the enemies and their punishment and the chastisement which they deserve, in addition to other matters all of which are recorded.”33

Yes, there is no room here for interpretation due to the following considerations:

1. If the text contains a binding order which is not subject to rationalizing, nor does it violate what is theologically or rationally fixed, it has to be accepted as is.

2. If we do not comprehend such a text, nor can we understand the wisdom behind it, we have no right to reject it, nor are we permitted to interpret it. Time may come when our intellectual power, our minds, ascend the ladder of supremacy, a time when our knowledge increases, and it will be then that we understand the wisdom behind it. Scores of years, even centuries, may pass for mankind to take a stride in his intellectual and scholarly progress so we may ascertain the secret in it or the wisdom behind it or the precise meaning of some texts.

Many meanings of the verses of the Qur’an, such as those dealing with the cosmos, and others, have been grasped in the twentieth century, especially during the last couple of decades. Those which we do not yet comprehend are many more.

3. Interpreting the text takes place if it superficially appears to contradict reason or differs from what is already agreed on or taken for granted by the Shari’a or others provided such an interpretation is acceptable, reasonable and plausible.

4. If the text does not permit an interpretation acceptable to linguists, and it is one which clearly contradicts what is taken for granted, to reason and to the Shari’a , while contradicting the clear text of the Qur’an, it will then have to be rejected and thrown out of the window since no infallible person has stated or articulated it.

Hence, it becomes obvious that relying on what is far-fetched and what is recommended in issues relevant to the unknown, to what we cannot see, and also the lack of ability to rationalize or comprehend some issues which the text contains, does not justify rejecting such a text, nor does it obligate us to interpret it, and this is quite obvious and clear.34

Sayyid al-Murtada, may Allah have mercy on his soul, then, says that:

1. The raj’a is fixed among the consensus beliefs of Imamites.

2. Consensus is a rational proof and, as such, it is not subject to interpretation because it is not among the texts which accept interpretation.

3. Those who act contrariwise have done so after verifying that the Imamites have collectively agreed on it. Their action does not harm the consensus. Rather, it is an evidence which indicts them and obligates them to accept it and to rely on it.

4. Raj’a is not among what can be conceived rationally, so that one may resort to reason to comprehend it. Rather, it is something unknown recognized by citation or by consensus from an Infallible one who conveys it to the public. The consensus, according to Sayyid al-Murtada, has revealed to us their knowledge of such a binding issue which they learned from the Infallible Ones (A).

If the raj’a is already fixed through consecutively reported traditions, then the transmissions relevant thereto must not be subjected to interpretation, as we have suggested above, except when they collide with a rational instinctive judgment. Yet even this does not justify its interpretation, as we have indicated.

What we have mentioned applies here, and there is no room to deny it.

In order to provide evidence for what we have stated, that is, that the raj’a is unequivocally proven through irrefutable evidence, we would like to quote here some of what prominent people have said:

On p. 250 of his book titled Jawahir al-Fiqh, Ibn al-Barraj, counting the beliefs of the Ja’faris, says, “Our Prophet and Infallible Imams have indicated that during the time of al-Mahdi, a sect of past and future nations will be resurrected in order to declare their State and rights, and this has been fixed in consecutively reported traditions and verses.”

Sayyid ‘Abdullah Shubbar, on pp. 2-3 of his book titled Haqq al-Yaqin, says the following:

“Be informed that the raj’a is agreed on by true Shi’as, the rightful sect. Nay! It is one of the basics of their sect. ‘Allama al-Majlisi, may Allah have mercy on his soul, has said, ‘The Shi’as have all agreed about the reality of the raj’a in all periods and is famous among them like the sun at midday, so much so that they composed poetry about it and used to argue with those who differ from them in their views, asserting the same in their books and chronicles. Among them is al-Razi and al-Naishapuri and others.

How can a believer cast doubt about the truthfulness of the Purified Imams in this regard despite more than two hundred clear traditions narrated by more than 40 trusted renown scholars in more than fifty of their books? Among the latter are: Thiqatul-Islam al-Kulayni, al-Saduq Muhammed ibn Babawayh, Shaikh Abu Ja’far al-Tasi, Sayyid al-Murtada, al-Najjashi, al-Kashshi, al-’Ayyashi, Ali ibn Ibraham, Salam al-Hilali, Shaikh al-Mufid, al-Karakchi, al-Nu’mani, al-Saffar, Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah, Ibn Qawlawayh, Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Hamad, Sayyid Ali ibn Tawus and his son, the writer of Kitab al-Tanzal wal-Tahraf, Abul-Fadl al-Tibrisi, Abu Talib al-Tibrisi, Ibraham ibn Muhammed al-Thaqafi, Muhammed ibn al-’Abbas ibn Marwan, al-Barqi, Ibn Shahr Ashub, al-Hassan ibn Sulayman, al-Qutub al-Rawandi, ‘allama al-Hilli, Sayyid Baha’ ad-Dan Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Karam, Ahmed ibn Dawud ibn Sa’d, al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abu Hamzah, al-Fadl ibn Shathan, the martyred Shaikh Muhammed ibn Mekki, al-Husayn ibn Hamdan, al-Hassan ibn Muhammed ibn Jumhar, al-Hassan ibn Mahbab, Ja’far ibn Muhammed ibn Malik al-Kafi, Tahr ibn ‘Abdullah, Shathan ibn Jibra’il, the author of the book titled Kitab al-Fada’il, the author of the book titled Al-’Ataq, the author of the book titled Kitab al-Khutab, and many other authors of books anonymously written.

‘If such is not regarded as consecutively reported, then what is, despite what is narrated by all Shi’a scholars, sons from fathers? I think that anyone who doubts these personalities and doubts the Imams of the creed and yet is unable to come out with a justification for such doubt resorts to the annihilation of the straight faith by stating what feeble minds state of the doubts of pedants and atheists:

‘They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, though the unbelievers may be averse thereto’ (Qur’an, 61:8).

A sect of ancient scholars categorized books and proved the [concept of the] raj’a. Among them is Ahmed ibn Dawud ibn Sa’d al-Jurjani. The Shaikh has said in his table of contents that al-Jurjani has written a book about the mut’a and another about the raj’a. Also among them is al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abu Hamzah al-Bata’ini. A book about the raj’a is counted among the works of al-Najjashi. Also among them is al-Fadl ibn Shathan al-Naishapuri. The Shaikh, in his table of contents, stated that al-Najjashi had a book proving the raj’a. Also among them is al-Saduq Muhammed ibn Ali ibn Babawayh who has listed a book about the raj’a as belonging to al-Najjashi. Also among them is Muhammed Ibn Mas’ud al-Najjashi. The Shaikh has referred to al-Najjashi in his table of contents, stating that the latter has a book about the raj’a. Also among them is al-Hassan ibn Sulayman who will soon be quoted.’”

I say that transmissions supporting each other from the Purified Imams (as) say: “None of us is one who does not believe in our raj’a.” Al-Faqah quotes al-Sadiq (as) as saying, “None of us is one who neither believes in our return nor considers our mut’a as permissible.”

The raj’a means that some people from among those who have already died and who follow and support al-Mahdi (as) will be resurrected during the time when al-Qa’im (as) comes out in order to win the rewards of supporting him and assisting him, and so that they may feel elated at the inception of his State.

Likewise, some of his own enemies will be resurrected so that he may seek revenge against them, and so that they may receive some of the pain which they deserve and be killed at the hands of his Shi’as and be insulted and humiliated when they see how lofty his word is. This, according to us, is restricted to those whose conviction or the lack thereof has been ascertained, whereas the others will be ignored, according to many texts. The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (S), in addition to consensus, prove its necessity for the sect.

Is al-Zahra’ (sa) the First Author in Islam?

It may be said that al-Zahra’ (sa) is the first to write a book in Islam. Narrations have proven that she used to have a book to which she would refer, namely “mushaf Fatima”. Such a title proves our suggestion. This means that she had a role in writing and authoring this book. In other words, attributing the book to Fatima (sa) proves that she is its owner, just as attributing another to Ali (as) means that he is its author, as the Imams (as) have told us.

To sum up, there is no objection to saying that she is the first author in Islam.

In response to skeptics, we would like to say that attributing the mushaf to Fatima (sa) and labeling it as “mushaf Fatima (sa)” does not necessarily mean that she was the one who wrote and authored it. You may say, “This is the book of so-and-so” if the latter has some connection with that book, such as owning it. And you may say, “This is the watch of so-and-so” or his shirt, house, etc., but this does not mean that he is the one who made that watch or built or owned that house, nor is he the one who tailored the shirt, etc. A tradition says that a woman’s mosque is her home. It is also said that a woman is not supposed to leave the house without her husband’s permission although she has the right only to live in it. For this reason, it is also said “The Psalms of David,” “The Torah of Moses,” “The Bible of Jesus,” “The Du’a of Kumayl,” “The Covenant of al-Ashtar,” etc. Allah Almighty has said,

“Most surely this is in the earlier scriptures, the scriptures of Abraham and Moses” (Qur’an, 87:18-19).

Does this mean that these scriptures were written by them, peace with them?! Or does it mean that they were the ones who wrote them with their own hands?!

The same inquirer has said that “Mushaf Fatima (sa)” was written during the time of the Messenger of Allah (S), and after his death in the handwriting of Ali (as) and the dictation of an angel, or it was dictated by the Prophet S; so, what does he mean when he says that there is no objection to saying that she is the first author in Islam?

The mushaf, then, was written for her and because of her, and she is the one to benefit from it; its ownership belongs to her, and it contains her will..., does all this not suffice to accurately attribute the mushaf to her (sa) without the need of her to participate in writing and authoring it? Add to this the lack of evidence proving her participation in writing it from a historical or narrative standpoint and the lack of necessity mandating proving the same. There is no need also to insist on its being inspired by her, etc.

As regarding apologizing for that by saying that what is meant is to project the image of the Muslim woman in a way which earns her admiration, this is not acceptable, for it suggests something which is not factual. Add to this the fact that the life and purity, as well as knowledge, which consecutively reported narrations have proven, especially the sermon at the Mosque, etc., of al-Zahra’ (sa)…, more than makes up for holding to an imaginary issue which has no basis of the truth; so, there is no need to mislead people by saying that she (sa) was, or she was not, an author.

Are There in “Mushaf Fatima” Judicial Injunctions?

Someone claims that “mushaf Fatima” contains judicial injunctions. He relies on a narration by Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as) saying, “I have with me the white cipher.” I asked him, “What does it contain?!” He said, “The Psalms of David, the Torah of Moses, the Bible of Jesus, the Tablets of Abraham, peace with them all, and it contains what is permissible and what is prohibitive, and Mushaf Fatima, and I do not claim that there is any Qur’an in it. It contains what people need, so they come to us seeking it, while we do not need anyone. It even contains the whip, half the whip and quarter of the whip, even the tiny scratch on one’s cheek.”35

We say the following:

FIRST: His statement “It contains what people need” is not conjoint with the one saying, “I do not claim that there is any Qur’an in it” so that it may explain what the contents of the mushaf are. Rather, it is conjoint with the one saying, “The Psalms of David, the Torah of Moses, the Bible of Jesus, the Tablets of Abraham, ...etc.,” that is, the white cipher contains the Psalms of David, the Torah of Moses, the Mushaf of Fatima, and it contains what is permissible and what is not plus everything people need.

Another narration from ‘Anbasah ibn Mis’ab states that by the “cipher” are meant: the weapons of the Messenger of Allah, the (divinely revealed) books, and Mushaf Fatima.36

SECOND: Al-Kulayni has quoted a number of our own folks quoting Ahmed ibn Muhammed from ‘’Umar ibn ‘Abd al-’Aziz from Hammad ibn ‘Othman from Imam al-Sadiq (as) a tradition wherein he stated that an angel used to talk to al-Zahra’ (sa) and entertain her, so she expressed her concerns about that to the Commander of the Faithful (as) who said to her (sa) “If you feel any such thing, and if you hear the sound, tell me,” so I let him know, and the Commander of the Faithful (as) kept writing everything he heard till he compiled a whole book of it. Then he said, “There is nothing in it about what is permissible or prohibitive, but there is in it the knowledge of what will be.”37

Someone discussed this tradition saying, “It is supposed that the angel went to her to talk to her and to entertain her in order to cheer her up [following the loss of her most revered father (S)]; so, how could she complain about this to the Commander of the Faithful? This implies that she was not comfortable with it. It is also apparent that the Imam (as) did not know about it and that the whole issue was hearing the angel’s voice rather than seeing him.”

We say that there is no problem with seeing the angel or only hearing his voice, nor in whether or not the Commander of the Faithful (as) knew about it. This is not the focal point although proving it is quite easy, but it has nothing to do with proving or disproving anything about “Mushaf Fatima” nor in her being or not being the first author in Islam; so, there is no need to inject such a statement like that.

As regarding her concern, it was not with regard to her talk with the angel. Rather, it was due to the angel mentioning to her what will be endured by her offspring. In the book titled Al-Muhtadir, it is stated that when her Father (S) passed away, Fatima (sa) said to the Commander of the Faithful (sa) “I hear someone telling me about things and events which will happen to my offspring.” He said, “If you hear it, dictate it to me,” so she kept dictating it to him, and he kept writing it down. It is narrated that its bulk is three times the size of the text of the Holy Qur’an without containing anything of the Qur’an itself.

When he finished it, he named it “Mushaf Fatima” because she was the one who was addressed by the angels.38 The same confused person, immediately after having stated the above, mentions a tradition by Abu ‘Ubaydah containing the statement that “Gabriel used to visit her in order to console her following the demise of her father and to remove distress from her, telling her about her father and his place (in Paradise), informing her of what will happen to her offspring. He used to write all of that. Such is Fatima’s mushaf.”39

Al-Majlisi I [the first, the father] has described this narration as authentic.40

Someone passed his own judgment on this narration, labeling it as “weak and should be examined and ascertained” although apparently Abu ‘Ubaydah al-Haththa’ (shoemaker), namely Ziyad ibn Abu Raja’, is a trusted authority. We do not know why someone thought that he was al-Mada’ini, although we could not find any narration by Ibn Ri’ab from this Mada’ini, nor did he narrate from al-Mada’ini except apparently one single narration. This could be the cause of narrators being confused (about the last names of these narrators).

If the name of Abu ‘Ubaydah is mentioned, he must be al-Haththa’ الحذاء especially since Ibn Ri’ab ابن رئاب has quoted more than one narration by him despite the fact that there was nothing serious which he could narrate from al-Mada’ini.41

What is also noteworthy is that this same individual has made a comment about this tradition saying, “It is apparently relevant to knowledge of only what will happen to her progeny, whereas the other narration talks about what is much more general to the extent that it discusses the appearance of the atheists in the year 128 A.H./746 A.D. which is what the Imam (as) read in Fatima’s Mushaf.”

We say that the whole matter is as follows: The narrative has proved that Gabriel (as) was speaking to Fatima (sa) regarding what would happen to her offspring, and it does not contain anything negating the existence of other things related to the unknown. It is obvious that confirming something does not negate other things.

Nor does the narrative contain any evidence denying the existence of other branches of knowledge or other things in the mushaf. But she wanted to point out to something which made her (sa) very concerned and which she mentioned to Ali (as) because it was relevant to what would happen to their offspring.

THIRD: There is one hadith by Habab al-Khath’ami حباب الخثعمي stating that al-Mansur once wrote Muhammed ibn Khalid requiring him to ask the people of Medina, including Imam al-Sadiq, peace with him, a question relevant to zakat. The Imam (as) answered the question, so ‘Abdullah ibn al-Hassan asked him, “Where did you get this knowledge from?” The Imam (as) said, “I obtained it from the book of our mother, Fatima (sa).”42

The individual [who is critiqued throughout this book] commented about this narrative saying, “This tradition apparently indicates that Fatima’s book, i.e. “mushaf Fatima,” contains what is permissible and what is prohibitive.”

We say:

FIRST: This tradition is weak.

SECOND: The term “Fatima’s book” also exists in a narrative by Fudayl ibn Sakrah who quotes Imam al-Sadiq (as) and it is not necessarily “mushaf Fatima” which is the focal point of the research, let alone emphatically insisting on it, then taking that for granted, for Fatima might have had other books besides the mushaf:

1. Al-Kulayni, in his book titled Al-Kafi, has quoted Ali citing his father quoting Ibn Abu ‘Omayr quoting Ishaq ibn ‘Abd al-’Aziz quoting Zurarah quoting Abu ‘Abdullah (as) as saying43, “Fatima (sa) came once to the Messenger of Allah (S) complaining about something. The Messenger of Allah (S) gave her the wide tip of a palm leaf and said to her, ‘Learn what is written on it.’ Its contents stated the following: ‘Anyone who believes in Allah and in the Last Day should not harm his neighbor, and anyone who believes in Allah and in the Last Day should be generous to his guest, and anyone who believes in Allah and in the Last Day should should say what is right or remain silent.’” 44

2. In Dala’il al-Imama, Ibn Mas’ud narrated saying, “A man went to Fatima (sa) and said, ‘O daughter of the Messenger of Allah! Has the Messenger of Allah left anything with you with which you would provide us as something of a unique interest?’ She ordered her bondmaid [Fidda فضه] to bring her something which she had wrapped. When the bondmaid told her that she could not find it, Fatima (sa) said to her, ‘Woe unto you! Find it, for it is to me equal to (my sons) Hassan and Husayn.’ The bondmaid searched for it and found it wrapped. It contained the following: ‘One is not counted among the believers if his neighbor does not feel secure from his mischief. One who believes in Allah and in the Last Day does not harm his neighbor. One who believes in Allah and in the Last Day should either say what is right or remain silent. Allah loves one who is righteous, clement, above following his desires, and He hates the sinner, the miser, the argumentative and the one who incessantly asks people to help him. Modesty is an indication of good belief, and good belief is rewarded with Paradise. Vulgarity stems from obscenity, and what is obscene is in the Fire.’”45

This narrative and its precedent indicate that she (sa) was the one who wrote and authored. In the first narrative, there is evidence to the contrary because she stated that he gave her the upper wider tip of the palm leaf with writing already written on it and told her to memorize it.

3. Al-Saduq relies on Abu Nadrah who quotes Jabir in a narrative indicating that he visited Fatima (sa) to congratulate her on the occasion of the birth of al-Husayn (as) and found her holding a white tablet. He asked her about it and she told him that it contained the names of the Imams from among her offspring, and that nobody was permitted to touch it except a prophet, a wasi, or a member of the prophet’s immediate family, but it was permissible to know its contents from the outside. He looked at it and read it, then he told others what he had read.46

There is No Contradiction in Traditions about Fatima’s Mushaf

This same individual has claimed that the traditions relevant to Fatima’s mushaf contradict each other because some of them refer to its being the dictation of the Messenger of Allah and the writing of Ali47 (as) whereas others state that an angel used to visit her after the demise of her father (S) to talk to her and that Ali (as) was the one who wrote down what went on, hence it was Fatima’s mushaf.48

In response, we would like to state the following:

The meaning of “contradiction” in the narratives is that each apparently belies the other; one confirms something while the other denies it, or vice versa. If there are no common grounds among them, some of them have to be eliminated if there is a reason.

The traditions which refer to “Mushaf Fatima” are not like that. There are common grounds among them. The book referred to as “mushaf” may have been called so because it combined tablets together some of which were dictated by the Messenger of Allah (S) and handwritten by Ali (as), while the other part was dictated by the angel to Fatima (sa) and handwritten by Ali (as). It was written after the demise of the Messenger of Allah (S) when that angel used to visit her and entertain her, and this mushaf also contains the will of Fatima (sa); so, examine such texts.49

To sum up, the purpose may simply be the fact that the Messenger of Allah (S) undertook the dictation of some of the contents of the book in order to prove that it is accepted and endorsed by him (as) in order to confirm the authenticity of what the book contains and its significance.

As regarding the tradition which states that Gabriel (as) was the one who entertained Fatima (sa), it does not contradict the tradition saying that an angel used to talk to her and entertain her, for this angel may be Gabriel himself50, yet al-Majlisi has described this tradition as authentic51, so refer to it.

Portraying Contradiction Differently

Someone has indicated another contradiction in the narrations that refer to “mushaf Fatima” saying, “There are two narrations saying that it is in the handwriting of Ali (as) and deals with what the angel told al-Zahra’ (sa), but the other narrations do not give such an indication. These [traditions] refer to what is permissible and what is prohibitive and to Fa tima’s will; so, one of them only has to be preferred over the other.”

We say that we have already commented on what the man has said in this regard, and let us add here our comment on his latest statement, that is, that one of them only has to be accepted in preference over the other: We say that his statement suggests that both narrations contradict each other. This cannot be accepted at all. One of them has to be eliminated while the other accepted according to the norms of preference. Such argument is not acceptable because:

FIRST: The existence of two narratives indicating that the handwriting was that of Ali (as) does not mean that the other, which is silent about this issue, denies it. It simply did not deal with it because it dealt with other fronts where there was no need to obligate anyone to mention the name of the one who wrote or who dictated.

If there are two narrations, both declaring that Ali (as) was the one who wrote the mushaf, is there even one single narration declaring that Fatima (sa) was the one who wrote and authored it?! So, why emphasize that “mushaf Fatima” was in her own handwriting although this contradicts the conclusion that it was handwritten by Ali, peace with him?!

SECOND: We do not know how there can be any contradiction among the narrations some of which have stated that the writer of the mushaf is Ali (as) while the others state that what Ali (as) wrote contained what was permissible and prohibitive, then other narrations have stated that in this mushaf there is the will of Fatima (sa)! So, the fact that both latest categories of narrations do not name Ali (as) as the writer, should they both be looked on as contradicting those that say that Ali (as) was the one who wrote the mushaf?! Where is the contradiction?! How can one be the opposite of the other?!

THIRD: When we reviewed the narrations, we found the one by Hammad ibn ‘Othman saying that “mushaf Fatima” does not contain anything about what is permissible and what is prohibitive. Then we reviewed that of al-Husayn ibn Abul ‘Ala' and found the reference to people needing such text was not relevant to “mushaf Fatima” but to the cipher. The outcome of this review is that reference to what is permissible and what is prohibitive is in neither the cipher nor the mushaf. Then we reviewed al-Khath’ami’s narration and found it discussing Fatima’s book, not “mushaf Fatima.” We have already stated that she (sa) had other writings besides the mushaf.

What we have mentioned regarding the difference in the objectives behind narrateing certain particulars is, in some of its aspects, similar to transmitting the events that took place to al-Zahra’ (sa); so, we find out that some folks threatened to burn the house...

Another narrateor transmits how the firewood was gathered...

A third transmits how a fire torch was brought...

A fourth transmits the burning of the door and the igniting of the fire...

A fifth transmits breaking the door and entering the house by force...

A sixth transmits how al-Zahra’ (sa) was squeezed between the door and the wall, and how she miscarried...

A seventh transmits how she was slapped on her cheek, or how she was hit on her hand, or on her forehead, or on her back, or on her wrist, till the mark looked like a bracelet...

An eight transmits how her rib was broken...

A ninth transmits that ‘’Umar [ibn al-Khattab] hit her...

A tenth transmits how al-Mughirah, too, hit her...

An eleventh transmits how Qunfath hit her by order of his master, ‘’Umar...

A twelfth transmits how Khalid ibn al-Walid hit her..., etc.

None of these transmissions belies the rest. Each transmits a piece of fact of what took place either because there was a reason for transmitting it or because this is what became confirmed to the transmitter as having taken place, or due to a political circumstance, etc., and there is nothing unusual in all of this.

Yet the differences among the particulars of transmission does not harm the fact that the incident did, indeed, take place; rather, it underscores it. If many do not pay attention to small details, then it is a fact that Fatima (sa) was, indeed, hit. And the transmitters differed regarding who the hitter was with the open possibility that they all may have taken part in such a horrible and abominable act. The matters got mixed up during the melee.

Such is the case regarding “mushaf Fatima,” peace of Allah with her, with one exception: The reason why there is a variety of transmission of what took place is mostly rendered to political, sectarian or other inclinations. As regarding Fatima’s mushaf, the reason is to clarify something relevant to the status of al-Zahra’ (sa) or to the significance of the mushaf attributed to her and to its authenticity, or something like that.

But we could not at all confirm the motives behind “mushaf Fatima” containing juristic injunctions, nor could we understand the reasons or the justifications for many issues stated in this regard and in other numerous and diverse issues.

  • 1. Abul-Salah al-Halabi, as stated on pp. 102-103 of Al-Kafi, says that miracles happen to also those who are not prophets, and that they are not confined to the prophets facing challenges to their mission, as some people claim. He provides an example for this from the story of Asif ibn Barkhiya and how he brought the throne of Balqees in less than the blink of an eye, in addition to the miracles which appeared for Mary (sa), such as her obtaining sustenance, and the miracles of the disciples of Jesus, and others.
  • 2. Al-Taftazani, Sharh `Aqa’id al-Nasfiyya, p. 177.
  • 3. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 40, p. 153 and Vol. 46, p. 135.
  • 4. Ibid., Vol. 4, pp. 27, 32, 33, 44, 52, 54, 304, and Vol. 10, p. 118, and Vol. 36, p. 406.
  • 5. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 94. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 56. Refer to Vol. 1, pp. 182-183 of `Ilal al-Shara'i` and Vol. 5, p. 345 of Rawdat al-Muttaqin.
  • 6. Refer to Vol. 1, pp. 183-184 of `Ilal al-Shara'i` and numerous other references too many to count here.
  • 7. The Almighty has said, “They ask you about menstruation. Say: It is a discomfort; therefore, stay away from women during menstrual discharge and do not go near them unil they have become clean” (Qur’an, 2:222).
  • 8. Al-Qanduzi, Yanabi` al-Mawaddah, p. 260. Ihqaq al-Haqq (in the Appendices section), Vol. 10, p. 25, where it is quoted from the previous reference and from p. 103 of Mawaddat al-Qurba.
  • 9. Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 26. Sharh Bahjat al-Mahafil, Vol. 2, p. 138. Refer to Vol. 11, p. 54 of `Awalim al`Ulum and in one of its footnotes citing Vol. 12, p. 331 of Tarikh Baghdad and Vol. 12, p. 109 of Kanz al-`Ummal and many other references. Refer also to Is`af al-Raghibin as cited in a footnote on p. 173 of Nur al-Absar.
  • 10. Ma`ani al-Akhbar, p. 64. Manaqib al Abu Talib, Vol. 3, p. 330, citing Abu Salih, the caller to prayers, in Al-Arba`een. Taj al-Mawalid, p. 20. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2,p. 90. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 15-16; also refer to Vol. 78, p. 112. Al-Qanduzi, Yanabi` al-Mawaddah, p. 260. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 2, p. 37. `Ilal al-Shara'i`, Vol. 1, p. 181. Musbah al-Anwar, p. 223. Al-Kaf`ami, Musbah, p. 659. Rawdat al-Wa`izin, p. 149. Dala’il al-‘Imama, p. 55. Al-Rawda al-Fayha’ fi Tarikh al-Nisa’, p. 252. Habib al-Siyar, Vol. 1, p. 433. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 7. Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 10, pp. 25, 310 and Vol. 19, p. 11, citing other references. Tarikh al-`Awalim, Vol. 11, p. 153 in the footnote of which there are many references.
  • 11. Al-Saduq, Al-Amali, p. 154. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 21. Refer also to Tarikh al-`Awalim, Vol. 1, p. 153 in the footnote of which there are many references.
  • 12. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 19 citing Musbah al-Anwar. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 66.
  • 13. Manaqib al Abu Talib, Vol. 3, p. 330. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 16.
  • 14. Refer to both above-cited references and to Vol. 9, p. 202 of Mujma` al-Zawa’id citing al-Tabrani. I`lam al-Wara, p. 148. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 5, p. 345. Al-Tara’if, p. 111. Al-`Awalim (in a section about the biography of al-Zahra’), p. 64. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 7.
  • 15. Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 1, p. 64. Manaqib al Abu Talib, Vol. 3, p. 330. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 16, 153 where the latter reference is cited and so is al-Tusi’s Amali, Vol. 1, p. 42. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 2, p. 42. Refer to Al-Tahthib, Vol. 7, p. 475 and Bisharat al-Mustafa, p. 306. Refer also to `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, pp. 66 &387 and Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 7.
  • 16. Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 87 (Baghdad edition) according to the contents of the Appendices of Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 10, p. 244. Refer to `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 60.
  • 17. Dala’il al-Imama, pp. 53, 55. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 78, p. 112. Refer to Vol. 43, p. 7 of Kashf al-Ghumma.
  • 18. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 52. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 78, p. 112. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 2, p. 37.
  • 19. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 13 citing Misbah al-Anwar. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 89. `Ilal al-Shara'i`, p. 179. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 55 and in its footnote are the following references: Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 46; Al-Muhtadir, pp. 132, 138; Al-Mukhtasar, pp. 172, 218 and others.
  • 20. Rawdat al-Muttaqin, Vol. 5, p. 439.
  • 21. `Ial al-Shara'i`, Vol. 1, p. 290. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 25 and Vol. 12, p. 107 and Vol. 81, p. 81. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 153. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 2, p. 38.
  • 22. Al-Khara’ij wal Jara’ih, Vol. 2, p. 527.
  • 23. Ihqaq al-Haqq (Appendices), Vol. 10, p. 309 from al-Sayyuti’s Al-Sharif al-Mu’abbad. Refer to `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 63.
  • 24. Refer to Is`af al-Raghibin (as appears in a footnote in Nur al-Absar), p. 172, which is attributed to al-Muhibb al-Tabari and to the Hanafi author of Al-Fatawa al-Zahariyya.
  • 25. Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 10, p. 25 from Al-Manaqib al-Murtadawiyya, p. 78 and from `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 64.
  • 26. Refer to Al-`Awalim (in the biography of al-Zahra’), pp. 66, 153 from Sahifat al-Rida (as) and Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 44, and Ithaf al-Sa’il, p. 90, and Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 1, p. 417, and Nuzhat al-Majalis, Vol. 2, p. 183, and Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 7.
  • 27. Al-`Awalim (in the biography of al-Zahra’), p. 66 from `Umdat al-Akhbar, p. 349.
  • 28. Rawdat al-Muttaqin, Vol. 5, p. 342. Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 458.
  • 29. I`lam al-Wara, p. 148.
  • 30. Al-Tibrisi, Taj al-Mawalid, p. 20, where it is included among a sect of precious letters and is published by Intisharat Baseerti, Qum, Iran.
  • 31. Al-Saduq has narrated this tradition in his Faqah book in a chapter about taking a bath following menstruation in “Kitab al-Tahara” (the book of purification).
  • 32. According to p. 401, Vol. 3, of A`yan al-Shi`a encyclopedia of Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin, his full name is Isma`il al-Mazandarani al-Isfahani, one of the scholars of many sciences. He distinguished himself in the science of logic, fiqh (jurisprudence), tafsir (exegesis) and hadith (traditions of the Prophet (S)), in particular. He memorized the entire text of the Holy Qur’an and wrote a number of books that discuss logic and wisdom. He died in 1177 A.H./1763 A.D. – Tr.
  • 33. Al-Rasa’il al-I`tiqadiyya, p. 115.
  • 34. The raj`a is another example. Similar to what we say is said by someone else because there are issues which prove consensus or through rational evidence. Both are rational proofs, and there is no room to interpret a rational proof as stated by Sayyid Murtada (may Allah sanctify him) when he responded to someone who said that the traditions relevant to the raj`a have to be interpreted as the return of the Government (to its rightful owners), to bid and to forbid. He said: “Some Shi`as, having felt incapable of supporting the concept of the raj`a and explain how it is possible and that it does not contradict what is obligatory, resorted to such an interpretation of statements regarding the raj`a. This is not correct. The raj`a was not proven by transmitted traditions, so it could be interpreted. How can what is already proven as authentic be proven by traditions which do not necessitate knowing? What is relied upon, in order to prove the raj`a, are the consensus of the Imamites regarding what it means, that is, that Allah Almighty will bring back to life some of those who are already deceased at the time when al-Qa’im (as) comes out of his occultation, from among his followers as well as from among his foes as we explained; so, how can there be any interpretation of what is already known?” This is recorded on p. 126, Vol. 1, of the messages of al-Sharif al-Murtada.
  • 35. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 240. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 26, p. 37. Basa’ir al-Darajat, p. 150.
  • 36. Basa’ir al-Darajat, pp. 154, 156. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 26, pp. 42, 45, and Vol. 47, p 271.
  • 37. Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 240. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 26, pp. 42, 45; Vol. 47, p. 271.
  • 38. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 583 (Fatima’s Musnad). Al-Muhtadir, p. 132.
  • 39. Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, pp. 240, 241, 457, 458. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 22, p. 545. Refer to Ibn Shahr Ashub, Al-Manaqib, Vol. 3, p. 337 (published by the scholarly press at Qum, Iran).
  • 40. Rawdat al-Muttaqin, Vol. 5, p. 342. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 3, pp. 59 and Vol. 5, p. 314.
  • 41. There is no harm in consulting Mu`jam Rijal al-Hadith, Vol. 21, pp. 233-236.
  • 42. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 47, p. 227.
  • 43. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 242.
  • 44. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11 (this volume deals in its entirety with al-Zahra’ (sa) p. 187. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 667. Consult also Vol. 1, p. 285 of the same reference. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 51. Al-Wasa'il, Vol. 8, p. 487. Al-Junna al-Waqiya, p. 508.
  • 45. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 1. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, pp. 188, 620, 621 (the part relevant to al-Zahra’ (sa) in the footnotes of p. 113 there is reference to the Musnad of Fatima (A). Consult Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 18 and Safinat al-Bihar, Vol. 1, pp. 229, 231. Al-Tabrani, Al-Mu`jam al-Kabir, Vol. 22, p. 413 where there is a slight difference in wording from the above reference.
  • 46. `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida, Vol. 1, pp. 40, 44, 46. Al-Ikhtisas, p. 210. Al-Tasi, Al-Amali, Vol. 1, p. 297. Al-Khisal, Vol. 2, pp. 477-478. Kamal ad-Din, pp. 305, 313.
  • 47. Refer to Basa’ir al-Darajat, pp. 153, 155, 161. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 46, pp. 41, 42, 47, 48, 49, 271.
  • 48. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, pp. 41, 240, 457, 458. Basa’ir al-Darajat, pp. 157, 153, 159. Al-Khara’ij wal-Jara’ih, Vol. 2, p. 526. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 26, pp. 41, 240, and Vol. 43, pp. 79-80, and Vol. 22, pp. 545-546. Refer also to Vol. 47, p. 65. There are numerous references recorded on the footnotes of Al-Khara’ij wal-Jara’ih. `Awalim al-`Ulum (in the section dedicated entirely to al-Zahra’ (sa)), Vol. 11, pp. 483, 447 citing p. 132 of Al-Muhtadir. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, pp. 38-39.
  • 49. Basa’ir al-Darajat, pp. 157-158. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 26, p. 43. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 241.
  • 50. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 79 and Vol. 26, p. 41. Basa’ir al-Darajat, p. 153. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 241. Al-Khara’ij wal Jara’ih, Vol. 2, p. 526. There are numerous references in its footnotes. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 38.
  • 51. Refer to Vol. 5, p. 342 of Rawdat al-Muttaqin. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 3, p. 59. Jala' al-`Uyun, Vol. 1, p. 183.

Part 3- Digression: Khalid ibn al-Walid and his Father

Here, we divert the attention to narrate to him a page of history with which not many Muslims are familiar. Many Muslims have heard the name "Khalid ibn al-Walid" but seldom have they been told who he was and who his father was; therefore, we would like to take the reader back to the early days of Islam in order to introduce him to Khalid's father, al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah:

Now the reader comes to know who Khalid is and later who his cursed father was.

Khalid ibn al-Walid

His full name is: Khalid ibn al-Walid ibn al-Maghirah of Banu Makhzum. He is given by "Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’a" the title of "The Sword of Allah."

His father was one of the wealthiest men whose wealth was immeasurable and is condemned in the text of the Holy Qur'an as you will come to know later in the next excerpt.

Khalid's father thought that he deserved to be prophet more than Muhammed (S); he used to say, "Should the Qur'an and Prophetic Mission be revealed unto Muhammed (S) the indigent while I, the master of and the greatest among Quraish, be left out?"

On such a doctrine did his son, Khalid, grow up bearing animosity towards Islam and the Prophet of Islam who ridiculed his father's dreams and undermined his power base. Khalid, therefore, participated in each and every war waged against the Messenger of Allah.

Khalid undoubtedly used to share his father's belief that the latter was more worthy of Prophetic Mission than Muhammad (S), the indigent orphan. Since Khalid, like his father, was one of the most prominent figures in Quraish, if not the very most prominent one, he felt he should have had the lion's share of the Qur'an and the Prophetic Mission had they only been his father's lot, and he would have inherited Prophetic Mission and authority just as prophet Solomon had inherited David. It is in reference to such belief that Allah, Glory to Him, says,

When the truth came to them, they said: This is sorcery, and in it are we disbelievers. And they said: Why was this Qur'an not revealed to a man of importance in both towns [Mecca and Medina]? (Holy Qur'an, 43:30-31)

No wonder, then, to see how he tried all he could to put an end to Muhammed (S) and his mission. We find him raising a huge army financed from his wealth during the Battle of Uhud, lying in ambush to the Prophet in an attempt to finish him. During the year of the Hudaybiya treaty, which was signed on Thul-Qi’da 4, 5 A.H./March 27, 627 A.D. he also tried to assassinate the Prophet (S), but Allah, Glory to Him, foiled all his schemes, rendering them a failure, while supporting His Prophet on all occasions.

When Khalid came to know, as did other prominent members of Quraish, that the Messenger of Allah (S) was invincible, seeing how people were accepting the religion of Allah in large numbers, it was then that he surrendered to reality while suppressing his sighs. His acceptance of Islam, therefore, came as late as the eighth year after the Hijra (630 A.D., though some say it took place one year earlier, i.e. in 629 A.D.), only four months before the conquest of Mecca which took place in 8 A.H./630 A.D.

Khalid inaugurated his acceptance of Islam by behaving contrarily to the orders issued by the Messenger of Allah (S) not to kill anyone. Khalid entered Mecca on the conquest day after having killed more than thirty men who belonged mostly to Quraish although the Prophet had clearly instructed them not to kill anyone.

No matter how many excuses some people may find for Khalid by saying, for example, that he was banned from entering Mecca, and that they faced him with their weapons, he was not justified in killing anyone after having been prohibited by the Prophet from doing so; he could have gone to another gate to enter the city without a fight as others did, or to send a message to the Prophet seeking his advice with regard to those who were prohibiting him from entering. But none of that happened. Rather, Khalid followed his own opinion, challenging what he had clearly heard from the Messenger of Allah (S).

Since we are talking about those who follow their own opinions at the expense of contradicting the available text, something which gained many supporters and enthusiasts, or say it acquired a school of its own from which many great sahaba and legislators graduated, a school which was later called the school of the caliphs, we cannot avoid pointing out here to the fact that ijtihad in such sense is nothing other than disobedience of Allah and His Messenger (S).

We have become accustomed to seeing references made to ijtihad versus the available texts, so much so that it appears as though it is perfectly legitimate. In fact, we have to say that Khalid disobeyed the Prophet's order instead of saying that he followed his own view in the face of an existing text. This is what the Qur'an teaches us to do; Allah says, "Adam disobeyed his Lord, so his life became evil to him...." (Holy Qur'an, 20:121). This is so because Allah had prohibited him from eating of the forbidden tree. Since Adam did eat of it, we must not say: "Adam followed his own ijtihad as opposed to the available text."

Each and every Muslim has to keep himself at his limit rather than transgress and voice his own view in an issue regarding which an order permitting or prohibiting it had already been issued by Allah or His Messenger (S), for that will be obvious apostasy. Allah said to the angels,

"Prostrate to Adam." This is an order. "So they prostrated" (Holy Qur'an, 20:116);

this is a positive response, an act of submission, an expression of obedience. The exception was Eblis: He followed his own view, so he said, "I am better than him; why, then, should I prostrate to him?!" Here we encounter a rebellion, a mutiny, regardless of who is better than who: Adam or Eblis. This is why the most Glorified One says,

"It does not behoove any believing man or woman to make any choice in their matter once Allah and His Apostle have decided it, and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger (S) surely strays off a manifest straying" (Holy Qur'an, 33:36).

It is to this fact that Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as) referred when he said once to Abu Hanifah, "Do not apply qiyas (analogy), for if it is applied to the Shari’a, it will be obliterated, and the first person to apply qiyas was Eblis when he said,

‘I am better than him; You created me of fire while creating him of dust' (Holy Qur'an, 7:12 and 38:76)."

His statement that "... If it is applied to the Shari’a, it will be obliterated" is the best expression of the invalidity of qiyas. If people follow their own diverse views in the face of available texts, there will be no Shari’a at all.

"Had the truth followed their own (low) desires, the heavens and the earth and all those therein would then have perished" (Holy Qur'an, 23:71).

Having made this brief express the principle of ijtihad, let us see how Khalid ibn al-Walid disobeyed the order issued by the Messenger of Allah (S) on another occasion when he was sent by the Prophet to Banu Juthaymah to invite them to Islam. The Prophet did not order Khalid to fight anyone.

Yet Khalid went there and afflicted them with treachery even after their declaration of acceptance of Islam, killing some of them in cold blood, so much so that Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, who was an eye witness to that incident, said that Khalid had killed them only out of his desire to seek revenge for both of his uncles whom Banu Juthaymah had killed1. When the Messenger of Allah (S) heard about that shameful treachery, he thrice dissociated himself before Allah from what Khalid ibn al-Walid had done. Then he sent them Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) carrying with him a lot of money to pay their blood money, the blood spilled by Khalid.

No matter how many excuses "Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’a" may find for Khalid ibn al-Walid, the pages of history are full of the tragedies which he inflicted and of his violations of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (S). Suffices the researcher to read his biography and what he did in the Yamama during the time of Abu Bakr, how he betrayed Malik ibn Nuwayrah and executed his men in cold blood although they were Muslims then "married" Malik's wife and cohabited with her on the same night of her husband's murder, discarding Islam's Shari’a with regard to the ‘idda and the Arabs' principles of valor and manliness.

Even ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab, despite his reluctance to enforce Islam's injunctions, exposed him and called him an enemy of Allah, promising to stone him to death, which he never carried out.

Researchers are obligated to review history with keen eyes from the stand of constructive criticism which leads them to the truth without any abstraction or bias. Nor should they be overtaken by sectarian fanaticism, so they evaluate individuals based on fabricated ahadith attributed to the Prophet. "Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’a," who, in fact, are Banu Umayyah, wiped out all historical events with one single tradition which they themselves fabricated in order to thus stop the researchers short of reaching the truth.

How easy it is for one of them to say, "The Messenger of Allah said to Khalid ibn al-Walid, ‘Welcome, O Sword of Allah!'" so this false tradition takes control of the hearts of innocent Muslims who think well of others and who do not know what others hide and what schemes the Umayyads plot! Based on this fabricated tradition, they interpret all facts about Khalid and find excuses for him. This is called the psychological effect on people, and it is the acute ailment obstructing one from reaching the truth, turning the facts upside down.

History is the best witness of deeds through which we evaluate anyone; we do not hold in high esteem anyone about whom falsehood is uttered. This, in fact, is exactly what Imam Ali (as) has said: "If you want to know the truth, you must know who follows it." Since we have studied history and come to know what Khalid ibn al-Walid had done and come to distinguish the truth from falsehood, we cannot call him "The Sword of Allah." We have also the right to ask on what occasion did the Messenger of Allah (S) ever called him the "Sword of Allah"?! Did he call him Allah's sword when he killed the people of Mecca on the conquest day, having come to know that he had prohibited him from fighting anyone? Or was it when he sent him with the army commanded by Zayd ibn al-Harithah and dispatched to Mu'ta, saying, "If Zayd is killed, then Ja’far ibn Abu Talib (should take the command), and if Ja’far is killed, then Abdullah ibn Ruwahah [should lead]," without nominating him except in the fourth position to lead the army, yet after all these three men were killed, Khalid fled from the battle field accompanied by the remnant of that army...? Or did he give him that title when he accompanied him to attack Hunayn in twelve thousand warriors? There, too, he fled, leaving behind him on the battle grounds the Messenger of Allah (S) who had no more than twelve men who stood steadfastly with him?

I personally think that Khalid, in the first place, never knew this title as long as the Prophet was alive, nor did the Messenger of Allah (S) ever call him so. Rather, Abu Bakr was the one who bestowed this "badge of courage" on him when he sent him to silence those who revolted against him and opposed his caliphate, so he did to them what he did, so much so that ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab (because of what Khalid had done) said to Abu Bakr, "Khalid's sword is quite excessive," and he surely knew him best. It was then that Abu Bakr responded to ‘’Umar by saying, "Khalid is one of the swords of Allah which He unsheathed against His foes," which is a totally erroneous way of looking at things__hence the title.

In his book Al-Riyad al-Nadira, al-Tabari indicates that Banu Saleem had reneged, whereupon Abu Bakr sent them Khalid ibn al-Walid who gathered some of their men inside animal sheds then set them to fire. [Islam prohibits burning humans or animals or even green plants.] When ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab came to know about this incident, he went to see Abu Bakr and said, "Why do you let a man employ the same method of torture employed by Allah, the Most Exalted One, the Great [i.e. burning with fire]?" Abu Bakr answered him by saying, "By Allah! I shall not shame a sword which Allah unsheathed against His foes till He Himself shames it," then he ordered him to leave, whereupon he instantly went out to see Musaylamah the Liar. This is how "Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’a" came to call Khalid "The Sword of Allah" even though he had disobeyed the order of the Messenger of Allah (S) and burnt people with fire, thus totally discarding the Sunnah.

In his Sahih, al-Bukhari indicates that the Messenger of Allah (S) had said, "Nobody employs the fire for torture except Allah," and also, "None torments with the fire except the fire's God." And we have already indicated how Abu Bakr used to say before his death, "I wish I never burnt al-Salami!"

We say: We wish there had been someone to ask ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab, "Since you already knew that none torments with the fire except Allah, why did you swear after the death of the Prophet to burn the house of Fatima al-Zahra’ and everyone inside it if they refused to swear the oath of allegiance [to Abu Bakr]? Had Ali (as) not surrendered and ordered everyone to go out to swear it, you would certainly have carried out your threat."

Sometimes I doubt whether ‘’Umar opposed Abu Bakr and whether the latter did not heed his opposition, for this would be quite unusual. We have already seen how Abu Bakr did not stand in the face of ‘’Umar, nor did he maintain his stand in the face of his opposition.

More than once did he say to him, "I had already told you that you are stronger than me in handling this matter, but you subdued me." On another occasion, when he complained to him about those whose hearts could be won towards Islam and what ‘’Umar did to the covenant which he had written for them, how he spat on it and tore it to pieces [a reference to the Fadak property deed], he was asked, "Are you the caliph or is it ‘’Umar?" He answered, "He, Allah willing, is." For this reason, I say that the one who opposed Khalid's ugly deeds may have been none other than Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), but the early historians and narrators used to quite often avoid mentioning his name, so they substituted it with that of ‘’Umar as testified by several narrations traced back to "Zainab's father" or to "a man," meaning Ali (as) but not openly revealing his name.

Actually, this is not a mere probability, or we may accept what is stated by some historians who write saying that ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab used to hate Khalid and could not stand looking at him in the face because he was jealous of him: Khalid had won people's hearts because of his victories. It is also said that Khalid had wrestled with ‘’Umar during the days of jahiliyya, winning the match and breaking ‘’Umar's leg.

What is important is that once he became caliph, ‘’Umar deposed Khalid but did not carry out his threat of stoning him. The result: Khalid and ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab vied with one another in their toughness and arrogance; each one of them was stone-hearted, and each deliberately violated the Prophet's Sunnah and disobeyed the Prophet during his life and after his death.

Moreover, both hated the Prophet's wasi and tried very hard to distance him from public life. Khalid plotted with both ‘’Umar and Abu Bakr to assassinate Ali (as) shortly after the death of the Prophet (as the reader will come to know later), but Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, saved him from their mischief so that he might carry out something which He had decreed.

The following text is excerpted from the Translator's book Allah: The Concept of God in Islam (Volume Two) (Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A., Authorhouse, 2013):

Story of al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah

Al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah, father of Khalid ibn al-Walid, was a man of experience and cunning, a senior among Arab seniors of his time, a man of great wealth according to the testimony of the Holy Qur’an as we read in Surat al-Muddaththir (Chapter 74 of the Holy Qur’an). All the clans of Quraish used to collectively share the expense of the covering sheet of the Ka’ba one year, and in the next year, al-Walid would pay the entire expense all by himself. In Mecca alone, he had ten sons and ten slaves, and each one of his slaves used to trade in a merchandise valued at one thousand dinars, each dinar weiging one qintar, talent, of gold (equivalent to four thousand dinars).

He used to always ridicule Prophet Mu¦ammed (S). The Prophet (S) used quite often to recite the Holy Qur’an (and sometimes he would ask others to recite it in his presence). The Quraishis assembled at the house of al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah and said to him, AO Abd al-Shams! What is this that Mu¦ammed is saying? Is it poetry, sorcery, or oratory?!" ALet me hear it myself," said he, going close to where Mu¦ammed was as he recited the Qur’an. AO Mu¦ammed! Said al-Walid, ARecite to me some of your poetry." The Prophet (S) said, AIt is not poetry; it is the speech of Allah with which He blessed His angels and prophets." ARecite some of it for me," said al-Walid. The Messenger of Allah (S) recited these verses of Surat µa-Meem (Chapter 32 of the Holy Qur’an):

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

] الم  تَنزِيلُ الْكِتَابِ لا رَيْبَ فِيهِ مِن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ  أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ؟! بَلْ هُوَ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ لِتُنذِرَ قَوْمًا مَّا أَتَاهُم مِّن نَّذِيرٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ  اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ؛ مَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلا شَفِيعٍ؛ أَفَلا تَتَذَكَّرُونَ؟  يُدَبِّرُ الأَمْرَ مِنَ السَّمَاء إِلَى الأَرْضِ ثُمَّ يَعْرُجُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ  ذَلِكَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ  الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الإِنسَانِ مِن طِينٍ  ثُمَّ جَعَلَ نَسْلَهُ مِن سُلالَةٍ مِّن مَّاء مَّهِينٍ  ثُمَّ سَوَّاهُ وَنَفَخَ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِهِ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالأَبْصَارَ وَالأَفْئِدَةَ، قَلِيلا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ  وَقَالُوا: أَئِذَا ضَلَلْنَا فِي الأَرْضِ، أَئِنَّا لَفِي خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ؟! بَلْ هُم بِلِقَاء رَبِّهِمْ كَافِرُونَ  قُلْ: يَتَوَفَّاكُم مَّلَكُ الْمَوْتِ الَّذِي وُكِّلَ بِكُمْ، ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ تُرْجَعُونَ  وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الْمُجْرِمُونَ نَاكِسُو رُؤُوسِهِمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ: رَبَّنَا أَبْصَرْنَا وَسَمِعْنَا فَارْجِعْنَا نَعْمَلْ صَالِحًا إِنَّا مُوقِنُونَ  وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَآتَيْنَا كُلَّ نَفْسٍ هُدَاهَا، وَلَكِنْ حَقَّ الْقَوْلُ مِنِّي: لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ [

In the Name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Aleef Lam Meem. (This is) the Revelation of the Book in which there is no doubt, from the Lord of the worlds. Or do they say, "He has forged it”?! Nay, it is the truth from the Lord of the Worlds so that you may admonish (thereby) people to whom no warner has come before you in order that they may receive guidance. It is Allah Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all between them, in six days, and He is firmly established on the throne (of authority): You have none, besides Him, to protect or intercede (for you): will you then not receive admonishment? He regulates (all) affairs from the heavens to the earth: In the end (all affairs) will go up to Him, on a Day the span whereof will be (as) a thousand years of your reckoning. Such is He, the One Who knows all things, the hidden and the open, the One Exalted (in power), the Merciful One; He Who has made everything which He has created excellently. He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay, and made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a despised fluid: He then fashioned him in due proportion and breathed into him of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): Small thanks do you grant! And they say, "What?! When we lie, hidden and lost, (buried) in the ground, shall we indeed be in a renewed creation?!” Nay, they deny the meeting with their Lord! Say, "The angel of death, (the one who is) in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls (away at the time of death); then you shall be brought back to your Lord.” If only you could see when the guilty ones bend their heads down before their Lord (saying,) "Our Lord! We have seen and we have heard: Now, then, do send us back (to the world): We will do righteous deeds, for we do indeed believe (now).” If We had so willed, We could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance: But the word from Me will come true: "I will fill Hell with jinns and men all together.” (Qur’an, 32:1-13)

When the Prophet (S) finished reciting the last verse quoted above, al-Walid shuddered and his hair stood up. He went home without giving Quraish an answer.

Quraish, therefore, went to Abu Jahl and said, AO Abu al-µakam! Abd al-Shams is inclined towards Mu¦ammed's creed; have you seen how he did not come to us with a follow-up? Abu Jahl went to him and said, AO uncle! You have caused our heads to stoop down in humiliation and have exposed us and made our enemies happy on our account by you inclining towards Mu¦ammed's creed. al-Walid said, AI have not inclined to his creed, but I heard something he said which is quite weighty, a speech because of which the skins shudder. AIs it an address that he delivered? asked Abu Jahl. al-Walid said, ANo, it is not, for an address is a continuous speech, and this is prose some parts of which are not similar to others. AIs it poetry? asked Abu Jahl. ANo, al-Walid answered, Afor I have heard all types of the Arabs' poetry; it is not poetry. AThen what is it? asked Abu Jahl. ALet me think about it, answered al-Walid. On the next day, he was asked again, AO Abd al-Shams! What do you say about our query? He said, ATell people that it is sorcery, for this will affect people's hearts better. It is then that the Almighty revealed the following verses to express His Wrath at what al-Walid had attributed to Him and to His Prophet:

] ذَرْنِي وَمَنْ خَلَقْتُ وَحِيدًا  وَجَعَلْتُ لَهُ مَالا مَّمْدُودًا  وَبَنِينَ شُهُودًا  وَمَهَّدتُّ لَهُ تَمْهِيدًا  ثُمَّ يَطْمَعُ أَنْ أَزِيدَ  كَلاَّ! إِنَّهُ كَانَ لِآيَاتِنَا عَنِيدًا  سَأُرْهِقُهُ صَعُودًا  إِنَّهُ فَكَّرَ وَقَدَّرَ  فَقُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ  ثُمَّ قُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ  ثُمَّ نَظَرَ  ثُمَّ عَبَسَ وَبَسَرَ  ثُمَّ أَدْبَرَ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ  فَقَالَ: إِنْ هَذَا إِلاَّ سِحْرٌ يُؤْثَرُ  إِنْ هَذَا إِلاَّ قَوْلُ الْبَشَرِ  سَأُصْلِيهِ سَقَرَ  وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا سَقَرُ لا تُبْقِي وَلا تَذَرُ  لَوَّاحَةٌ لِّلْبَشَرِ  عَلَيْهَا تِسْعَةَ عَشَرَ[

Leave Me and him whom I created alone and gave vast riches, and sons dwelling in his presence, and I adjusted affairs for him adjustably, yet he desires that I should add more! By no means! Surely he opposes Our Signs. I will make a distressing punishment overtake him. Surely he reflected and guessed, but may he be cursed how he guessed! Again, may he be cursed how he guessed! Then he looked, then he frowned and scowled, then he turned back and was big with pride, then he said: This is naught but sorcery narrated (from others); this is naught but the word of a mortal. I will cast him into hell. and what will make you realize what hell is? It leaves naught, nor does it spare aught. It scorches the mortal. Over it are nineteen (keepers). (Qur’an, 74:11-30).

  • 1. On p. 61, Vol. 2, of his Tarikh, al-Ya`qubi says that Abd al-Rahman said, "By Allah! It is Khalid who killed these people though they are Muslims." Khalid responded by saying, "Rather, I have killed them to avenge your father `Awf ibn Abd `Awf!" Abd al-Rahman then said to him, "No, you did not avenge my father, but you avenged your uncle al-Faqih ibn al-Maghirah." See how Khalid did not deny that he killed those people although they were Muslims but rather admitted that he killed them seeking revenge for `Awf, Abd al-Rahman's father. Does this, according to Allah's creed, permit him to massacre a group of people for the murder of one single man? Is it permissible to kill several Muslims for the killing of one kafir?

Part 4: What Al-Mufid Says

Someone has been trying to cast doubt about everything which took place to al-Zahra’ (sa) with the exception of setting her house to fire and the confiscation of Fadak. The reader will read about Fadak later in this book. He even tries to underestimate the effect of the threats, labeling them as “mock threats,” claiming that “Those who were brought by the second caliph to assault al-Zahra’ (sa) had hearts filled with love for her; so, how can we imagine that they would assault her?”

He adds saying, “People respected and venerated her, so it would not be easy to believe that they would do anything against her.” He means that the threats would become “mock threats.” Then he adds saying, “The head of the assailants had made an exception with regard to al-Zahra’ (sa) taking her out of the circle of the threat.” He interpreted “So what?” in the answer of one who said to him, “But Fatima is inside it!” saying, “What he meant by ‘So What?’ is: We have no business with Fatima; we have come to arrest Ali.’” He provides “proofs” for all of this which we have enumerated in the previous Part and which we will mention in this Part and in the one to follow.

What we would like to deliberate in this part is what the man considered as supportive of his view and is derived from the statements of some prominent personalities of the sect and the pioneers of knowledge. He cited as proofs statements by three such personalities; they are:

1. Imam Shaikh al-Mufid, may Allah sanctify his soul,

2. Ayatollah Shaikh Muhammed Husayn Kashifal-Ghita’, may Allah have mercy on him,

3. Ayatollah Sayyid ‘Abd al-Husayn Sharifud-Din, may Allah make his resting place good.

Let us first cite what al-Mufid (may Allah sanctify him) has stated, then we will explain how it does not benefit the man in his attempt to prove what he aspires to prove due to the following:

Relying on What Scholars Say

We have indicated how this man cites as “proofs” for casting doubt about what actually took place to al-Zahra’ (sa) of trials and tribulations from statements some of which are attributed to major scholars such as al-Mufid, Kashifal-Ghita’ and Sharifud-Din. But before we enter into a discussion of the accuracy of what is attributed to them, we would like to remind you of a very serious issue relevant to seeking testimony from the statements of scholars in general; so let me say the following:

Someone may seek an excuse for himself as he quite often violates religious matters by describing how the pioneers of knowledge are, how this scholar or that says such and such, and so on... He may not confine his excuse to issues relevant to fiqh but goes on to the tenets of the faith, to history, to Tafsir, etc. He may sometimes need, before publicly stating his conviction, to pave the way for the latter with norms of introductions by distancing them from being taken with derision and amazement.

So he “smuggles” his view through some of those who are close to him, then he announces on successive occasions that he is still studying the subject, hinting at the same time at opportunities to produce the anticipated view in one way or another. When he finds no Faqih to agree with him, he resorts to obligatory precaution by saying the opposite of what he had said before, hinting or pointing at his future agreement with the fatwa. Saying that it is precautionary to prohibit the shaving of the beard, for example, is regarded as a step on the path to making it permissible, and it is acceptable to use it as evidence...!

Then you may find him saying that so-and-so scholars and renown Faqih are the first to thus advise. But if you consult their books and encyclopedia of fiqh, you will find the case being not so at all. Rather, many other Faqihs had already stated the same.

For example, you may be told on many occasions that the great religious authority Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, may Allah have mercy on his soul, is the one to issue a fatwa that a Follower of the Book (i.e. Christian or Jewish) is tahir (clean), thus contradicting the consensus. The objective of this statement is to justify the contradiction of consensus by those concerned about such justifications. The fact is that Ibn Abu ‘Aqal, Ibn al-Junayd and Shaikh al-Mufid may have attributed the same statement to Shaikh al-Tusi. All these men are major Faqihs of the Imamite Shi’as who have all issued fatawa prior to Sayyid al-Hakim, may Allah have mercy on him, that the People of the Book are tahir.

Another example, which we would like to cite here, is that when this individual is asked about the reason why he justifies gambling, he immediately seeks to justify it by saying that Imam al-Khomeini (aa) contradicted the consensus when he regarded playing chess as permissible, and that chess is gambling...!

But the Sayyid Imam did not declare chess, which is a gambling game, as permissible; rather, he, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Chess, if it is outside the gambling tools, may be played.” This issue is conditional. Satisfying the condition does not mean satisfying both of its ends.

Yet it is quite obvious that issuing a verdict by saying something is permissible if it satisfies a condition does not mean that it contradicts those who issue a verdict without tying it to a condition.

When someone hoards a heap of verdicts which are quite unusual to a noticeable extent, we find him justifying all of that by claiming that so-and-so from among the scholars has issued such a verdict and that the other scholar said such-and-such about it, and so on...!

But we do not know why such an individual can be right with regard to specific issues wherein he became the exception to the rule and regarding which he agreed with other scholars, yet some make errors in their verdicts and this famous individual goes along with their error in other verdicts the judgment in which is contrary to his own, let alone their error in what they became the exception to the known rule and were not endorsed by the same individual!

Yet the collection of many odd verdicts issued by one person may lead to this person getting out of the circle of the sect’s fiqh, the sect to which he belongs. One Faqih may be endorsed in some of his odd verdicts which are very few in number and which are harmless and do not get him out of the mainstream of the sect to which he belongs.

Such is this introduction, and now let us enter the subject on which we must focus and say:

Consensus Regarding Oppression

There are some people who say that there is a consensus of some sort that al-Zahra’ (sa) was oppressed, beaten and even caused to miscarry, but someone cast doubt about such a consensus and was not convinced by the summary provided by al-Shafi derived from the text of the sect’s Shaikh (mentor), namely al-Tusi, that there is no argument among the Shi’as that Fatima (sa) was subjected to beating and miscarriage.

Nor was he convinced by many narratives which appear in the works of those who follow the path of Ahl al-Bayt (sa) in addition of many details in non-Shi’a references as well. The narratives provided by the Shi’as who quote the Infallible ones, as well as others, regarding her being oppressed are numerous and diversified, so one can say that they are consecutively reported.

We would like here to quote what Shaikh al-Tusi and ‘allama Kashifal-Ghita’ have said in this regard, then we will follow it by discussing what this individual has said about it; so, let us say the following:

1. The sect’s Shaikh, Imam Muhammed ibn al-Hassan al-Tusi, who died in 460 A.H., and who was a student of Shaikh al-Mufid and of al-Sharif al-Radi, said: “... And what he was criticized for is their beating Fatima (sa) who is reported as having been beaten with whips. What is famous and what is the consensus among the Shi’as is that ‘’Umar (ibn al-Khattab) hit her on her stomach till she miscarried, and the child whom she miscarried was named Muhsin. Such a narrative is quite famous among them. Add to this their desire to set her house to fire when people sought refuge with her and refused to swear the oath of allegiance to him (to Abu Bakr). Nobody denies this narrative because we have explained the narrative as reported by the Sunnis through al-Balathiri and others. Shi’as provide more details, and they do not differ in this regard.”1

2. Here is a statement by ‘allama Shaikh Muhammed Husayn Kashifal-Ghita’:

Numerous accounts in the books of the Shi’as, since the inception of Islam, from the first century, such as the book by Sulaym ibn Qays and of those who succeeded him till the eleventh century and beyond, actually till our time, state so. It is recorded in all Shi’a books which dealt with what the Imams and their father, the great aya, and their truthful mother, peace of Allah be on all of them, had to go through.

Those who documented their biographies and wrote about them have all agreed with one another, or their researches agreed with each other, regarding the trials and tribulations that divinely purified part of the Prophet S had to undergo after the demise of her father, the Chosen One S, how the oppressors slapped her on her face, hit her cheek till her eyes became red and her ear-ring scattered on the ground in bits and pieces, and how she was squeezed with the door till her rib was broken and she miscarried till in the end she died and her wrist carried a black mark like a bracelet. Poets who follow Ahl al-Bayt, peace of Allah be on them, dealt with this issue and with these shameful acts, using them as the material for their poems and eulogies, taking these details as agreed on. Among them are: al-Kumait, Sayyid al-Himyari, Du’bal al-Khuza’i, al-Numayri, al-Salimi, Deek al-Jinn and those who came after them as well as those who preceded them till this century...2

3. Al-Maqdisi has said, “... then Muhsin was born, and he is the one, the Shi’as claim, whom she miscarried because of ‘’Umar beating her.”3

4. The Mu’tazilite Shafi’i scholar has attributed the incident of her being beaten, and which caused her to miscarry, to the Shi’as and that only the Shi’as make such a claim.4

5. ‘Allama al-Muzaffar says, “Suffices the truth of the intention of the deliberate burning the mass of its narration by their scholars; nay, the narration of even one of them of it, especially since the Shi’as report it consecutively.”5

Al-Maqdisi and the Mu’tazilite Shafi’i scholars, then, attribute the oppression (suffered by Fatima (sa)) to a sect from among the Shi’as, not to their masses, or to those famous from among the followers of this sect. This points to the consensus to which al-Tusi and Kashifal-Ghita’, may Allah have mercy on them, point out.

Having stated all the above, I would like to say that someone tried to cast doubt about the said consensus based on three issues:

FIRST: That Shaikh al-Mufid does not endorse it. Rather, he says in his book titled Al-Irshad what contradicts this consensus.

SECOND: That Shaikh Muhammed Husayn Kashifal-Ghita’ did not endorse its gist.

THIRD: That Sayyid Sharifud-Din also did not uphold its meaning.

On the following pages of this Part, and in the one that follows it, we will quote their statements and discuss them with the intention to be brief and restrictive; so, let us say the following:

What Shaikh al-Mufid Intended to Say in His Book Titled

Al-Irshad

Someone says that Shaikh al-Mufid, may Allah sanctify his resting place, has said the following: “There are among the Shi’as those who say that Fatima, peace and blessings of Allah be on her, miscarried a boy after the demise of the Prophet S whom the Messenger of Allah S named, when he was in his mother’s womb, as ‘Muhsin.’ So, according to this sect, the children of the Commander of the Faithful (as) are twenty-eight in number, and Allah knows best.”6

Sayyid al-Amin has cited this statement by Shaikh al-Mufid in his book titled A’yan Al-Shi’ah, and so did al-Majlisi in his book titled Bihar al-Anwar as well as others.

If Shaikh al-Tusi was transmitting the consensus of the Shi’as that ‘’Umar hit Fatima’s stomach till she miscarried Muhsin, and the narrative is famous among them7, Shaikh al-Mufid, then, contradicts al-Tusi, his contemporary and professor, and his statement gives the impression that he basically does not adopt the notion of such a miscarriage.

The answer to the above is as follows:

FIRST: The said statement does not indicate that al-Mufid contradicted al-Tusi in this regard because the word “Shi’a” used to be applied during al-Mufid’s time to many sects such as the Zaidis, Isma’ilites, Imamites and others, actually even the Mu’tazilites who used to rule Baghdad and who permitted the commemoration of ‘Ashura’ in the well known way since then. The opponents of the Shi’as used to call the latter “Rafidis.”

Al-Nawbakhti, in his book titled Firaq al-Shi’a, al-Ash’ari in his book titled Al-Maqalat wal Firaq, and Shaikh al-Mufid himself in Al-Fusal al-Mukhtara, have all discussed this issue; so, whoever wishes to see the details should refer to them and to other books dealing with schisms and sects. The honorable ‘allama al-Mazandarani al-Khawajoo’i has rebutted those who claimed that the word “Shi’a” was applied particularly to those who believed in Ali’s Imamate even if he does not believe in other Imams saying, “This is strange and is indicative of the limited knowledge of one’s research. There is an indication in many narratives that the Zaidis, Waqfis and their likes were also called Shi’as.”8

Imam al-Sadiq, peace with him, is quoted as having said, “‘’Umar ibn Yazid talked about the Shi’as in detail,” adding, “‘There will be among the Shi’as after us those who are worse than the Nasibis.’ I said, ‘May I be your sacrifice! Don’t they claim that they love you and dissociate themselves from your enemy?’ He said, ‘Yes..., etc.’”9

Al-Mufid here does not want to attribute the narrative of al-Muhsin’s miscarriage to all the Shi’as in the general sense but rather to the Imamites in particular. He, may Allah have mercy on him, may have chosen the term “sect” after that to identify a sect from among the Shi’as that narrates the same, not all the sects labelled as “Shi’as.”

What is noteworthy is that he, may Allah have mercy on him, did not say, “Some Shi’as narrate a tradition...,” but he rather said, “Among the Shi’as are those who state that Fatima, peace of Allah be on her, miscarried after the demise of the Prophet S..., etc.” He, may Allah be merciful to him, did not point out to one hadith or more, nor did he point out to the size of the sect that says so from among the Shi’as in as far as their number is concerned. Rather, he pointed out to the fact that it is accurate to call them a “sect” when he said, “According to what this sect says..., etc.”

Shaikh al-Tusi, may Allah have mercy on him, is called the sect’s Mentor, meaning the sect of the Imamites, not of all the Shi’as.

SECOND: The time during which al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on him, lived was very precarious and one of the harshest of all centuries in the history of the Shi’as of Ahl al-Bayt (as). Dissensions broke out anew every year on the anniversary of Al-Ghadir and particularly on the occasion of ‘Ashura’ when the Shi’as commemorated events which their opponents, from among the fanatical Hanbalites of Baghdad, could not tolerate. Those opponents, therefore, used to assault them and many calamities and catastrophes as well as massacres resulted as we explained in the first part of our book titled Sira’ al-Hurriyya fa ‘Asr al-Mufid. In some years, they set fire to the homes of the Shi’as in the Karkh area, killing eighteen thousand or, according to Ibn Khaldan, twenty thousand children, youths and women.

He, may Allah have mercy on him, wanted to deal with the issues wisely and be precise. He aspired to write his book titled Al-Irshad, which he wrote near the close of his life, as a book containing, in addition to precision and scholarly honesty, historical accounts accepted by everyone, so that everyone would benefit from it. He did not want it to be anything but defining an event by its details, away from sectarianism. He even transcends the sectarian limitations and fanaticism in order to make it a book for all people.

It is for this reason that he did not mention in it noteworthy provocative and sensitive issues. He even did not include anything about the details of the incident of the saqifa or anything relevant to swearing the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr10. It seems that he did not include the said incident in the realm of his balanced policies which contemplated on the circumstances and environments and dealt with them realistically, with responsibility and awareness.

As regarding Shaikh al-Tusi, he had a book to defend specifically Imamite Shi’as because Al-Shafi contains the rebuttal by Sayyid al-Murtada to what the Mu’tazilite judge ‘Abd al-Jabbar had stated, so al-Tusi, may Allah have mercy on him, summarized it. Al-Tusi, then, like Sayyid al-Murtada, had written a book as an Imamite defending his sect, proving its validity. He wanted to get to the defining line that separated him from others. But Shaikh al-Mufid wanted his book, Al-Irshad, to transcend such lines to be a book of chronicles for everyone who could take a look at it and benefit from it without feeling any embarrassment or being charged.

If the Imamites are the only ones with such consensus, rather than all others from among Shi’a sects, such as the Isma’ilites, Zaidis, etc., it is not then right that al-Mufid should attribute it to non-Imamite sects which have no consensus in its regard.

It is noteworthy that al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on him, avoided stirring fanaticism on one hand, and on the other he tried to point out to a very sensitive issue in a very indirect and clever way, proving the existence of a stillborn whom the Prophet S named “Muhsin,” leaving to the reader the task to research the fate of that boy...

THIRD: The claim that al-Mufid contradicts al-Tusi in this regard will be dealt with when we answer the following question and prove that he did not contradict him at all but agreed with him; so, there is no need to rush it now.

FOURTH: Shaikh al-Tusi was a student of al-Mufid, and al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on him, was the Number One man among the Shi’as then; so, it is not conceivable that al-Tusi should claim that there was a consensus among the Shi’as in such emphasis, decisiveness and clarity then contradict his professor and the greatest man among the Shi’as! At least, he was supposed to tell us that his professor contradicted such consensus, or that his professor denied the existence of such a consensus!

Could al-Tusi have decided a consensus which his professor openly denied and rejected then say that only some Shi’as make such a claim?! Or was al-Tusi not familiar with his professor’s view?! Or did he arbitrarily claim such a consensus without verifying it first?! Any of these hypotheses cannot be accepted. This emphasizes al-Mufid’s objective in what he stated in Al-Irshad to be just what we have indicated above, and he did not at all intend it to contradict or reject the consensus which al-Tusi discusses.

Al-Mufid Did Not Mention What al-Tusi Mentioned

Someone says, “If Shaikh al-Tusi transmits the consensus of the Shi’as regarding the beating and the miscarriage suffered by al-Zahra’ (sa), then Shaikh al-Mufid is the man who was adamant in his rebuttal of those who disagreed with him in his sect contemporary to al-Tusi, and he did not mention anything in his books, other than in Al-Ikhtisas, where there is doubt cast about its attribution to him, about the issue of breaking her rib or anything else said in this regard at all.”

Then he adds saying, “I have traced the references cited in his (al-Mufid’s) books and which discuss al-Zahra’ (sa) and could not find any tradition regarding breaking the rib, the miscarriage, or things like that..., and I do not know if my investigation is precise (enough).”

In respond to this statement, we would like, first and foremost, to record the following observation:

This same individual insists on making a reference to the breaking of the rib although he rebuts what al-Tusi said by citing al-Mufid’s first statement proving that he undertook the task of denying everything which al-Tusi stated regarding beating al-Zahra’ (sa) and her miscarrying Muhsin. Al-Tusi did not discuss breaking the rib when he decided the said consensus and his report that many traditions support each other in its regard; so, what is the justification of cramming the issue of breaking the rib in this regard?!

Having stated such an observation, we would like to say that Shaikh al-Mufid did, indeed, discuss the oppression suffered by al-Zahra’ (sa) and much of what she had to undergo in his books.

In the field of discussing what the same individual said about this issue, I would like to state the following:

FIRST: I could not understand what is meant by the issues referred to by this speaker with the use of the phrase “things like that” which he adds to the issue of breaking her rib. Does he mean beating her (sa) or her miscarriage, or burning her house till the fire consumed the door’s wood?!

SECOND: Since al-Mufid did not mention any of these things in his books, if we say that this is true at all, it does not mean that he denied that it took place. Remaining silent and not mentioning something does not prove basically denying it. Rather, we have said that the report of al-Tusi, student of al-Mufid, regarding the consensus, and his taking it for granted, proves that his professor was on the top of the list of those who advocated it and were enthusiastic about it. It cannot be true that Shaikh al-Tusi should thus mention this issue in such an emphasis, with firmness, and with complete clarity, if one of his professors, whom nobody, those who agree or disagree with him, doubts his in-depth knowledge of these issues, contradicts others in this issue and denies that there was a fundamental consensus.

But if this professor, namely al-Mufid, says that very few made such a claim, the issue, i.e. the claim of consensus, becomes a lot more complicated because al-Tusi’s claim regarding the consensus becomes an open proof of lying and false attribution to the dignitaries of the sect and its symbols, and al-Tusi is much, much greater than anyone can level such a charge against him.

THIRD: When al-Mufid wants to address the Shi’as and write a book about this sect, he never hesitates to openly declare the details of what the truthful Lady, al-Zahra’ (sa), had to undergo. He narrates in his book titled Al-Ikhtisas from ‘Abdullah ibn Sinan who cites Imam al-Sadiq (as) saying the following:

Abu Bakr wrote a title of her ownership of Fadak, so she went out and the title was in her hand. ‘’Umar [ibn al-Khattab] met her. He said to her, “What is this piece of paper which you are holding, O Daughter of Muhammed?” She said, “A title written for me by Abu Bakr whereby he restored my ownership of Fadak.” He said, “Give it to me.” She refused to give it to him, so he kicked her with his foot, and she was big with Muhsin, causing her to miscarry. Then he slapped her. It is as though I can see an earring in her ear being broken. Then he took the title and tore it to pieces. She left, and she remained sick for seventy-five days because of ‘’Umar thus beating her, following which incident she died.11

What the Fadak Story?

Most readers, non-Shi’ites of course, know little or none about Fadak, so it is appropriate here to introduce them to Fadak and to narrate its story to them:

Fatima (sa) After The Prophet’s Demise

The Prophet of Islam (S) left us only one single offspring: his daughter Fatima (sa), the personification of human perfection. He S taught Fatima (sa) divine knowledge and endowed her with special intellectual brilliance, so much so that she realized the true meaning of faith, piety, and the reality of Islam. But Fatima (sa) also was a witness to sorrow and a life of anguish from the very beginning of her life. She constantly saw how her revered father was mistreated by the unbelievers and later how she herself fell a victim to the same abuse, only this time by some Muslims.

This book cannot be complete without shedding more light on her life and on the way some Muslims mistreated her, so much so that nobody knows for sure where her grave is. When you read her biography, you will glorify the Almighty and get to know Him better by seeing how He bestowed on this great lady what He did not bestow on any other woman in the history of mankind. To know Allah, is to know His creation, and one of the very best of His creation is this great lady; so, let us review some pages of Islamic history and see how some Muslims, even during the first Islamic century, had a shallow idea of their creed and how their conviction did not settle deeply in their hearts as their actions clearly demonstrate to those who have eyes.

قال ابن الجوزي ، أبو الفرج عبد الرحمن بن أبي الحسن علي بن محمد القرشي التيمي البكري، الفقيه الحنبلي الحافظ المفسر الواعظ المؤرخ الأديب المعروف بابن الجوزي، رحمه الله رحمة واسعة، وأدخله فسيح جناته، فقيه حنبلي محدث ومؤرخ ومتكلم 510) هـ 1116/ م - 12 رمضان 592 هـ/16 آب (1196 ؛ ولد وتوفي في بغداد) روي عن علي( عليه السلام قال: لما مات رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم، جاءت فاطمة عليها السلام فأخذت قبضة من تراب القبر فوضعته على عينيها، فبكت وأنشأت تقول:

نفسي على زفراتها محبوسة يا ليتها خرجت مع الزفرات

لا خير بعدك في الحياة وإنما أبكي مخافة أن تطول حياتي

Ibn al-Jawzi, namely Abul-Faraj Abdur-Rahman ibn Abul-Hassan Ali ibn Muhammed al-Qarashi (or Quraishi, of Quraish tribe) al-Taymi al-Bakri, was a Hanbali faqih who knew the Holy Qur'an by heart, an orator, historian and a man of letters. He was born in Baghdad in 510 A.H./1116-7 A.D. and died there on the 12th of the month of Ramadan of 592 A.H. which coincided with August 16, 1196 A.D. according to the Gregorian Christian calendar or the 9th of the same month and year according to the Julian calendar. May the Almighty shower him with His spacious mercy and admit him into His spacious Paradise, Allahomma Ameen. He quotes Imam Ali saying that when the Messenger of Allah S died, Fatima (as) went to his gravesite, took a handful of its dust, put it on her eyes, wept and composed these verses of poetry:

My soul is confined with every sigh,

How I wish it departed as sighs depart.

No good is there in life after you so I

For fear my life will prolong do I cry.

Fadak

In 628 A.D., the Prophet of Islam found himself fighting the Jewish tribes in Medina who had violated the terms of a pact which they had signed with the Prophet. Those Jews were not originally residents of Medina but had migrated to it from Yemen and Palestine in order to be the first to testify to the truth of the new Arabian Prophet, but they ended up fighting him. In that year, the Prophet expelled Banu Nadir and Banu Qinaqa’ from Medina and dispatched Ali ibn Abu Talib on an expedition to a Jewish tribe living in Fadak, one of the oases of Khaybar.

It was inhabited by Arab Jews (tribes that spoke Arabic and were following the Jewish faith) who pioneered the cultivation of the Fadak oasis and made their living growing date palm trees, as well as through commerce and craftsmanship, accumulating considerable wealth. This oasis was divided into three regions: al-Natat, al-Shiqq الشِّق, and al-Katiba الكتيبة, probably separated by natural diversions such as the desert, lava drifts, and swamps. Each of these regions contained several fortresses or redoubts containing homes, storehouses and stables. Each fortress was occupied by a clan and surrounded by cultivated fields and palm-groves. In order to improve their defensive capabilities, the fortresses were raised up on hills or basalt rocks.

Ali ibn Abu Talib without any battle, they agreed to the same terms as the people of Khaybar had.

The income from Khaybar was for all Muslims in general, whereas the income from Fadak was exclusively for the Prophet because it was taken without any use of force. Jalaluddin al-Sayyuti states in Ad-Durr al-Manthur on the authority of Bazar, Abu Yacli and Ibn Abu µatim who have learned the tradition from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that when the verse: Wa ati thal-Qurba µaqqahu "And give thy kinsfolk their dues” (Qur’an, Chap. 17, V. 26) was revealed, the Prophet gave the property of Fadak as a gift to Fatima. Also, Ibn Abbas has narrated that when the verse "And give thy kinsfolk their dues” was revealed, the Prophet assigned the Fadak property to Fatima.

The Prophet S taught Fatima (sa) divine knowledge and endowed her with special intellectual brilliance, so much so that she realized the true meaning of faith, piety, and the reality of Islam. But Fatima (sa) also was a witness to sorrow and a life of anguish from the very beginning of her life. She constantly saw how her revered father was mistreated by the unbelievers and later how she herself fell a victim to the same abuse, only this time by some Muslims.

Khutba of Fatima al-Zahra' (sa) Demanding Fadak

خطبة فاطمة الزهراء (sa) بنت النبي محمد في مسجد أبيها S) عند مطالبتها بفدك و ميراثها من أبيها S):

روى عبد الله بن الحسن باسناده عن آبائه ، أنه لما أجمع أبوبكر وعمر على منع فاطمة عليها السلام فدكا و بلغها ذلك لاثت خمارها على رأسها و اشتملت بجلبابها وأقبلت في لمةٍ من حفدتها ونساء قومها تطأ ذيولها، ما تخرم مشيتها مشية رسول الله S)، حتى دخلت على أبي بكر وهو في حشد من المهاجرين والأنصار وغيرهم فنيطت دونها ملاءة فجلست ثم أنَت أنَةً أجهش القوم لها بالبكاء فأرتج المجلس ثم أمهلت هنيئة حتى إذا كن نشيج القوم وهدأت فورتهم افتتحت الكلام بحمد الله و الثناء عليه والصلاة على رسوله فعاد القوم في بكائهم فلما أمسكوا عادت في كلامها فقالت عليها السلام:

الحمد لله على ما أنعم وله الشكر على ما ألهم والثناء بما قدم من عموم نعم ابتداها وسبوغ آلاء أسداها وتمام منن أولاها جم عن الإحصاء عددها ونأى عن الجزاء أمدها وتفاوت عن الإدراك أبدها وندبهم لاستزادتها بالشكر لاتصالها واستحمد إلى الخلائق بإجزالها وثنى بالندب إلى أمثالها وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له كلمة جعل الإخلاص تأويلها وضمن القلوب موصولها وأنار في التفكر معقولها الممتنع من الأبصار رؤيته ومن الألسن صفته ومن الأوهام كيفيته ابتدع الأشياء لا من شي ء كان قبلها وأنشأها بلا احتذاء أمثلة امتثلها كونها بقدرته وذرأها بمشيته من غير حاجة منه إلى تكوينها ولا فائدة له في تصويرها إلا تثبيتا لحكمته وتنبيها على طاعته وإظهارا لقدرته تعبدا لبريته وإعزازا لدعوته ثم جعل الثواب على طاعته ووضع العقاب على معصيته ذيادة لعباده من نقمته وحياشة لهم إلى جنته وأشهد أن أبي محمدا عبده ورسوله اختاره قبل أن أرسله وسماه قبل أن اجتباه واصطفاه قبل أن ابتعثه إذ الخلائق بالغيب مكنونة وبستر الأهاويل مصونة وبنهاية العدم مقرونة علما من الله تعالى بمآيل الأمور وإحاطة بحوادث الدهور ومعرفة بمواقع الأمور ابتعثه الله إتماما لأمره وعزيمة على إمضاء حكمه وإنفاذا لمقادير رحمته فرأى الأمم فرقا في أديانها عكفا على نيرانها عابدة لأوثانها منكرة لله مع عرفانها فأنار الله بأبي محمد ص ظلمها وكشف عن القلوب بهمها وجلى عن الأبصار غممها وقام في الناس بالهداية فأنقذهم من الغواية وبصرهم من العماية وهداهم إلى الدين القويم ودعاهم إلى الطريق المستقيم ثم قبضه الله إليه قبض رأفة واختيار ورغبة وإيثار فمحمد S) من تعب هذه الدار في راحة قد حف بالملائكة الأبرار ورضوان الرب الغفار ومجاورة الملك الجبار صلى الله على أبي نبيه وأمينه وخيرته من الخلق وصفيه والسلام عليه ورحمة الله وبركاته.

ثم التفتت إلى أهل المجلس وقالت : أنتم عباد الله نصب أمره ونهيه وحملة دينه ووحيه وأمناء الله على أنفسكم وبلغاءه إلى الأمم زعيم حق له فيكم وعهد قدمه إليكم وبقية استخلفها عليكم كتاب الله الناطق والقرآن الصادق والنور الساطع والضياء اللامع بينة بصائره منكشفة سرائره منجلية ظواهره مغتبطة به أشياعه قائدا إلى الرضوان اتباعه مؤد إلى النجاة استماعه به تنال حجج الله المنورة وعزائمه المفسرة ومحارمه المحذرة وبيناته الجالية وبراهينه الكافية وفضائله المندوبة ورخصه الموهوبة وشرائعه المكتوبة فجعل الله الإيمان تطهيرا لكم من الشرك والصلاة تنزيها لكم عن الكبر والزكاة تزكية للنفس ونماء في الرزق والصيام تثبيتا للإخلاص والحج تشييدا للدين والعدل تنسيقا للقلوب وطاعتنا نظاما للملة وإمامتنا أمانا للفرقة والجهاد عزا للإسلام والصبر معونة على استيجاب الأجر والأمر بالمعروف مصلحة للعامة وبر الوالدين وقاية من السخط وصلة الأرحام منسأة في العمر ومنماة للعدد والقصاص حقنا للدماء والوفاء بالنذر تعريضا للمغفرة وتوفية المكاييل والموازين تغييرا للبخس والنهي عن شرب الخمر تنزيها عن الرجس واجتناب القذف حجابا عن اللعنة وترك السرقة إيجابا للعفة وحرم الله الشرك إخلاصا له بالربوبية فاتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون وأطيعوا الله فيما أمركم به ونهاكم عنه فإنه إنما يخشى الله من عباده العلماء.

ثم قالت: أيها الناس اعلموا أني فاطمة و أبي محمد ص أقول عودا وبدوا ولا أقول ما أقول غلطا ولا أفعل ما أفعل شططا ، لَقَدْ جاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ ما عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَؤُفٌ رَحِيمٌ ، فإن تعزوه وتعرفوه تجدوه أبي دون نسائكم وأخا ابن عمي دون رجالكم ، ولنعم المعزى إليه ص فبلغ الرسالة صادعا بالنذارة مائلا عن مدرجة المشركين ضاربا ثبجهم آخذا بأكظامهم داعيا إلى سبيل ربه بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة يجف الأصنام وينكث الهام حتى انهزم الجمع وولوا الدبر حتى تفرى الليل عن صبحه وأسفر الحق عن محضه ونطق زعيم الدين وخرست شقاشق الشياطين وطاح وشيظ النفاق وانحلت عقد الكفر والشقاق وفهتم بكلمة الإخلاص في نفر من البيض الخماص وكنتم على شفا حفرة من النار مذقة الشارب ونهزة الطامع وقبسة العجلان وموطئ الأقدام تشربون الطرق وتقتاتون القد و الورق أذلة خاسئين تخافون أن يتخطفكم الناس من حولكم فأنقذكم الله تبارك وتعالى بمحمد ص بعد اللتيا واللتي وبعد أن مني ببهم الرجال وذؤبان العرب ومردة أهل الكتاب كلما أوقدوانارا للحرب أطفأها الله أو نجم قرن الشيطان أو فغرت فاغرة من المشركين قذف أخاه في لهواتها فلا ينكفئ حتى يطأ جناحها بأخمصه ويخمد لهبها بسيفه مكدودا في ذات الله مجتهدا في أمر الله قريبا من رسول الله سيدا في أولياء الله مشمرا ناصحا مجدا كادحا لا تأخذه في الله لومة لائم وأنتم في رفاهية من العيش وادعون فاكهون آمنون تتربصون بنا الدوائر وتتوكفون الأخبار وتنكصون عند النزال وتفرون من القتال. فلما اختار الله لنبيه دار أنبيائه ومأوى أصفيائه ظهر فيكم حسكة النفاق وسمل جلباب الدين ونطق كاظم الغاوين ونبغ خامل الأقلين وهدر فنيق المبطلين فخطر في عرصاتكم وأطلع الشيطان رأسه من مغرزه هاتفا بكم فألفاكم لدعوته مستجيبين وللعزة فيه ملاحظين ثم استنهضكم فوجدكم خفافا وأحمشكم فألفاكم غضابا فوسمتم غير إبلكم ووردتم غير مشربكم هذا والعهد قريب والكلم رحيب والجرح لما يندمل والرسول لما يقبر ابتدارا زعمتم خوف الفتنة ألا في الفتنة سقطوا وإن جهنم لمحيطة بالكافرين فهيهات منكم وكيف بكم وأنى تؤفكون وكتاب الله بين أظهركم أموره ظاهرة وأحكامه زاهرة وأعلامه باهرة وزواجره لائحة وأوامره واضحة وقد خلفتموه وراء ظهوركم أرغبة عنه تريدون أم بغيره تحكمون بئس للظالمين بدلا ومن يتبع غير الإسلام دينا فلن يقبل منه وهو في الآخرة من الخاسرين ثم لم تلبثوا إلا ريث أن تسكن نفرتها ويسلس قيادها ثم أخذتم تورون وقدتها وتهيجون جمرتها وتستجيبون لهتاف الشيطان الغوي وإطفاء أنوار الدين الجلي وإهمال سنن النبي الصفي تشربون حسوا في ارتغاء وتمشون لأهله وولده في الخمرة والضراء ويصير منكم على مثل حز المدى ووخز السنان في الحشا وأنتم الآن تزعمون أن لا إرث لنا ، أ فحكم الجاهلية تبغون ومن أحسن من الله حكما لقوم يوقنون أفلا تعلمون ، بلى قد تجلى لكم كالشمس الضاحية أني ابنته أيها المسلمون أأغلب على إرثي يا ابن أبي قحافة أفي كتاب الله ترث أباك ولا أرث أبي؟ لقد جئت شيئا فريا أفعلى عمد تركتم كتاب الله ونبذتموه وراء ظهوركم إذ يقول: ”وَوَرِثَ سُلَيْمانُ داوُد"َ وقال فيما اقتص من خبر يحيى بن زكريا إذ قال : "فَهَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا يَرِثُنِي وَ يَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ" وقال” : وَ أُولُوا الْأَرْحامِ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلى بِبَعْضٍ فِي كِتابِ اللَّهِ" وقال” :يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِي أَوْلادِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ" وقال:” إِنْ تَرَكَ خَيْراً الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوالِدَيْنِ وَ الْأَقْرَبِينَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ"، وزعمتم أن لا حظوة لي ولا إرث من أبي ولا رحم بيننا أفخصكم الله بآية أخرج أبي منها أم هل تقولون إن أهل ملتين لا يتوارثان أو لست أنا وأبي من أهل ملة واحدة أم أنتم أعلم بخصوص القرآن وعمومه من أبي وابن عمي؟ فدونكموها مخطومة مرحولة تلقاكم يوم حشركم، فنعم الحكم الله والزعيم محمد والموعد القيامة، وعند الساعة يخسر المبطلون، ولا ينفعكم إذ تندمون، ولكل نبأ مستقر وسوف تعلمون من يأتيه عذاب يخزيه ويحل عليه عذاب مقيم.

ثم رمت بطرفها نحو الأنصار فقالت:

يا معشر النقيبة وأعضاد الملة وحضنة الإسلام، ما هذه الغميزة في حقي والسنة عن ظلامتي؟ أما كان رسول الله أبي يقول: المرء يحفظ في ولده؟ سرعان ما أحدثتم وعجلان ذا إهالة ولكم طاقة بما أحاول وقوة على ما أطلب و أزاول. أتقولون مات محمد S) فخطب جليل استوسع وهنه واستنهر فتقه وانفتق رتقه وأظلمت الأرض لغيبته وكسفت الشمس والقمر وانتثرت النجوم لمصيبته وأكدت الآمال وخشعت الجبال وأضيع الحريم وأزيلت الحرمة عند مماته؟ فتلك والله النازلة الكبرى والمصيبة العظمى لا مثلها نازلة ولا بائقة عاجلة، أعلن بها كتاب الله جل ثناؤه في أفنيتكم وفي ممساكم ومصبحكم، يهتف في أفنيتكم هتافا وصراخا وتلاوة وألحانا، ولقبله ما حل بأنبياء الله ورسله، حكم فصل وقضاء حتم "وَ ما مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَ فَإِنْ ماتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انْقَلَبْتُمْ عَلى أَعْقابِكُمْ؟ وَ مَنْ يَنْقَلِبْ عَلى عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَنْ يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيْئاً، وَ سَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ . "إيها بني قيله، أأهضم تراث أبي وأنتم بمرأى مني ومسمع ومنتدى ومجمع، تلبسكم الدعوة وتشملكم الخبرة وأنتم ذوو العدد والعدة والأداة والقوة وعندكم السلاح والجنة توافيكم الدعوة فلا تجيبون وتأتيكم الصرخة فلا تغيثون؟ أنتم موصوفون بالكفاح، معروفون بالخير والصلاح، والنخبة التي انتخبت والخيرة التي اختيرت لنا أهل البيت، قاتلتم العرب وتحملتم الكد والتعب وناطحتم الأمم، و كافحتم البهم، لا نبرح أو تبرحون، نأمركم فتأتمرون؛ حتى إذا دارت بنا رحى الإسلام ودر حلب الأيام وخضعت ثغرة الشرك وسكنت فورة الإفك وخمدت نيران الكفر وهدأت دعوة الهرج واستوسق نظام الدين، فأنى حزتم بعد البيان وأسررتم بعد الإعلان ونكصتم بعد الإقدام وأشركتم بعد الإيمان؟ بؤسا لقوم نكثوا أيمانهم من بعد عهدهم وهموا بإخراج الرسول وهم بدءوكم أول مرة؛ أ تخشونهم؟ فالله أحق أن تخشوه إن كنتم مؤمنين. ألا وقد أرى أن قد أخلدتم إلى الخفض وأبعدتم من هو أحق بالبسط والقبض وخلوتم بالدعة ونجوتم بالضيق من السعة فمججتم ما وعيتم ودسعتم الذي تسوغتم فإن تكفروا أنتم ومن في الأرض جميعا فإن الله لغني حميد ألا وقد قلت ما قلت هذا على معرفة مني بالجذلة التي خامرتكم والغدرة التي استشعرتها قلوبكم ولكنها فيضة النفس ونفثة الغيظ وخور القناة وبثة الصدر وتقدمة الحجة فدونكموها فاحتقبوها دبرة الظهر نقبة الخف باقية العار موسومة بغضب الجبار وشنار الأبد موصولة بنار الله الموقدة التي تطلع على الأفئدة ، فبعين الله ما تفعلون وسيعلم الذين ظلموا أي منقلب ينقلبون وأنا ابنة نذير لكم بين يدي عذاب شديد فاعملوا إنا عاملون و انتظروا إنا منتظرون.

Abullah son of Imam al-Hassan (as) quotes his forefathers saying that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar decided to prevent Fatima (sa) from her Fadak property. When she came to know about it, she put her veil on her head, wrapped herself with her outer cloak and, accompanied by some of her relatives and men of her folks, stepping on her gown, her gait not differing from that of the Messenger of Allah (S), she went and entered [the Mosque of the Prophet] where Abu Bakr was.

Abu Bakr was in the company of a crowd of the Muhajirun, Ansar and others. A curtain was placed behind which she sat and moaned. Hearing her thus moaning, everyone present there and then burst in tears, so much so that the meeting place shook. She waited for a moment till the sobbing stopped and the fervor abated. She started her speech by praising Allah and lauding Him, sending blessings to His Messenger, whereon people resumed their cries. When they stopped, she resumed her speech saying,

"Praise to Allah for that which He bestowed (on us). We thank and laud Him for all that which He inspired and offered, for the abundant boons which He initiated, the perfect grants which He presented. Such boons are too many to compute, too vast to measure. Their limit is too distant to grasp. He commended them (to His beings) so they would gain more by being grateful for their continuity. He ordained Himself praiseworthy by giving generously to His creatures. I testify that there is no God but Allah , the One without a partner, a statement which sincere devotion is its interpretation, the hearts guarantee its continuation, and in the minds and hearts is its perpetuation. He is the One Who cannot be perceived with vision, nor can He be described by tongues, nor can imagination comprehend how He is. He originated things but not from anything that existed before, created them without pre-existing examples. Rather, He created them with His might and spread them according to His will. He did so not for a need for which He created them, nor for a benefit (for Him) did He shape them, but to establish His wisdom, bring attention to His obedience, manifest His might, lead His creatures to humbly venerate Him and exalt His decrees. He then made the reward for obedience to Him and punishment for disobedience so as to protect His creatures from His Wrath and lodge them into His Paradise.

"I also testify that my Father, Muhammed S, is His servant and messenger whom He chose. Prior to sending him, the [souls of all] beings were still concealed in that which was transcendental, protected from anything appalling, associated with termination and nonexistence. Allah the Exalted One knew that which was to follow, comprehended that which would come to pass and realized the place of every event. Allah sent him (Muhammed S) to perfect His commands, accomplish His decree and implement the dictates of His Mercy. So he (Muhammed S) found nations differing in their creeds, obsessed by their fires [Zoroastrians], worshipping their idols [Pagans], and denying Allah [atheists] despite their knowledge of Him. Therefore, Allah illuminated their darkness with my Father, Muhammed S, uncovered obscurity from their hearts, and cleared the clouds from their insights. He revealed guidance to the people. He delivered them from being led astray, taking them away from misguidance, showing them the right religion and inviting them to the Straight Path (as-ˉirat al-Mustaqeem).

"Allah then chose to recall him mercifully, with love and preference. So, Muhammed S is now in comfort, released from the burden of this world, surrounded by angels of devotion, satisfied with the Merciful Lord and with being near the powerful King. So, peace of Allah with my Father, His Prophet, the trusted one, the one whom He chose from among His servants, His sincere friend, and peace and blessings of Allah with him.”

Fatima (sa) then turned to the crowd and said:

'surely you (people) are Allah 's servants at His command and prohibition, bearers of His creed and revelation. You are the ones whom Allah entrusted to fare with your own selves, His messengers to the nations. Amongst you does He have the right authority, a covenant which He brought forth to you and a legacy which He left to guard you: the eloquent Book of Allah , the Qur’an of the truth, the brilliant light, the shining beam. Its insights are indisputable, its secrets are revealed, its indications are manifest and those who follow it are surely blessed. (The Qur’an ) leads its adherents to righteousness; listening (and acting on) it leads to salvation. Through it are the enlightening divine arguments achieved, His manifest determination acquired, His prohibited decrees avoided, His manifest evidence recognized, His convincing proofs made apparent, His permissions granted and His laws written. So Allah made belief (in Islam) an act of purification for you from (the filth of) polytheism.

He made prayers an exaltation for you from conceit, zakat an act of purification for the soul and a (cause of) growth in subsistence, fasting an implantation of devotion, pilgrimage a construction of the creed and justice (‘Adl) the harmony of the hearts. And He made obedience to us (Ahl al-Bayt (as)) the management of the affairs of the nation and our leadership (Ahl al-Bayt (as)) a protection from disunity. He made jihad a way for strengthening Islam and patience a helping course for deserving (divine) rewards. He made commending what is right (al-’Amr bil ma’ruf) a cause for public welfare, kindness to parents a safeguard from (His) wrath, the maintaining of close ties with one's kin a cause for a longer life and for multiplying the number of offspring, in-kind reprisal (qisas قصاص) for saving lives, fulfilling vows the earning of mercy, the completing of weights and measures a cause for avoiding neglecting the rights of others, forbidding drinking wines an exaltation from atrocity, avoiding slander a veil from curse, and the abandonment of stealing a reason for deserving chastity. Allah has also prohibited polytheism so that one can devote himself to His Mastership. Therefore; Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam. Obey Allah in that which He has commanded you to do and that which He has forbidden, for surely those who truly fear Him from among His servants are those who have knowledge.'

"O People! Be informed that I am Fatima , and my father is Muhammad ; I say so repeatedly and initiate it continually. I do not utter mistakenly, nor do I do what I do aimlessly. Now has come unto you a Prophet from amongst yourselves; it grieves him that you should perish; ardently anxious is he over you; to the believers he is most kind and merciful. Thus, if you identify and recognize him, you shall realize that he is my father and not the father of any of your women; the brother of my cousin (Ali (as) ) rather than any of your men. What an excellent identity he was, may the peace and blessings of Allah be with him and his descendants

Thus, he propagated the Message, coming out openly with the warning, inclining away from the path of the polytheists, (he) struck their strength and seized their throats, while he invited (everyone) to the way of his Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching. He destroyed idols and defeated heroes until their group fled and turned on their heels. So night revealed its dawn; righteousness uncovered its genuineness; the voice of the religious authority spoke out loud; the evil discords were silenced; the crown of hypocrisy was diminished; the tying of (the knots of) infidelity and desertion were untied, so you spoke the statement of devotion amongst a band of starved ones, and you were on the edge of a pit of the fire. (You were) the drink of the thirsty; the opportunity of the desiring ones; the fire brand of one who passes in haste; the step for feet. You used to drink of stagnant water gathered on roads; eat dry jerked meat. (Lady Fatima (sa) was stating their miserable living conditions before Islam). You were despised outcasts always in fear of being abducted by those around you.

Yet, Allah rescued you through my father, Muhammad after much ado, and after he was confronted by mighty men, Arab beasts, and demons of the people of the Book Who, whenever they ignited the fire of war, Allah extinguished it; and whenever the thorn of the devil appeared, or a mouth of the polytheists opened wide in defiance, he would strike its discords with his brother (Ali (as)), who comes not back until he treads its wing with the sole of his feet, and extinguishes its flames with his sword. (Ali (as) is) diligent in Allah 's affair, near to the Messenger of Allah S, a master among Allah 's worshippers, setting to work briskly, sincere in his advice, earnest and exerting himself (in serving Islam), while you were calm, cheerful and feeling safe in your lives of ease, waiting for us to face disasters, awaiting the spread of news. You fell back during every battle and took to your heels at times of fighting.

Yet, When Allah chose His Prophet to Him from the abode of His prophets, the abode of His sincere (servants), the thorns of hypocrisy appeared on you, the garment of faith became worn out, the misguided ignorant ones from among you spoke out, the sluggish ignorant ones came out to the front and brayed. The vain camel wiggled its tail in your courtyards and the devil stuck its head out of its hideout calling on you, finding you responsive to his invitation and observant of his deceits. He then excited you and found you quick (to answer him), inviting you to wrath; therefore, you branded other than your camels and proceeded to other than your drinking places.

Then, while the era of the Prophet was still near, the gap was still wide, the scar had not yet healed, and the Messenger was not yet buried…, a (quick) undertaking you claimed, saying that you aimed at preventing discord. Surely they have fallen into trial already! And indeed Hell surrounds the unbelievers. How preposterous! What a notion! What falsehood! Allah 's Book is still amongst you; its affairs are apparent; its rules are manifest; its signs are dazzling; its restrictions are visible, and its commands are evident.

Yet, indeed you have cast it behind your backs! What?! Do you detest it? Or according to something else do you wish to rule? Evil would be such a barter for the wrongdoers! And if anyone desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost. Surely you have not waited until its stampede stopped and it became easier to deal with. You started fueling its flames, feeding its coal, complying with the call of the misled devil, putting out the light of the manifest religion, and extinguishing the light of the sincere Prophet. You concealed sips on froth and proceeded towards his (Prophet’s) kin and children in swamps and forests [i.e. you plotted against them in deceitful ways]. But we are patient with you as if we are being notched with knives and stung by spearheads in our abdomens.

'still, you now claim that there is not inheritance for us! What?! "Do they, then, seek the ruling of (the Days of) ignorance? But how so for people whose faith is assured? Can you give a better ruling than Allah ? Do you not know? Yes, indeed it is obvious to you that I am his daughter. O Muslims! Will my inheritance be usurped? O son of Abu Quhafa (Abu Bakr)! Where is it in the Book of Allah that you inherit your father and I do not inherit mine? Surely you have come up with an unprecedented thing. Do you intentionally abandon the Book of Allah and cast it behind your back? Do you not read where it says: ‘And Solomon (Sulayman) inherited David (Dawud)' (Qur’an, 27:16)?

And when it narrates the story of Zacharias, it says: ‘So grant me (O Lord!) one (heir) who will inherit me and inherit the posterity of Jacob ' (19:16) And: ‘Blood relatives are nearer to each other in the Book of Allah ' (Qur’an, 8:75). And: ‘Allah (thus) directs you regarding your children's (inheritance): to the male is a portion equal to that of two females' (Qur’an, 4:11). And: ‘It is prescribed for you that when death approaches any of you, if he leaves behind any goods, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin in goodness, a duty incumbent on the pious' (Qur’an, 2:180).

You (O Abu Bakr!) claim that I have no share! And that I do not inherit my father! What?! Did Allah reveal a (Qur’an ic) verse regarding you from which He excluded my father? Or do you say that these (Fatima (sa) and her father S) are from people of two (different) faiths, so they do not inherit each other?!' Are we not, I and my father, people adhering to one and the same faith? Or is it that you have knowledge about the specifications and generalizations of the Qur’an more than my father and my cousin (Imam Ali (as))? So, here you are! Take it! (Ready with) its nose rope and saddle! But it shall encounter you on the Day of Gathering: How Great a judge Allah is when the claimant is Muhammad ! What what a day it shall be, the Day of Rising! At the time of the Hour shall the wrongdoers lose, and it shall not benefit you to regret (your actions) then! For every Message, there is a time limit, and soon shall you all know who will be inflicted with torture that will humiliate him, and who will be confronted by an everlasting punishment.

(Fatima (sa) then turned towards the Ansar and said:)

"O you people of intellect! The strong supporters of the nation! And those who embraced Islam: What is this shortcoming in defending my right? And what is this slumber (while you see) injustice (being done to me)? Did not the Messenger of Allah S, my father, use to say: ‘A man is upheld (remembered) by his children’? O how quick have you violated (his orders)?! How soon have you plotted against us? But you still are capable (of helping me in) my attempt, and powerful (enough to help me) in that which I request and (in) my pursuit (of it). Or do you say: ‘Muhammad has perished’? Surely this is a great calamity; its damage is excessive, its injury is great, its wound (is much too deep) to heal. The Earth became darkened with his departure; the stars eclipsed for his calamity; hopes were dashed; mountains submitted; sanctity violated, and holiness encroached on after his death.

Therefore, this, by Allah , is the great affliction, and the momentous calamity; there is not an affliction-which is the like of it; nor will there be a sudden misfortune (as surprising as this). The Book of Allah —excellent in praising him—announced in the courtyards (of your houses) in the place where you spend your evenings and mornings, a call, a cry, a recitation and (verses) placed in order. It (death) had previously come on His (Allah 's) Prophets and Messengers; (for it is) a decree final, and predestination fulfilled: ‘Muhammed is but a Prophet: Many were the Prophets that passed away before him. If he dies or is slain, will you all then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah ; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.’

O you people of reflection! Will I be usurped of the inheritance of my father while you hear and see me?! (And while) You are sitting and gathered around me? You hear my call and are included in the (outcome of the) affair? (But) You are numerous and well equipped! (You have) the means and the power, the weapons and the shields. Yet, the call reaches you but you do not answer; the cry comes to you but you do not come to help? (This happens) while you are characterized by struggle, known for goodness and welfare, the selected group, and the best ones chosen by the Messenger for us, we Ahlul-Bayt (as). You fought the Arabs, bore with pain and exhaustion, struggled against the nations and resisted their heroes. We were still, so were you in ordering you, and you in obeying us.

So Islam triumphed, the accomplishment of the days came near, the fort of polytheism was subjected, its outburst was quelled, the outburst of infidelity calmed down, and the system of religion was well-ordered. Thus, (why have you) become confused after clearness, concealing matters after announcing them? Do you thus turn on your heels after charging, associating (others with Allah ) after believing? Will you not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Prophet and became aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do you fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom you should more justly fear, if you believe! Now I see that you are inclined to easy living, having dismissed one who is more worthy of guardianship [referring to Ali (as)].

You secluded yourselves with meekness and dismissed that which you accepted. Yet, if you show ingratitude, you and all those on earth put together, Allah is free of all want, worthy of all praise. Surely I have said all that I have said with full knowledge that you intend to forsake me, and knowing the betrayal that your hearts sensed. But it is the state of the soul, the effusion of fury, the dissemination of (what is in) the chest and the presentation of the proof. Hence, here it is!

Bag it (leadership and) put it on the back of an ill she-camel which has a thin hump with everlasting grace, marked with the wrath of Allah and the blame of ever (which leads to) the Fire of (the wrath of Allah kindled (to a blaze), that which mounts (right) on the hearts. Allah witnesses what you do, and soon will the unjust assailants come to know what vicissitudes their affairs will take! And I am the daughter of a warner (Prophet ) to you against a severe punishment. So, act and so will we, and wait, and we, too, shall wait.'”

فأجابها أبو بكر وقال: يا بنت رسول الله، لقد كان أبوك بالمؤمنين عطوفا كريما رءوفا رحيما وعلى الكافرين عذابا أليما وعقابا عظيما، إن عزوناه وجدناه أباك دون النساء وأخا إلفك دون الأخلاء، آثره على كل حميم وساعده في كل أمر جسيم، لا يحبكم إلا سعيد ولا يبغضكم إلا شقي بعيد، فأنتم عترة رسول الله الطيبون الخيرة المنتجبون على الخير، أدلتنا وإلى الجنة مسالكنا. وأنت يا خيرة النساء وابنة خير الأنبياء صادقة في قولك سابقة في وفور عقلك غير مردودة عن حقك ولا مصدودة عن صدقك، والله ما عدوت رأي رسول الله ولا عملت إلا بإذنه والرائد لا يكذب أهله، وإني أشهد الله وكفى به شهيدا أني سمعت رسول الله S) يقول: نحن معاشر الأنبياء لا نورث ذهبا و لا فضة و لا دارا و لا عقارا و إنما نورث الكتاب والحكمة والعلم والنبوة وما كان لنا من طعمة فلولي الأمر بعدنا أن يحكم فيه بحكمه، وقد جعلنا ما حاولته في الكراع والسلاح يقاتل بها المسلمون ويجاهدون.

فقالت عليها السلام: سبحان الله! ما كان أبي رسول الله S) عن كتاب الله صادفا ولا لأحكامه مخالفا، بل كان يتبع أثره ويقفو سوره؛ أفتجمعون إلى الغدر اعتلالا عليه بالزور وهذا بعد وفاته شبيه بما بغي له من الغوائل في حياته؟ هذا كتاب الله حكما عدلا وناطقا فصلا يقول: يَرِثُنِي وَ يَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ و يقول وَ وَرِثَ سُلَيْمانُ داوُد، وبين عز وجل فيما وزع من الأقساط وشرع من الفرائض والميراث وأباح من حظ الذكران والإناث ما أزاح به علة المبطلين وأزال التظني والشبهات في الغابرين؛ كلا؛ بل سولت لكم أنفسكم أمرا فصبر جميل، والله

المستعان على ما تصفون .

فقال أبو بكر: صدق الله ورسوله وصدقت ابنته معدن الحكمة وموطن الهدى والرحمة وركن الدين وعين الحجة، لا أبعد صوابك ولا أنكر خطابك، هؤلاء المسلمون بيني وبينك قلدوني ما تقلدت وباتفاق منهم أخذت ما أخذت، غير مكابر ولا مستبد ولا مستأثر، وهم بذلك شهود.

فالتفتت فاطمة عليها السلام إلى الناس و قالت:

معاشر المسلمين المسرعة إلى قيل الباطل المغضية على الفعل القبيح الخاسر، أفلا تتدبرون القرآن أم على قلوب أقفالها؟ كلا بل ران على قلوبكم ما أسأتم من أعمالكم فأخذ بسمعكم وأبصاركم ولبئس ما تأولتم وساء ما به أشرتم وشر ما منه اغتصبتم، لتجدن والله محمله ثقيلا وغبه وبيلا إذا كشف لكم الغطاء وبان بإورائه الضراء وبدا لكم من ربكم ما لم تكونوا تحتسبون و خسر هنا لك المبطلون.

Abu Bakr responded to her by saying, "O daughter of the Messenger of Allah ! Your father was always affectionate with the believers, generous, kind and merciful, and towards the unbelievers was he a painful torment and a great punishment. Surely the Prophet is your father, not anyone else's, the brother of your husband, not of any other man's; he surely preferred him over all his friends and (Ali (as)) supported him in every important matter. No one loves you save the lucky and no one hates you save the wretch. You are the blessed progeny of Allah 's Messenger, the chosen ones, our guides to goodness, our path to Paradise.

And you, O the best of women, the daughter of the best of prophets, are truthful is your statements, excelling in reasoning. You shall not be driven back from your right... But I surely heard your father saying: ‘We, group of prophets, do not inherit, nor are we inherited. Yet, this is my situation and property, it is yours (if you wish); it shall not be concealed from you, nor will it be stored away from you. You are the Mistress of your father's nation, and the blessed tree of your descendants. Your property shall not be usurped against your will nor can your name be defamed. Your judgment shall be executed in all that which I possess. Do you think that I would violate your father's (will)?"

Fatima then refuted Abu Bakr's claim that the Prophet had stated that prophets could not be inherited. She said: "Glory to Allah !! Surely Allah 's Messenger did not abandon Allah 's Book, nor did he violate His commands. Rather, he followed its decrees and adhered to its chapters. So do you unite with treachery justifying your acts with fabrications? Indeed this—after his departure—is similar to the disasters which were plotted against him during his lifetime. But behold! This is Allah 's Book, a just judge and a decisive speaker, saying: ‘… One who will inherit Me and inherit the posterity of Jacob (Ya’qub),' (Qur’an, 19:6) and 'Sulayman (Solomon) inherited Dawood (David).' (Qur’an,27: 16)

Thus, He (Glory to Him) made clear that which He made all heirs share, decreed from the amounts of inheritance, allowed for males and females and eradicated all doubts and ambiguities (pertaining to this issue which existed with the) bygones. Nay! But your minds have made up a tale (that may pass) with you, but (for me) patience is most fitting against that which you assert. It is Allah (alone) whose help can be sought."

It is apparent that Abu Bakr seized the moment when he was addressed Lady Fatima (sa) after delivering her speech to defend himself. Listen to his following speech which is his reply to Fatima 's speech.

Abu Bakr said: 'surely Allah and His Prophet are truthful, and so has his (the Prophet's) daughter told the truth. Surely you are the source of wisdom, the element of faith, and the sole authority. May Allah not refute your righteous argument, nor invalidate your decisive speech. But these are the Muslims among us who have entrusted me with leadership, and it was according to their satisfaction that I received what (authority) I have undertaken. I am not being arrogant, autocratic or selfish, and they are my witnesses." On hearing Abu Bakr speak of the people's support for him, Lady Fatima al-Zahra’ (sa) turned towards them and said:

"O people who rush towards uttering falsehood and are indifferent to disgraceful and lost actions! Do you not earnestly seek to reflect on the Qur’an , or are your hearts isolated with locks? But on your hearts is the stain of the evil which you committed; it has seized your hearing and your sight. Evil is that which you justified, cursed is that which you reckoned, and wicked is that which you have taken for an exchange! You shall, by Allah, find bearing it (to be a great) burden, and its consequence disastrous. (That is) on the Day when the cover is removed and what is behind it of wrath appears to you. When you will be confronted by Allah with that which you can never expect, there and then, those who stood on falsehoods will perish."

Although parts of Abu Bakr's speeches cannot be verified with authentic evidence, and despite the fact that we have already mentioned part of the actual speech, which Abu Bakr delivered after Lady Fatima's arguments, it appears certain that Abu Bakr was finally persuaded to return Fadak to her. Nevertheless, when Fatima was leaving Abu Bakr's house, ‘Umar suddenly appeared and exclaimed: "What is it that you hold in your hand?"

Abu Bakr replied: “It is a decree I have written for Fatima (sa) in which I returned Fadak and her father's inheritance to her." ‘Umar then said: "With what will you spend on the Muslims if the Arabs decide to fight you?!"

وفي سيرة الحلبي ج 3 ص :- 391أن عمر أخذ الكتاب فشقه.

According to p. 391, Vol. 3, of al-Halabi’s Seera book, ‘Umar [ibn al-Khattab] seized the decree and tore it to pieces…

In some reports, Abu Bakr, a longtime sahabi of the Prophet and one of the earliest men to embrace Islam, honored Fatima’s request and returned Fadak to her. He wrote her a deed of the Fadak property in his own hand and gave it to her, whereon she (sa) left the Prophet’s Mosque, which Abu Bakr had made the seat of his government, feeling happy. She happened to be seen by ‘Umar who asked her what she was carrying in her hand. When she told him what it was, he grabbed it from her hand in a rude way and with force, spitted in it then tore it to pieces.

ثم عطفت على قبر النبي (S) و قالت:

قد كان بعدك انباء و هنبثة لو كنت شاهدها لم تكثر الخطب

انا فقدناك فقد الارض وابلها و اختل قومك فاشهدهم فقد نكبوا

و قد رُزينا بما لم يرزه أحد من البرية لا عجم و لا عرب

سيعلم المتولي ظلم حامتنا يوم القيامة أنى سوف ينقلب

ضاقت عليَّ بلادي بعدما رحبت و سيم سبطاك خسفاً فيه لي نصب

و كل أهل له قربى و منزلة عند الاله على الأدنين مقترب

أبدت رجال لنا نجوى صدورهم لما مضيت و حالت دونك الترب

تجهمتنا رجال و آستخف بنا اذ غبت عنا فنحن اليوم نغتصب

وكنت بدرا و نورا يستضاء به عليك ينزل من ذي العزة الكتب

قد كان جبريل بالآيات يؤنسنا فقد فقدت و كل الخير محتجب

فليت قبلك كان الموت صادفنا لما مضيت و حالت دونك الكثب

فسوف نبكيك ما عشنا وما بقيت من العيون بتهمال لها سكب

و قد رزينا به محضا خليقته صافي الضرائب و الأعراق و النسب

فأنت خير عباد الله كلهم و أصدق الناسحين الصدق و الكذب

After you, reports and momentous chaotic events we found,

If you witnessed them, calamities would not abound.

We missed you as sorely as earth would miss its rain,

Your folks lost balance, see how from the creed they did refrain,

We, like no others, have suffered affliction,

Unlike all Arabs, or others from among Allah ’s creation.

One who has oppressed us will come on Judgment Day

To know what fate will be awaiting him.

My homeland is now narrow after its great expanse indeed,

Both your grandsons have been wronged, so my heart is grieved,

Every family has relatives and a place

With the Almighty Who is close to those of grace,

Certain men what their chests hid did they to us reveal,

When you went, and now you from our sights did a grave conceal,

Men assaulted and slighted us, when you became far away

So, now what rightfully belongs to us is being taken away.

You were the moon, your light showed us what we should heed,

Messages from the Exalted One were to you revealed.

With the Verses did Gabriel make our day,

Now you are gone, every good thing is kept away.

How we wish in our direction death did the Almighty guide

Before you left us, and you did the dunes from us hide.

We shall cry over you so long as our tears can pour,

So long as floods of tears can withstand and endure.

We have been afflicted with tragedy on his account

One who is pure in peers, folks and lineage,

For you are the best of Allah ’s creation and

Most truthful of those who only the truth defend.

ـ من أشار إلى خطبة الصديقة فاطمة (عليها السلام( أو روى شيئاً منها نذكر بعضاً منهم على سبيل المثال لا الحصر، وهم كالتالي:

1 ـ الخليل بن أحمد الفراهيدي (ت 175 هـ) في كتاب العين: 8 / 323 في كلمة اللمّة، قال: وفي الحديث جاءت فاطمة (عليها السلام) إلى أبي بكر في لُميمة من حفدتها ونساء قومها.

2 ـ جار الله محمد بن عمر الزمخشري (ت 538 هـ) في الفائق: 3 / 331 في مادة اللمة أيضاً قال: وفي حديث فاطمة )عليها السلام): إنّها خرجت في لمة من نسائها تتوطّأ ذيلها، حتى دخلت على أبي بكر.

3 ـ أبو الفرج عبد الرحمن بن علي بن الجوزي، (ت 597 هـ( في غريب الحديث: 2 / 333 وقال : وفي الحديث: أنّ فاطمة )عليها السلام) خرجت في لمة من نسائها إلى أبي بكر فعاتبته. أي في جماعة؛ وقيل: من الثلاث إلى العشر.

4 ـ مجد الدين أبو السعادات ابن الأثير (ت 606 هـ(. في النهاية في غريب الحديث والأثر: 4 / 273 وقال في حديث فاطمة )عليها السلام : (إنّها خرجت في لمة من نسائها تتوطّأ ذيلها، إلى أبي بكر فعاتبته.

5 ـ أبو الفضل جمال الدين بن منظور )ت 711 هـ (في لسان العرب: 12 / 548 وقال: وفي حديث فاطمة (عليها السلام : (إنّها خرجت في لمة من نسائها تتوطّأ ذيلها إلى أبي بكر فعاتبته. ذكرها في مادة لمم.

References to this speech by the Truthful One, Fatima , peace with her, including some who cited excerpts of it, include the following:

Al-Khalil ibn Ahmed al-Farahidi الخليل بن أحمد الفراهيدي (d. 175 A.H./792 A.D.) on p. 323, Vol. 8, of Kitab al-’Ayn,

Jarallah Muhammed ibn ‘Umar al-Zamakhshari, الزمخشري (d. 538 A.H./1144 A.D.) on p. 331, Vol. 3, of Al-Fa’iq;

Abul-Faraj Abdur-Rahman ibn Ali ibn al-Jawzi ابن الجوزي (d. 597 A.H./1201 A.D.),

Majd ad-Din Abu al-Sa’adat Ibn al-Athir ابن الأثير (d. 606 A.H./1210 A.D.) on p. 273, Vol. 4 of his book titled An-Nihaya,

Abul-Fa¤l Jamal ad-Din ibn Man¨our ابن منظور (d. 711 A.H./1312 A.D.) on p. 548, Vol. 12 (old edition) of his lexicon titled Lisan al-’Arab.

A Brief History of Fadak After Fatima's Death

The motive which prompts us to pursue the history of Fadak and to extract the series of events after it for a period of three centuries from the texts of historical books is to clarify three issues:

a. The truth about the rule of annulment of inheritance from prophets allegedly made by the Holy Prophet S; in other words, the claim that property of the Holy Prophet S is part of the public treasury, baytul-mal, and belongs to all Muslims. This was claimed by the first caliph, Abu Bakr, and it was rejected by his successors, i.e. by both next caliphs (‘’Umar and ‘Othman), by the Umayyads and the Abbassids, all of them. We must consider that the lawfulness and rightfulness of their caliphate depended on the "correctness"and "lawfulness" of the caliphate of the first caliph and his actions.

b. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and the descendants of Fatima (sa) never had any hesitation regarding the rightfulness and justification of their claim. They emphasized and confirmed that Fatima (sa) had always been right and that Abu Bakr's claim had always been rejected; they did not yield to false claims.

c. Whenever a caliph made a decision to put Allah's command into effect, with regard to Fadak, to observe justice and equity and to restore the right to the entitled one in conformity with Islamic rules, he used to return Fadak to the descendants of Fatima (sa). ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab was the most harsh person in depriving Fatima (sa) of her Fadak estate as he himself later confessed, probably with remorse, thus: "When the Messenger of Allah S died, I came along with Abu Bakr to Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and said, "What do you say about what has been left by the Messenger of Allah S?" He replied, "We have the most rights with the Holy Prophet S." I (‘’Umar) said, "Even those properties of Khaybar?" He said, "Yes, even those of Khaybar." I said, "Even those of Fadak?" He replied, "Yes, even those of Fadak."

Then I said, "By Allah! We say NO even if you cut our necks with saws" as recorded in Majma’ al-Zawa'id, Vol. 9, pp. 39 - 40. As it has already been mentioned, ‘’Umar then took the document (deed of ownership) of Fadak and tore it up. But when ‘’Umar became caliph (13 - 23 A.H./634 - 644 A.D.), he gave Fadak back to heirs of the Holy Prophet S. Discussing the Fadak issue, Yaqut al-Hamawi (574 - 626 A.H./1178 - 1229 A.D.), the famous historian and geographer, says the following: "When ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab became caliph and gained victories and the Muslims secured abundant wealth (i.e. the public treasury satisfied the caliphate's needs), he made a judgment contrary to that of his predecessor. He gave it (Fadak) back to the Prophet's heirs. At the time, Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib disputed about Fadak."


Ali said that the Holy Prophet S had bestowed it on Fatima (sa) during his lifetime. Abbas denied this and used to say, "This was in the possession of the Holy Prophet S and I have a share in this inheritance." They were disputing this with each other and asked ‘’Umar to settle the case. He refused to judge between them and said, "Both of you are more conscious and aware of your problem; but I only give it [Fadak] to you" (Mu’jam al-Buldan, Vol. 4, pp. 238 -239; Wafa' al-Wafa', Vol. 3, p. 999; Tahdhib al-Lughah, Vol. 10, p. 124; Lisan al-Arab, Vol. 10, p. 473; Taj al-’Arus, Vol. 7, p. 166).

The reason why ‘’Umar and Abu Bakr were trying to seize Fadak was economic and political, not merely a religious one, as the previous episode shows. When the economic and political conditions of the caliphate improved, and when there was no need for the income obtained from Fadak, ‘’Umar reversed his own decision.

The last part of this historic event has been inserted afterwards to demonstrate the matter of inheritance by the brother or paternal uncle of the deceased when the latter had no sons. This problem is a matter of dispute among Islamic sects. The judicial and jurisprudential discussion is separate from our own goal in the writing of this book. We are only discussing the matter historically.

Abbas had no claim in this case because he had not proven that he had a share in this property, nor did his descendants consider it to be among their own assets even when they [the Abbasides] became caliphs and were ruling the Islamic lands. They either considered themselves as owners of this estate in their capacity as caliphs, or they used to return it to the descendants of Fatima (sa) when they had decided to be just rulers.

When ‘Othman ibn ‘Affan became caliph, following the death of ‘’Umar (23 - 35 A.H./644 - 656 A.D.), he granted Fadak to Marwan ibn al-Hakam, his cousin (see Al-Sunan al-Kubra, Vol. 6, p. 301; Wafa' al-Wafa', Vol. 3, p. 1000; Ibn Abul-Hadid, Vol. 1, p. 198) and this was one of the causes of hostile feelings among the Muslims against ‘Othman: Refer to Al-Ma’arif, Ibn Qutaybah, p. 195; Al-’Iqd al-Farid, Vol. 4, pp. 283, 435; Abul-Fida', Tarikh,Vol. 1, p. 168; Ibn al-Wardi, Tarikh, Vol. 1, p. 204.

These hostile sentiments ended in the rebellion against him and, subsequently, in his murder. "While previously Fatima (sa) used to claim it, sometimes as her inheritance and sometimes as a gift (from her father), she was driven away from it (Fadak)," as Ibn Abul-Hadid has said in Sharh Nahjul-Balagha. In this way, Fadak fell into the possession of Marwan. He used to sell its crops, fruits and products for at least ten thousand dinars per year. If in some years its income decreased, this drop was not made public. This was its usual profit till the time of the caliphate of ‘’Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz (in 100 A.H./718 A.D.) (Ibn Sa’d, Vol. 5, pp. 286, 287; Subh al-A’sha, Vol. 4, p. 291).

When Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (41 - 60 A.H./661 - 680 A.D.) declared himself ruler of Syria, he became partner in Fadak with Marwan ibn al-Hakam and others, allotting one third of it to Marwan, one third to ‘Amr son of ‘Othman ibn ‘Affan, and one third to his own son Yazid, as if it were their personal property. This was after the death of Imam al-Hassan ibn Ali (as). "In order to enrage the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S), as al-Ya’qubi states on p. 199, Vol. 2 of his Tarikh, it remained in the possession of the three above-mentioned individuals till Marwan became monarch for less than a couple of years (64 - 65 A.H./684 - 685 A.D.); he took full possession of it. Then he doled it out to his two sons, Abdul-Malik and Abdul-Aziz. Then Abdul-Aziz doled out his share to his son (‘’Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz).

When ‘’Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz became caliph (99 - 101 A.H./717 - 720 A.D.) for this shorter period, he delivered a sermon once in which he said, "Verily, Fadak was among the things which Allah had bestowed on His Messenger and neither horse nor camel was stirred for its acquisition."He mentioned the history of the Fadak case during the past monarchies till he said the following: "Then Marwan [ibn al-Hakam] gave it (Fadak) to my father and to Abdul-Malik.

It became mine as well as al-Walid's and Sulayman's (Marwan's two sons). When al-Walid became ruler (86 - 96 A.H./705 - 715 A.D.), I asked him for his share and he gave it to me. I also asked for Sulayman's share and he, too, gave it to me. Then I gathered the three parts and I possessed no property more dear to me than it. Do testify that I have returned it to its original status (as property of Fatima's descendants)."He wrote to his governor over Medina, Abu Bakr ibn Muhammed ibn ‘Amr ibn Hazm, ordering him to carry out what he had declared in this sermon.

Then Fadak went back to the possession of the children of Fatima (sa). "This was the first removal of oppression through the returningof Fadak to the children of Ali ," Abu Hilal al-’Askari writes on p. 209 of his work titled Al-Awa'il. They possessed it during the rule of ‘’Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz.

When Yazid ibn Abdul-Malik became caliph (101 - 105 A.H./720 - 724 A.D.), he seized Fadak and they (Ali's children) were again dispossessed, robbed of their property. It fell into the possession of the children of Marwan ibn al-Hakam, cousin of ‘Othman ibn Affan, as it had previously used to be. They passed it from one to another till their authority came to an end. It was then that it passed to the hands of Banu al-Abbas, the Abbasids or Abbasides or Abbasis.

When "Abul-Abbas" Abdullah as-Saffah became the first caliph of the Abbasid dynasty (132 - 136 A.H./749 - 754 A.D.), he returned Fadak to the children of Fatima (sa), handing it over to Abdullah ibn al-Hassan ibn al-Hassan [known as al-Hassan al-Muthanna or al-Hassan II] son of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as). When "Abu Ja’far" Abdullah al-Mansur ad-Dawaniqi (136 - 158 A.H./754 -775 A.D.) became caliph, he confiscated Fadak from the offspring of Imam al-Hassan C. When Muhammed al-Mahdi, son of al-Mansur, became caliph (158 - 169 A.H./775 - 785 A.D.), he returned Fadak to the children of Fatima (sa). Then Musa al-Hadi ibn al-Mahdi (169 - 170 A.H./785 - 786 A.D.) and his brother Harun ar-Rashid (170 - 193 A.H./786 - 809 A.D.) confiscated it from the descendants of Fatima (sa). It found itself in the possession of Banu al-Abbas till the time when al-Ma’mun became caliph (193 - 218 A.H./813 - 833 A.D.). Al-Ma’mun al-Abbasi gave it back to the descendants of Fatima (sa) in 210 A.H./826 A.D.).

It is narrated through al-Mahdi ibn Sabiq that al-Ma’mun one day sat to hear the complaints of the people and to judge in their disputes. The first complaint which he received caused him to weep on considering it. When he asked where the defending representative of the children of Fatima (sa) daughter of the Holy Prophet (S) was, an old man stood up and came forth. He argued with him about Fadak, and al-Ma’mun, too, argued till the first won the argument over al-Ma’mun, as we read on p. 209 of Al-Awa'il. Al-Ma’mun summoned the faqihs and questioned them about the claim of the descendants of Fatima (sa).

They narrated to al-Ma’mun saying that the Holy Prophet (S) gave Fadak to Fatima (sa) as a gift and that after the death of the Holy Prophet (S), Fatima (sa) demanded Abu Bakr to return it to her. He asked her to bring witnesses to her claim regarding this gift. She brought Ali, al-Hassan, al-Husayn (as) and Umm Ayman  as her witnesses.

They testified in the case in her favor. Abu Bakr rejected their testimony. Then al-Ma’mun asked the faqihs: "What is your view about Umm Ayman?" They replied, 'she is a woman to whom the Holy Prophet (S) testified that she is a resident of Paradise."Al-Ma’mun disputed at length with them and forced them to accept his argument. They finally confessed that Ali, al-Hassan, al-Husayn (as) and Umm Ayman  had testified only to the truth. When they unanimously adopted this stand, he restored Fadak to the descendants of Fatima (sa) as we read on pp. 195-96 of Vol. 3 of the famous history book, Tarikh, by the earliest historian, al-Ya’qubi.

Then al-Ma’mun ordered the Fadak estate to be registered as the property of the descendants of Fatima (sa). Once it was registered, al-Ma’mun signed the deed in person. Then he wrote a letter to his governor in Medina, Qutham ibn Ja’far, as follows:

"Be informed that Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), exercising the authority vested on him by the divine religion as the caliph, successor and kinsman of the Holy Prophet (S), considered himself more worthy of following the precedent of the Holy Prophet (S) and of carrying out his commands. And (the chief is more entitled) to restore to the rightful persons any endowment gifted by the Holy Prophet (S) or anything which the Holy Prophet (S) had gifted to anyone.

The success and safeguarding of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) is done by Allah, and he is particularly anxious to act in a way which will win the pleasure of the Almighty for him. Verily, the Holy Prophet (S) had gifted the estate of Fadak to his daughter, Fatima (sa). He had transferred its ownership to her. It is a clear and an established fact. None of the kindred of the Holy Prophet (S) has any difference of view in this regard. Fatima (sa) always claimed that which was more worthy (to be justified) than the person (Abu Bakr) whose word was accepted.

Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) considers it right and proper to restore Fadak to the heirs of Fatima (sa). He will hereby win nearness to Allah Almighty by establishing His justice and right. It will win the appreciation of the Holy Prophet (S) by carrying his commandments into effect. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) has commanded that this restoration of Fadak should duly be registered. This command should be transmitted to all officials.

"As it was a custom to proclaim on every annual hajj gathering after the death of the Holy Prophet (S), anyone to whom the Holy Prophet had promised by way of a gift or a present should come forward. His statement will be accepted and the promise will thus be fulfilled. Certainly, Fatima (sa) had a superior right to have her statements accepted in the matter of the gifting of Fadak by the Holy Prophet to her.

"Verily, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) has commanded his servant, Mubarak al-Tabari, to restore Fadak to the descendants of Fatima (sa) the daughter of the Holy Prophet (S), in all its borders, rights and servants attached thereto, cereal crops and other things.

"The same has been restored to Muhammed ibn Yahya ibn al-Hassan ibn Zaid ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and Muhammed ibn Abdullah ibn al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (as).

"Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) appointed both of them as agents representing the owners of the lands: the heirs of Fatima (sa). Be then informed that this is the view of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and that Allah has inspired him to obey the order of Allah and to win His pleasure and the pleasure of the Holy Prophet (S). Let also your subordinates know this. Behave towards Muhammed ibn Yahya and Muhammed ibn Abdullah in the same manner as you used to behave towards Mubarak al-Tabari. Help them both in everything which has anything to do with its flourishing and prosperity, its improvement in abundance of cereals by Allah's will, and that is the end of the matter."

This document was dated Wednesday, two nights past Dhul-Qi’dah, of the year 210 A.H. which coincided with February 14, 826 A.D.

During the period of al-Ma’mun's government, Fadak was in the possession of Fatima's descendants. This continued during the caliphate of al-Mu’tasim (218 - 227 A.H./833 - 842 A.D.) and that of al-Wathiq (227 - 232 A.H./842 - 847 A.D.).

When Ja’far al-Mutawakkil became caliph (232 - 247 A.H./847 - 861 A.D.), the one among them who was marked as an arch-enemy of the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S), both of those alive and of those dead, gave the order to again confiscate Fadak from the descendants of Fatima (sa). He seized it and gave it to his poet Harmalah al-Hajjam (the cupper).

After the death of al-Hajjam, he gave it to al-Bazyar (the falconer, a native of Tabaristan), according to Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, pp. 121 - 122; Bihar al-Anwar [1st old ed.], Vol. 8, p. 108 and Safinat al-Bihar, Vol. 2, p. 351. Abu Hilal al-’Askari stated that his name was Abdullah ibn ‘’Umar al-Bazyar and added: "... And there were in it (Fadak) eleven date-palm trees which the Holy Prophet (S) had planted with his own hands.

The descendants of Abu Talib used to pick these dates. When pilgrims (hujjaj) entered Medina, these descendants donated the dates to them. Through this, they received a considerable return. This news reached al-Mutawakkil. He ordered Abdullah ibn ‘’Umar to pick the produce and to squeeze it into juice. Abdullah ibn ‘’Umar sent a man named Bishr ibn Umayyah ath-Thaqafi who squeezed the produce into juice. It was reported that he made it into wine..., Astaghfirullah"! It had not reached Basra, on its way to this Mutawakkil despot, before decaying. By then al-Mutawakkil was killed, as we read on p. 209 of Al-Awa'il.

When al-Mutawakkil was killed and al-Muntasir (his son) succeeded him (247 - 248 A.H./861 - 862 A.D.), the latter issued an order to restore Fadak to its rightful owners, the descendants of al-Hassan and al-Husayn C, awarding grants to them in order to mitigate them. This took place in 248 A.H./862 A.D. according to the following references:Fath al-Buldan, Vol. 1, pp. 33 - 38; Mu’jam al-Buldan, Vol. 4, pp. 238 - 240; Tarikh, al-Ya’qubi, Vol. 2, p. 199; Vol. 3, pp. 48, 195 - 196; Al-Tarikh Al-Kamil, Ibn al-Athir, Vol. 2, pp. 224 - 225; Vol. 3, pp. 457, 497; Vol. 5, p. 63; Vol. 7, p. 116; Al-’Iqd al-Farid, Vol. 4, pp. 216, 283, 435; Wafa' al-Wafa', Vol. 3, pp. 999 - 1000; Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 5, pp. 286 - 287; Tarikh al-Khulafa', pp. 231 - 232, 356; Muruj al-Dhahab, Vol. 4, p. 82; Sirat ‘’Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz, Ibn al-Jawzi, p. 110; Subh al-A’sha, Vol. 4, p. 291; Jamharat Rasa"il al-’Arab, Vol. 2, pp. 331 - 332; Vol. 3, pp. 509 - 510; A’lam an-Nisa', Vol. 3, pp. 1211 - 1212; Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 16, pp. 277 - 278; Al-Awa'il, p. 209; Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, pp. 120 - 122; Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 8, pp. 107 - 108.

It seemed that Fadak was re-seized from the descendants of Fatima (sa) after the death of Abdul-Nasir "al-Muntasir Billah", which took place in 248 A.H./862 A.D., because "Abul-Hassan"Ali ibn Isa al-Irbili (d. 692 A.H./1293 A.D.) stated that al-Mu’tadid (279 - 289 A.H./892 - 902 A.D.) returned Fadak to the descendants of Fatima (sa). Then he mentioned that al-Muqtafi (289 - 295 A.H./902 - 908 A.D.) seized it from them. It is said also that al-Muqtadir (295 - 320 A.H./908 - 932 A.D.) returned it to them (to the descendants of Fatima [ع]), according to Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 122; Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 8, p. 108 and Safinat al-Bihar, Vol. 2, p. 351.

After this long period of re-seizing and restoring, Fadak was returned to the possession of the usurpers and their heirs. It seems there is no further mention that such changing hands was ever made in history, and the curtain fell. "Is it then that the judgment of (the times of pagan) ignorance that they desire? And who (else) can be better than Allah to judge for a people of assured faith?" (Qur"an, 5:50).

Back to the Ikhtisas Book

He, may Allah have mercy on him, has also narrated in the same book, I mean Al-Ikhtisas, another incident stating that the “second caliph” kicked her house door with his foot, breaking it, then he kicked Fatima (sa) with his foot, causing her to miscarry Muhsin.12

He has also narrated another tradition at the end of the same book wherein he quotes Abu ‘Abdullah (as) as saying, “... and [God condemns] the killer of the Commander of the Faithful, the killer of Fatima, the killer of al-Muhsin, the killer of al-Hassan, and the killer of al-Husayn..., etc.”13

As regarding the accuracy of attributing the book titled Al-Ikhtisas to Shaikh al-Mufid, we have stated in a query to follow that doubting the accuracy of attributing it to Shaikh al-Mufid is out of question in the absence of an acceptable or a reasonable justification. We also said that it appears that al-Mufid chose this part of the book from Al-Ikhtisas by Ibn ‘Imran; thereupon, his choice of this tradition in particular, may Allah have mercy on him, is due to a merit which he saw and which caused him to prefer it over others.

FOURTH: Shaikh al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on him, discussed what al-Zahra’ (sa) had to go through in more than one place in his other books as well. So, notice the following:

1. Al-Kanji al-Shafi’i has cited Shaikh al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on him, saying that the latter added to what is narrated by the mass of others the following: Fatima (sa) miscarried a boy after the demise of the Prophet S, one who had been named by the Messenger of Allah S as Muhsin. This is something which is not reported by transmitters with the exception of Ibn Qutaybah.”14

Al-Kanji, then, attributes to specifically al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on him, the claim that al-Muhsin was miscarried, apparently with the intention to point out to what he, may Allah have mercy on him, stated in Al-Irshad. There is a strong possibility that he had pointed out to what Al-Ikhtisas has stated. But we would like to say the following to al-Kanji in this regard: A simple review of the transmitted texts will demonstrate that many, besides Ibn Qutaybah, had also transmitted the same, and we will, Insha-Allah, mention many of such texts in the parts of this book.

2. Shaikh al-Mufid has stated in his book titled Al-Muqanna’a, which deals with Shi’i fiqh, and also in the book titled Al-Mazar, a particular ziyara of the truthful one and the pure, which states that she (sa) is a martyr. In it, we read the following: “Peace with you, the batul, the pure martyr.”15 What was the reason behind her martyrdom other than what those folks put her through? Was she (sa) martyred because of an ailment that afflicted her? Or did she have an accident such as falling from her house’s rooftop?! Or was she anonymously assassinated?! Texts will be cited which al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded as they fit in the section dedicated to texts by the will of Allah.

3. Al-Mufid, may Allah sanctify him, recorded the attempts to set the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) to fire in his book titled Al-Amali from al-Ji’abi from al-’Abbas ibn al-Mughirah from Ahmed ibn Mansur al-Ramadi from Sa’d ibn ‘Afar from Ibn Lahi’ah from Khalid ibn Yazid from Abu Hilal from Marwan ibn ‘Othman saying, “When people swore the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, Ali (as), together with al-Zubayr and al-Miqdad, remained at the house of Fatima (sa) and refused to get out (to swear it). ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab said, ‘Set the house on fire.’ Al-Zubayr came out with his sword unsheathed... Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) came out and was met by Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas who asked him, ‘What are you going to do, O Father of al-Hassan?’ He said, ‘They wanted to set my house to fire while Abu Bakr is sitting on the pulpit as people swear the oath of allegiance to him, and he is neither defending us nor finding fault with the assault...’ Thabit said to him, ‘My hand shall never part from yours till I am killed defending you.’ They all went out and returned to Medina. Fatima was standing at her door. There was nobody inside her house at the moment. She said, ‘I have never seen people whose presence is worse than yours. You abandoned the corpse of the Messenger of Allah S inside the coffin lying in front of us and settled your own affair among you without granting us any authority, then you did what you did, safeguarding no right for us.’”16

This tradition is quite clear in its indication that an attempt was made to enter her house by force and that they assaulted its residents because Ali (as) said, “... while Abu Bakr is sitting on the pulpit as people swear the oath of allegiance to him, and he is neither defending us nor finding fault with the assault...’ There was an assault going on which needed to be stopped and an oppression which needed to be denounced. Also, the sentence saying “They wanted to set my house to fire” implies that they did make such an attempt such as gathering firewood, especially when he described how Abu Bakr was “... neither defending us nor finding fault with the assault,” that is, he neither objected to, nor did he stop, what they wanted to do, i.e. burning his house. So, the issue was not merely an empty threat. This is supported by his saying “... They wanted...” instead of saying “They threatened to set my house to fire.”

This narrative is clearly indicative of the house which they were going to assault was inside the Mosque facing the pulpit of the Messenger of Allah S where Abu Bakr was sitting to receive the oath of allegiance after he had returned from the saqifa accompanied by his supporters who were escorting him to the Mosque and who were forcing people to swear the oath of allegiance to him. What was going on did go on before his very eyes; he neither stopped it nor even denounced it.

It is quite obvious that the grave of the Messenger of Allah S was at the house of Fatima (sa), not at the house of ‘A’isha, as we investigated and verified17. They neither respected the sanctity of the grave, nor that of the Mosque, nor that of the house, nor that of al-Zahra’ (sa)...

4. Al-Mufid has also said the following in his book titled Al-Jamal: “When people from Bana Hashim and others assembled at Fatima’s house to demonstrate their objection to the authority of Abu Bakr and to show their differences with him, ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab sent Qunfath and said to him, ‘Get them out of the house. If they do not get out, collect firewood at its door and tell them that if they do not get out to swear the oath of allegiance, you will set the house to fire.’ Then he (‘’Umar) went with a group of men which included al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah al-Thaqafi and Salim slave of Abu Huthayfah till they reached the door of Ali, peace with him. He (‘’Umar) called out: ‘O Fatima daughter of the Messenger of Allah! Get those who have sought shelter in your house out so that they may swear the oath of allegiance and join the Muslims in what they have agreed on, otherwise, by Allah, I shall set them all to fire!’”18 This narrative is quite famous. What he (al-Mufid), may Allah have mercy on him, has written in his book titled Al-Irshad what we have already quoted above, so there is no need to quote it again here.

Al-Ikhtisas Book by Shaikh al-Mufid

We have already stated that someone has made casting some doubt about the attribution of the book titled Al-Ikhtisas to Shaikh al-Mufid an excuse for refusing to rely on what he narrates of the oppression to which al-Zahra’ (sa) was subjected and to refuse to attribute narrating it to al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on him.

We say that after having taken into consideration what is said about Al-Ikhtisas by Shaikh al-Mufid, we have found such questions to be unreliable to cast doubt about the accuracy of attributing all of this to such a great man of knowledge. We are here briefly answering some of the issues which were raised about this book, so let us say the following:

1. There are many traditions in the book which start thus: “I was told by Ja’far ibn al-Husayn, the believer..., etc.,” so, some people thought that the book was written by this man!

But, mind you, there are many other traditions in the book which do not start with the name of this man but with the names of others, or they may add other individuals with the use of a conjunction pronoun. So, all of this contradicts the attribution of the book to the said individual.

2. Authors of encyclopedias, such as al-Najjashi’s Rijal, al-Tusi’s Fahrist and Ibn Shahr Ashub’s Ma’alim al-’Ulema’, do not refer to this book as being among those authored by al-Mufid.

The answer to this is that all these compilers did not mention all what al-Mufid had written. Rather, each author listed some of them, and Al-Ikhtisas is one book which they did not list. We will Insha-Allah discuss why they did not list it among his works.

3. The handwritten copies of this book contain a great deal of confusion: The book’s sermon in one copy is found at the end of all its pages in another!

The answer is that the pages of some copies may have become out of order, so the compilers put them together the best that they could.

4. Here is another question: “Muhammed ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman said..., etc.” “Who is this man?!”

The answer is derived from what the author himself says, as was customary among ancient authors, and not the statement of others who transmitted him, may Allah have mercy on him.

It is possible that this statement was written by some people as explanatory, then the copyists inserted it in the original through an inserious mistake which needs no proving. His choice of al-Mufid rather than anyone else was due to the reference to some of al-Mufid’s mentors in the book. It is said to him: “Just as these were his mentors, they were the mentors of others as well.” But there are in the book others who are not known to be al-Mufid’s mentors, that the book is al-Mufid’s, and that the other possibilities were not taken into consideration, and they are more numerous!

5. The book is formatted more like a collection of narratives most of which deal with the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt, peace with them. It does not follow its sequence, according to a logical and harmonious procedure, whereas al-Mufid is characterized by precision and innovation.

We say that this is not a fault in the book. The objective of some authors may be to write collections of narratives or something else. Al-Mufid himself is the writer of the book titled Al-Amali, a modern book which is also formatted like a collection of narratives. Shaikh al-Mufid’s precision and innovation do not have to manifest themselves in his modern books as is obvious. Regardless of this fact, the book is a selection by Shaikh al-Mufid of citations from the book titled Al-Ikhtisas by Ibn ‘Imran as we shall see.

6. There are researches in the book which are not in sync with al-Mufid’s views in all his books, nor does the general framework of the book itself indicate that it is authored by an intellectual such as Shaikh al-Mufid; rather, it is closer to the writing of a modernist such as Shaikh al-Saduq, for example.

The answer to this is already known from what we have already stated, that is, the objective may have been to safeguard some traditions within a collection of narratives as is the case with Al-Amali, for example, one of which was written by Shaikh al-Mufid. Add to this the possibility that the compilation of these traditions may have taken place before al-Mufid became an imam in tenets, fiq, etc.

The objective behind compiling them may not have been to put them together as a book artistically arranged which people handle and on which they rely. Add to this the fact that the view relevant to the traditions or to the creed does not prohibit the importation of what may contradict it, such as the traditions which may agree therewith.

A scholar is characterized by conforming to the rules of the research of hadith when he studies it and to also uphold all the restrictions and follow the procedures adhered to with regard to traditions and to transmitting and selecting them while assuming the role of a traditionist. For this reason, we find the traditionists narrating contradictory incidents in their books despite their adoption and acceptance of a particular group thereof, especially in the area of fiqh, and this can be seen from reviewing the books of al-Kulayni and al-Saduq as well as those of others.

We have seen how a scholar writes assuming the role of a traditionist, as is the case with al-Tusi, may Allah sanctify him, who wrote Al-Nihaya, which is a collection of narratives. A philosopher may write like those who introduce their ideas tot the public, as happened to Shaikh Nasir ad-Din al-Tusi in some of his letters. Or a traditionist may write like a philosopher, as happened to al-Fakhr al-Razi. A sufi may assume the role of a philosopher, as is the case with al-Ghazali, and those like them are quite few.

On the other hand, we say that some views may change as time goes by especially if a scholar holds a view and enjoys an intellectual vitality and treads the path of perfection in his awareness, intellect and knowledge. The degrees of an author’s awareness of certain considerations which he observes as he from time to time writes. Yet we shall mention that the contents of this book are selections by al-Mufid from another book.

7. Another observation is recorded about Al-Ikhtisas which is: the existence of fault or sometimes ambiguity in referring to some pronouns in it, or the existence of a large gap between the pronoun and what it denotes.

This point has been answered by saying that such is not confined only to this book but does exist in various ones such as Al-Kafi, Al-Tahthib and Al-Wasa'il as well.

This issue is rendered to various reasons; among them is that the author may come across a narrative, so he places it somewhere in his book, paying no attention to the necessity of reconsidering the sequence which is supposed to be observed in placing the pronoun and what it denotes between two narratives separated by a new tradition or a new statement.

8. One of their criticism about this book is that its author once quotes from books like those of al-Saduq, or from Basa’ir al-Darajat or from other Shaikhs.

If we discern the Shaikhs (mentors) whom he has quoted, we will find five of them to be mentors of al-Mufid and sixteen others for whom al-Mufid does not quote a single narrative except in his book titled Al-Ikhtisas. On the other hand, there are mentors of al-Mufid who enjoy a distinctive status, while there is not a single narration about them in Al-Ikhtisas, such as al-Ji’abi, Ahmed ibn Muhammed ibn al-Hassan ibn al-Walad, al-Sayrafi, and others.

The answer to this point is that the author of the book is apparently Ibn ‘Imran who was chosen by al-Mufid who quoted what he liked from him. The book’s sources are, then, the mentors of Ibn ‘Imran, not those of al-Mufid. There will be more to back this fact by the will of Allah Almighty.

SECOND: It is possible that the author of the book wrote it before he had many mentors. He, may Allah have mercy on him, may have selected all or some of its narratives from the books which he had with him, and there is nothing wrong with that.

THIRD: The (critics) say that some of those quoted by the author of the book are not quoted by al-Mufid in his books. This cannot serve as evidence to deny his authorship of the book. He may in one place quote a mentor who was not quoted by his own other mentors. He may learn from new mentors, so he writes about them then leaves them to take other mentors for reasons varying along the passage of time according to conditions, circumstances and objectives.

Is there among the scholars of hadith anyone who preconditions the narrator to quote in all his book each and every mentor of his from whom he learned during his lengthy scholarly history?!

Having stated all the above, there are many copies of Al-Ikhtisas which are as follows:

1. The copy written from the one by Shaikh al-Hurr19 which has attributed the writing of the book to Shaikh al-Mufid without any ambiguity about its being written by him. The following had been written on it: The Book of Al-Ikhtisas by Shaikh al-Mufid, Muhammed ibn Muhammed ibn al-Nu’man, selected from Al-Ikhtisas by Ahmed ibn al-Husayn ibn ‘Imran.” At its conclusion, he wrote the following: “This is the complete text of the book Al-Ikhtisas by Shaikh al-Mufid, may Allah sanctify him.”

As regarding the copy of Shaikh al-Hurr himself, it was written on it that it was the property of Shaikh al-Hurr, may Allah have mercy on him, in 1087 A.H. The date of its writing is not known, and it is available at the Library of Ayatollah [Muhsin] al-Hakim, may Allah have mercy on him, in Najaf al-Ashraf (Iraq).

2. There is another copy at Library Spah Salar-Tehran with the date of its writing as 1118 A.H. Its scribe has written down saying that the book is abridged from Al-Ikhtisas by Ahmed ibn al-Husayn ibn ‘Imran. This statement is not different from what is written on the copy of Shaikh al-Hurr because what is meant by it is that Al-Ikhtisas itself if Ibn ‘Imran’s, and this does not contradict its abridged version to be Shaikh al-Mufid’s as well.

3. There is an old copy at the Library of the mausoleum of Imam al-Rida (as) with the date of its writing indicated as 1055 A.H. After several pages, the following statement is written:

“This book is extracted from the book titled Al-Ikhtisas by Abu Ali, Ahmed ibn al-Husayn ibn Ahmed ibn ‘Imran, may Allah have mercy on him.”

This statement, too, does not contradict what is written on the copy of Shaikh al-Hurr himself for the same afore-mentioned reason, that is, Al-Ikhtisas itself is written by Ibn ‘Imran while its abridged version is Shaikh al-Mufid’s.

It seems that some of the pages of this copy are ahead of or following those of other versions, as it appears from observing it closely, and this happens for many reasons.

So, there is no objection to attributing the printed book, Al-Ikhtisas, which agrees with the first two editions, to Shaikh al-Mufid since he selected its contents from Ibn ‘Imran’s book, so much so that he sets out to select its precious legacies and jewels of narratives. The testimony to this is the fact that the book titled Al-Fusul al-Mukhtara, which is selections by al-Sharif al-Radi from the contents of Al-’Uyun wal Mahasin by al-Mufid, is not counted among the works of al-Sharif. Rather, its attribution to al-Mufid is more obvious and clear and is still counted among his works as is well known.

  • 1. Al-Shafi, Talkhis, Vol. 3, p. 156.
  • 2. Jannat al-Ma’wa, pp. 78-81.
  • 3. Al-Bid’ wal-Tarikh, Vol. 5, p. 20.
  • 4. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 2, p. 60.
  • 5. Dala’il al-Sidq, Vol. 3, section 1.
  • 6. Al-Mufid, Al-Irshad, Vol. 1, p. 355 (edition published by the al al-Bayt for the revival of the legacy of Beirut, Lebanon, in 1416 A.H./1995 A.D.).
  • 7. Al-Shafi, Talkhis, Vol. 3, p. 156.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Al-Mufid, Al-Irshad, Vol. 1, p. 189 (published by the al al-Bayt (as) Foundation)
  • 11. Al-Mufid, Al-Ikhtisas, p. 185. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 29, p. 192.
  • 12. Refer to Al-Ikhtisas, p. 344 and Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 29, pp. 192 and Vol. 28, p. 227 and Vol. 7, p. 270.
  • 13. Al-Mufid, Al-Ikhtisas, p. 344. Kamil al-Ziyarat, p. 327, through another isnad. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 7, p. 270 and Vol. 8, p. 213. He also cited al-Saffar’s book titled Basa’ir al-Darajat.
  • 14. Kifayat al-Talib, p. 413.
  • 15. Al-Muqanna`a, p. 459. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 97, p. 195. Al-Balad al-Amin, p. 198.
  • 16. Al-Mufid, Al-Amali, pp. 50-59.
  • 17. Refer to my book titled Dirasat wa Buhuth fal Tarikh wal Islam (studies and researches in history and Islam), Vol. 1, p. 169, the research titled “Where was the Prophet buried: at the House of `A’isha or at Fatima’s House?”
  • 18. Al-Jamal (new edition), pp. 117-18.
  • 19. This copy is available at the sacred mausoleum of Imam al-Rida (as) in the city of Mash-had, Iran, written in either 1085 or 1087 A.H. (1674 or 1676 A.D.).

Part 5: Kashifal-Ghita’ And Sharafud-Din

What Kashifal-Ghita’ Says

One individual seeks an excuse from a statement made by the renown scholar and authority, Shaikh Muhammed Husayn Kashifal-Ghita’, whom he describes as a thinker, when asked about this subject. He considers the statement of Kashifal-Ghita’ as proving the invalidity of the claim that the rib of al-Zahra’ (sa) was broken because she was assaulted, and that this also negates the claim that they forcibly entered her house, beat her and were responsible for the events which preceded and succeeded that. The proofs on which Kashifal-Ghita’ relies are the following:

1. He, may Allah have mercy on him, has said, “I do not exonerate these folks, but hitting a woman was in those days a shameful act. Anyone who beats a woman will incur shame on himself and on his offspring. In Nahjul-Balagha, Ali (as) says, ‘Do not afflict women with any harm, even if they condemn your honour, because they are weak in body, in spirit, and in mind. If we, during the pre-Islamic era, used to be admonished to keep away from them, the polytheist that we were, so he and his offspring after him are all shamed for it.”1

2. He, may Allah have mercy on him, has also said, “But the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) and slapping her on the cheek is something which my conscience cannot accept, nor can my mind believe, nor my feelings are satisfied with it, because those folks would have been too embarrassed to commit such a momentous vile act. The Arab traditions and the pre-Islamic customs had already deepened such feelings of embarrassment..., etc.”2

3. Then he presumed that if they had something like that, they would have found from among the sahaba those who would have rebuked and stopped them.

4. He also derived his excuse from her lack of reference to their having beaten her or causing her to miscarry, nor did she refer to any of that in her speeches which contained her complaints against how she was treated by her people, how badly she was mistreated, such as her speech at the Mosque in the presence of the Muhajirun and ansar “although she was rebellious, extremely upset.” She said to Ali (as), “So-and-so usurped from me what I have inherited from my father S and what will both my sons inherit.” She did not say that he or his friend beat her. So is the case when she spoke to the ladies from the muhajirun and the ansar when she started her statement by saying, “I have, by Allah, become indifferent to your world, despising your men..., etc.”

But she did not complain except from the confiscation of Fadak and from the caliphate. Had beating her, slapping her cheek, breaking her rib and driving a nail in her chest been all true, these would have been much greater than the confiscation of Fadak. Also, when Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar came to seek Ali’s permission to visit and appease her, she did not mention to them anything of what she had been through. Ali, the Commander of the Faithful (sa), did not refer to any of these things in his sermons or statements.

His grief overwhelmed him after he had buried her. He addressed the Prophet S saying, “Peace with you, O Messenger of Allah, from me and from your daughter who is lying beside you..., etc.” The occasion demanded that he should have mentioned it, had it been so; it is a strong argument against them, and it contains a great emotional outburst against them from all directions.3 Then he, may Allah have mercy on him, regarded this matter as the doing of Qunfath al-Wardi and nobody else.

Such is stated and upheld by Shaikh Kashifal-Ghita’, and this individual, who seeks to cast doubts, repeats it in order to stir the dust of doubt about this issue.

In answer, we say that what is stated by Shaikh Kashifal-Ghita’ and which is utilized by this person to cast doubt about what happened to al-Zahra’ contains many points which we would like to state thus:

1. Kashifal-Ghita’ Does Not Deny What Took Place

Although we believe that Kashifal-Ghita’ does not deny the momentous events and the tribulations which al-Zahra’ (sa) went through, we say the following:

FIRST: Although he, may Allah have mercy on him, is a prominent scholar, this does not safeguard him against falling into error and confusion especially regarding an issue which needs more investigation of references. We have found how he mentioned the references on which he relies when stating his view regarding assaulting the house of al-Zahra’ (sa), beating her and causing her to miscarry. What he relies on is the evidence, so we have to look into such an evidence and subject it to our cross-examination, for it may not be accurate. His being an Imamite does not place him above scholarly criticism of objective discerning of his views and of what he relies on.

SECOND: Shaikh Kashifal-Ghita’ may be addressing those who sanctify the assailants and regard them as the criterion for what is right and the balance of the truth, so he wants to acquaint them with the truth without stirring their reservations or fanaticism. It is for this reason that we find him labeling this incident as “far-fetched,” putting the blame on a person towards him they have no sensitivity, nor do they sanctify him, namely Qunfath al-’Adawi.

What supports this conclusion is that he, may Allah have mercy on him, wrote it once in answer to a question which he had received. He simply took into consideration the state of mind of the inquirer, or the general condition wherein he does not want to stir hostile feelings or anxieties, especially after having demonstrated a great deal of interest in the issue of unity among the Muslims.

THIRD: We find this same great scholar disclosing his real view when there is no need for placating or flattering anyone, when his address is directed to those whose feelings he is supposed to respect. We, then, find him, may Allah have mercy on him, openly denouncing how al-Muhsin was miscarried, and how the fire was ignited at the house of Fatima (sa). He says the following verses of poetry:

At al-Taff, the grandson fell subdued:

This is the outcome of al-Muhsin

Miscarried behind the door.

And when the tents were set ablaze,

From the firewood of the house

Of the Guide’s daughter did it take its flame...4

FOURTH: He, himself, may Allah have mercy on him, states saying that there is a consensus regarding this matter, and we have already quoted some of his statements in this regard. Nevertheless, we would like to repeat them here again (with an addition):

“Numerous accounts in the books of the Shi’as since the inception of Islam, from the first century, such as the book of Sulaym ibn Qays and those of his successors till the eleventh century and beyond, actually till our time. It is recorded in all Shi’a books which dealt with what went on to the Imams and to their father, the great aya, and to their truthful mother, pace of Allah be on all of them. All those who documented their biographies and wrote a book about them have agreed with one another, or their researches agreed with one another, regarding the trials and tribulations which that particular divinely purified portion of the Prophet S had to undergo after the demise of her father, the Chosen One S, how the oppressors slapped her on her face, hit her cheek till her eyes became red and her ear-ring scattered on the ground in bits and pieces, and how she was squeezed with the door till her rib was broken and she miscarried till in the end she died and her wrist carried a black mark like a bracelet.

Poets who follow Ahl al-Bayt, peace of Allah be on them, dealt with this issue and with these shameful acts, using them as the material for their poems and eulogies, taking these details as agreed on. Among them are: al-Kumait, Sayyid al-Himyari, Du’bal al-Khuza’i, al-Numayri, al-Salimi, Deek al-Jinn and those who came after them, as well as those who preceded them, till this century. Major poets from among the Shi’as in the 13th and 14th centuries, such as al-Khatti, al-Ka’bi, al-Kawazan, al Sayyid Mahdi al-Hilli and others too many to count have elaborated on it.

Each of these heart-rending and horrible incidents, the most awful and abhorred norms of conduct which stir amazement and denunciation, are almost unacceptable to reason, nor can the mind nor the conscience absorb them, especially since the same folks had committed what they committed: the (confiscation of) caliphate, the usurpation of the divine post from its rightful owners, is surely greater and more horrible.”5

2. People Accepting the Hitting of al-Zahra’ (sa)

One who draws his proof from others says that people would not have agreed to expose al-Zahra’ (sa) to any harm or anything bad. We say the following:

FIRST: Had it been true that people would have confronted the assailants if the latter intended to harm al-Zahra’ (sa), how do you then explain their attempt to burn her door, how they collected firewood for that purpose, all as people saw with their own eyes what was going on and the streets of Medina were filled with people, according to some texts? Why did nobody at all interfere to stop them?!

SECOND: When so-and-so [‘’Umar] said to the Prophet S when he asked for an ink-pot and a writing material to write them something that would safeguard them from straying after his demise, “The Prophet is hallucinating,” why did nobody at all object to such a rude remark, nor did anyone reprimand him, or confront him, or even frown at him?! Was not the Prophet S greater and more holy in the heart of people than al-Zahra’ (sa) and than Ali (as) and anyone else?!

THIRD: If we accept that people did not agree with them, were people capable of confronting the new rulers who started their political career with violence and erected their government with the power of the sword?! Was not the public over-powered, helpless?!

3. Al-Zahra’ (sa) Arguing About What Took Place

As regarding the argument of those who oppressed al-Zahra’ (sa), we would like to say the following:

FIRST: There is no validity for the argument which says that since she did not use it as an argument, it actually never took place. An event takes place and there may sometimes be obstacles in using it as an argument. In other words, if something happens, and people witness it and verify it, there will be no need to mention it, nor is there any benefit of telling others about it, especially to the same person who committed it except if something else necessitates such a repetition, such as obligating him to take responsibility for it, or something like that.

SECOND: We have stated that had she (sa) made this issue the foundation of her objection to those who usurped the caliphate, she would have fallen in the risk of losing the main polar issue, the issue of caliphate. They would have portrayed to the public that the dispute with her (sa) was personal and about trivial matters. It would not have been a dispute regarding the faith or regarding who is more fit to rule or to be trusted with safeguarding the interests of the nation.

If the issue becomes personal, it is then obligatory on al-Zahra’ (sa) to forgive the wrong-doers when they went to her and asked her to forgive them, because forgiveness regarding personal matters is mandated by the exemplary civil and Islamic norm of conduct. Allah Almighty has said,

“Take to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn away from the ignorant ones” (Qur’an, 7:199).

He also says,

“... pardon and forgive so that Allah may bring about His command” (Qur’an, 2:109)

and

“... turn away with kindly forgiveness” (Qur’an, 15:85).

Turning the dispute to a personal matter is the best gift al-Zahra’ (sa) could have presented to them. But the issue was not personal. They did not affect justice. They did not hand over the caliphate to its legitimate owner, nor did they do anything that would demonstrate their obedience to righteousness. So, al-Zahra’ (sa) had no right to forgive them, nor to placate them, nor to tell them what would have pleased them and made them very happy.

THIRD: She (sa) did make a reference to the same. She mentioned it to the Commander of the Faithful (as), too. We will together review such statements in the section dedicated to texts and legacies. Yet we would like here to refer to some of them:

4. Al-Zahra’ (sa) Arguing

Al-Daylami has narrated that she (sa) said, “They gathered plenty of firewood at our door and brought a torch to burn it and to burn us, so I stood at the door knob and pleaded to them in the Name of Allah and in the name of my father to stop it and to leave us alone. ‘’Umar took the whip from the hand of Qunfath, slave of Abu Bakr, and hit my wrist with it, and the whip wrapped itself around my wrist, leaving a mark like a bracelet. He kicked the door with his foot, causing it to slam on me, and I was pregnant. I fell on my face as the fire was burning, torching my face. He slapped me with his hand till my ear-ring broke from my ear into bits and pieces. Childbirth overtook me, so I miscarried al-Muhsin, a child killed without having committed any crime at all.”6

5. Ali (as) Refers to this Matter

With reference to what is narrated from Ali (as), we would like to say:

FIRST: Al-Saduq has narrated, through his isnad which ends with Ali (as) that he said, “While I, Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) were with the Messenger of Allah S, he turned to us and broke into tears. I asked him, ‘What is wrong, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘I weep for the time when someone will deal a sword’s blow to your head and when Fatima’s cheek is slapped.’”7

SECOND: Another hadith states the following: “Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) went out towards the highland and was met by Qays ibn Shammas who asked him, ‘O father of al-Hassan! What are you upset about?’ He said, ‘They wanted to burn my house and its residents as Abu Bakr seated himself on the pulpit [of the Prophet S] to receive the oath of allegiance without stopping the aggression nor even denouncing it.’”8

He complains and demonstrates how they treated him by way of narrating a tradition rather than as a form of protest so that the incident may be the axis of the argument, the decisive issue. The protests were always directed towards effecting justice regarding the most important issue, that is, the coup that assaulted the caliphate (which is relevant to all the Islamic reality), as expressed by the person seeking the evidence. There are other narratives which will be narrated in the section dedicated to the texts and legacies, by the Will of Allah.

6. Protest’s Justifications non-Existent

Regarding the inquiry of someone who wonders about the reason why Ali (as) did not take advantage of this issue in his arguments and debates although it contains a very strong and serious evidence against them, stirring the emotions from all fronts against them, as the person himself puts it, we would like to state the following:

1. This matter was not obscure from people’s knowledge so that he had to mention it to them. It is not necessary to absorb all the facts to use them as arguments especially when they are so clear and so obvious.

2. The situation could not tolerate stirring feelings and emotions. Rather, there was a need for toleration, for calming excited feelings so that matters might not explode, and so that he might not disobey the Messenger of Allah S who ordered him to remain silent and not to confront them with arms because doing so would weaken the creed and prepare the environment for reneging from Islam as the Commander of the Faithful (sa) said in Nahjul Balagha and elsewhere.

3. We have already stated that he mentioned the incident when there were no repercussions against doing so, in a calm manner which did not render the caliphate a dispute of a personal nature for which someone may apologize and be forgiven.

4. Their disobedience of the Command of Allah and of the order of the Messenger of Allah S is the most important issue; therefore, it is more worthy of being brought back to people’s minds because it is the criterion for what is right and wrong. As regarding personal wounds and psychological pains, their knots may be untied by sweet words and by a pretense to show remorse and regret so that it would appear to the public that the matter did not amount to anything serious that would justify their indictment of the offenders. What is narrated about the attempt of both men to appease her (sa) prior to her death is a very good proof. We will explain this matter in another place by the Will of Allah Almighty.

7. Al-Zahra’ (sa) Did Not Remind Abu Bakr of What Took Place

The individual who seeks support for his statements from what Kashifal-Ghita’ says has raised the question as to why she did not remind Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar of what took place, i.e. her being beaten and her miscarriage, when they both went to her to appease her. Here is our answer:

1. She also did not mention to them how Fadak was confiscated, nor how the caliphate was usurped, both issues the inquirer points to in his question, and he himself considers the confiscation of the caliphate as the greatest of all crimes.

2. Mentioning this issue to them had a purpose and a deterrent. Her objective at the time was not to mention such things to them. Rather, she wanted to establish the argument against them by extracting an admission from both of them regarding what they had heard her father S say. She refused to speak to them before their making such an admission.

Then she recorded the decisive and eternal situation by indicting them for all time to come. She did not at all give them any room to discuss one particular issue whatsoever. It was not a meeting of one blaming another, or for settling old accounts, or listing what they had committed against her, for that would have been to no avail at all. They would have apologized for it by saying that it was an oversight promulgated by the circumstances of irresponsible agitation and anger. So, she did not give them a chance to do that, and this is the zenith of her wisdom.

For this reason, we find her (sa) contending with a general view of issues, refraining from providing details. She says to them, “O Allah! Bear witness that they have both harmed me..., etc.”

8. What Sayyid Sharafud-Din Confirms

Someone quotes the scholar-authority, Sayyid ‘Abd al-Husayn Sharifud-Din, saying, “It is confirmed that they brought firewood to burn the house. They said (to ‘’Umar), ‘But Fatima is inside!’ He said, ‘So what?!’”

The same individual adds in support his own statement wherein he says, “Sayyid ‘Abd al-Husayn did not state in his book Al-Nass wal Ijtihad, nor in Al-Muraja’at, anything like that; so, refer to them!” We answer as follows:

FIRST: Sayyid ‘Abd al-Husayn Sharifud-Din was not in his works providing the details of this matter or determining what is confirmed thereof and what is not. Had he desired to thus research, he might have done a disservice to the goal which he aspired to achieve by writing these books. Allah, Glory and Exaltation are His, has said, “Call to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation and dispute with them in the best manner” (Qur’an, 16:125) in order not to hurt people’s feelings and not to cause them anxiety except when the situation demands making things very clear, even in sensitive issues when right is feared lost, and when there is a need for a surgical operation even in sensitive and dangerous places. The issue for Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din did not fall in such a category.

For this reason, we find him, may Allah rest his soul in peace, mentioning this issue casually then swiftly saying, “Was the action manipulated by fear of the sword or of burning a conviction of the establishment of the oath of allegiance?! Will it be a testimony to what he had said, ‘My nation shall never set the consensus on something wrong’?”9

He also says, “They had hardly buried him when those who befriended and loved him were given the option to swear the oath of allegiance (to Abu Bakr) or otherwise be burnt alive. It is just as the Nile’s poet, Hafiz Ibrahim, says in one of his poems which we abstain from translating out of our concerns about some readers' sentiments:

Poem by renown Egyptian poet Hafiz Ibrahim portraying the incident of ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab burning the door of the house where Fatima daughter of the Prophet and her family were living.

A statement to Ali said by ‘Umar, 10

Glorious is the listener, great is the speaker:

“I shall burn your house, none shall I leave

“If you do not swear fealty, though the daughter

“Of the Chosen One S is within.”

None but Abu Hafs was the speaker,

Addressing ‘Adnan’s Knight and Protector.11

Then he, may Allah be merciful to him, writes in the footnotes of both his works, Al-Muraja’at and Al-Nass wal Ijtihad, saying, “Their threat to burn the house of Ali (as) is confirmed by decisive consecutive reports.”12

Then he, may Allah have mercy on his soul, mentioned in the footnotes of both books referred to above many references which discuss how the second (caliph, i.e. ‘’Umar) hit her (sa), how she miscarried, and other issues. If one reviews them, he will realize that he did him a favor by not embarrassing him about this very serious matter. Had he embarrassed him, he would have found escape routes for him and interpretations, all of them with fanaticism and emotion which prohibit him from absorbing the idea in a casual and natural fashion.

Had Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din, may Allah have mercy on him, had no such objective, he would have confined himself to the references which discuss the threat to burn in particular, neglecting everything else.

To sum up, the discussion, argument and debate all imply a sense of defiance of one’s conviction, so he is unconsciously defending two things: the idea and himself.

If anyone listens to the debaters, he will absorb the idea stripped of the challenge and will accept and surrender to the truth before the debaters. This is so because he has no sensitivity, nor does he confront a problem resulting from understanding and evaluating the debate. He will not be required to retreat from anything, nor will he himself feel any shortcoming or self-indictment because of a shortage of verification, or lack of precision, or anything like that.

Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din always paid heed not to embarrass anyone with whom he debated nor force him to make such a difficult choice.

SECOND: What is transmitted orally about Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din cannot be relied on here, for he, may Allah have mercy on him, was not in a position to deny the confirmation of anything other than the threat to burn the house. He, may Allah have mercy on him, wanted to make sure about this part of the act then remain silent about anything else for a common cause which he considered behind such silence. It is the same that prevented him from entering into the details of this same matter in his books.

The testimony, rather the evidence, for what we have stated is the following:

1. This matter was not recorded by the Sayyid in his books, nor did any other scholar transmit to us that he said it. So, why did he, then, confide this very serious secret, which touches on an extremely sensitive issue, to a young teenager not quite seventeen years old yet? This is so if he did mention it to him in the early 1950s. But if he said that he told him so in the mid 1950s, that is, in 1955, what is strange in such a case is that he said that he was then 23 or 24 years old although he was born in 1935! He was not that old till near the demise of Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din, i.e. in 1957...!

2. The narrative which he mentioned under the heading “... What is confirmed with us... so they said, ‘But Fatima is inside it!’ He said, ‘So what?!’” This is stated in his book titled Al-Imama wal Siyasa without mentioning its isnad, in addition to other narratives which are more widely circulated and quoted and whose isnad is more authenticated and whose narrators are more numerous, counted by the scores, and the venues of its isnad are many and diverse. So, how could Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din have considered those narratives to be the ones confirmed with us while leaving all the other numerous narratives and texts altogether with their isnad as well, and these are counted by the scores, labeling them as “unconfirmed”?!

As regarding the narratives of the threat to burn the house, why should they be the only ones that are “confirmed” while the narratives about her being hit and about her miscarriage not so?! These narratives are not more numerous or authentic than the first! A number of narrators have stated that these matters did, indeed, take place, as is clearly stated in this book.

THIRD: Who does Ayatollah Sharaf ad-Din mean when he says “with us”? Does he mean by “us” we, the Shi’as? Or does he mean only himself?! If he means the first, this is not correct. We have already cited al-Tusi and Kashifal-Ghita’ in this regard. Refer to the statements of the sect’s scholars as recorded in their books, some of which we have already cited in this book. It will reveal to us what al-Tusi has said in the abridged version of Al-Shafi to be more worthy of being pleased with, quoted and accepted.

If he means the second, he may be right if we take the following into consideration: the number of the references at his disposal, may Allah have mercy on him, which, from reviewing their footnotes, we can see how few and how limited compared to what people nowadays have.

Regarding the available new references, which used to be manuscripts and which were not in circulation at that time, they found their way to the critics and to publication later on. Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din could not review them. We can discount the notion that he was satisfied with what he alleged as “confirmed” to him, which is the narration of “So what?!” He, the scholar that he is, was expected to investigate in the references and not to rush his judgment, if he at all made a judgment.

FOURTH: The lack of “confirmation” with Ayatollah Sharaf ad-Din does not mean that it cannot be confirmed at all. If a researcher is able to follow the texts of this issue and gather the proofs and evidences for it, he will have enough to be fair. Perhaps he, may Allah have mercy on him, had numerous and big involvements which blocked him from following many issues which needed such an investigation if they did not fall within the circle of his actual concerns.

Even if the case is not so, the scholarly confusion is rendered to Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din just as it is rendered to others. The scholarly and theological issues are subject to evidence and proof except when the Infallible One decides and speaks out in their regard.

FIFTH: We cannot define the nature of the question which the Sayyid received because this question determines the way how and to what extent it should be answered. The question may be, “Did they burn the house of al-Zahra’ (sa)?” The answers may come like this: “What is confirmed to us is that there was a threat to burn it but not the actual burning.” As regarding the miscarriage, there is no question nor an answer about it, that is, the answer denies that there was an actual burning while only confirming the threat to burn it. But it is silent regarding the miscarriage. As for hitting her and other matters, it does not deal with them; it neither confirms nor denies them. It is as though you may say that Zaid is tall. This does not mean that his complexion is dark or that he is not a scholar, etc.

The question may have also been put this way: “Was al-Zahra’ (sa) beaten, so she miscarried?” The answer comes: “What is confirmed to us is that she was threatened with burning her house.” This gives the impression of confirming the negation of everything other than the said threat, and it is the same that this individual quotes from Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din.

Thereupon, in the absence of our knowledge of the question put forth to him, we cannot say that Sayyid denies anything except the threat to burn the house of al-Zahra’ (sa).

SIXTH: The person who cites this very important statement was a young man when he inquired of the Sayyid and obtained the answer from him. He probably was no more than seventeen years old, as we indicated above. He was not familiar then with the scholarly methods which are characterized by precision, nor was he used to them. He may have fallen into error in understanding the scholarly method, or he may have advanced one word ahead of another, so the meaning came different. He is only transmitting something which he says took place forty-five years ago, as he stated in one of his messages dated 1414 A.H. (1993 A.D.). Yet the possibility of forgetfulness, that is, forgetting the text of the answer, is quite possible as well.

The evidence pointing to the question being about the actual burning, or the threat to burn, as the second possibility, is that Imam Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din himself, as pointed out above, stated that there was fear of the sword or of burning. But he did not point out to the sword in his answer to the inquirer...

The statement of this individual claiming that he stumbled on a narrative in Bihar al-Anwar indicates that he, since the death of Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din, did not conduct any research of this matter. It is not accepted by reason that he remained for more than forty years researching this issue, which is discussed in scores of narratives from the Infallible Ones in addition to scores, even hundreds, of others, then he during this lengthy period does not “stumble” on anything but a single narrative...!

9. Other Evidences and Proofs

The same Sayyid, Sharaf ad-Din, may Allah have mercy on him, has stated that they took Ali (as) out by force. He also indicates exposing the house of Fatima (sa) to danger13, how the house was assaulted, and that they were quite a few in number dispatched by Abu Bakr as enforcement to ‘’Umar (ibn al-Khattab) and Khalid ibn al-Walid. He states how people gathered as onlookers and how Medina’s streets were full of men. When Fatima (sa) saw what ‘’Umar did, she screamed and pleaded for help. Many women from Bana Hashim and others gathered around her. She went out and, at the door of her chamber, she called out saying, “O Abu Bakr! How quickly you assaulted the family living at the house of the Messenger of Allah (S)..., etc.!”14

He, may Allah have mercy on him, has also quoted Abu al-Aswad saying that ‘’Umar and his folks entered Fatima’s house by force, and that Fatima (sa) kept calling for help and pleading to them.15 He mentions all of this, stating the names of those who participated in the assault on the house of al-Zahra’ (sa), referring to fear of the sword, taking its authenticity for granted without any reservation. So, how can this individual say that Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din, may Allah have mercy on him, “did not mention in Al-Muraja’at or in Al-Nass wal Ijtihad anything like what is said, so refer to them”?! We have, indeed, referred to them and found the opposite of what he says!

To sum up, all this proves that he, may Allah have mercy on him, says that they went beyond threatening to actually doing it to the extent that they assaulted the house, in addition to other details stated above. He, may Allah have mercy on him, may have said to this person who quoted him the same as he said in both his books, Al-Muraja’at and Al-Nass wal Ijtihad, that is, that the threat to burn the house is already confirmed through decisive consecutive reports.

This statement is different from the one which says, “What is confirmed with us... that there was a threat to burn, etc.” All what we have stated confirms the first statement and underscores it, weakening the other. He mentions his references in the footnotes of each page. Some of such references point out to the entire subject, including hitting her and causing her to miscarry. All this points out to his desire that the reviewer may be acquainted with it.

Did We Miscalculate?!

We calculated that doing the above would spare us the need to expand our discussion of all issues which have been and are being discussed by some people via various information media. These issues are very important and sensitive, especially those relevant to the creed and to the faith, in addition to other well known legislative matters.

But the truth demonstrated that the matters went against what we had anticipated. Some folks portrayed to the public that “The main issue that concerns us__in fact, the one that concerns us the most__is none other than that of al-Zahra’ (sa); nothing attracts our attention more than some people’s discussion of breaking her rib and bringing it about in a negative manner.”

Such is their attempt to mislead the public and distance them from the truth of the matter. What has assisted them in doing so is our own selves when we practically did not discuss such issues. This tempted them to assault us viciously. These assaults have daily intensified our discerning of their intention and the extent of their insistence on what they are doing. This left us with only one option: to tell the public the truth and to make them aware that the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) is but one besides scores like it which may even be more worthy of being researched and clarified.

Perhaps the reader has the right that we should not make him wait for too long when it becomes necessary to provide a “specimen” of such “hearsay” in order to fulfil our promise and to point out that we shall keep our promise to our precious Islamic creed. What cannot be all realized must not be mostly left alone.

As regarding researching the statements, written or recorded, made by some people, this actually is beyond our means because it needs a whole lengthy life-span! Add to this our conviction that we do not find it necessary to do so since the little can portray or suffice for a lot of what is a clear indication of a huge project undertaken by some people that aims at substituting what is originally ancient and fixed by decisive evidence from our legacy and heritage (as they like to term it) with what is new and unique, without supporting this new with any scientific evidence which withstands criticism.

For this reason, we find them adorning their “evidences” or modernizing them as the circumstances demand, evidently insisting on their claim, which they are still unable to support with sound scientific proofs, thus giving the impression that they are ready-made ideas for which they are looking for proofs. Perhaps they consider the latter a part of the parcel of their “renewing” project with which many are dazzled and which aims at “correcting” the mistakes found, as they claim, in our inherited creed based on the criterion of facing reality, as they term it, on many occasions.16

What is really odd in this regard is that the same people who aspire for such “renewal” and such facing of the reality on sensing the seriousness of the situation in the face of such allegations have started accusing others of spite, malice, psychological complexes, backwardness and of working for intelligence agencies or falling under their spell, and that the aim is to cause their downfall, or the undermining of their religious authority, and that those who object to their allegations have no religion at all..., up to the end of the list of various expressions which pour in the same venue!

Moreover, such people started even denying some of their own allegations, seeking to explain or interpret or conclude some others. They even went as far as announcing, more than once, that ninety percent of what they are quoted is attributed to them, and that ten percent is falsified..., or that 99.99% are lies and innuendos!

So where is this “renewal,” and where is this “clarification”?! With what do they wish to “face” the reality if they turn against what they have already stated?! How, according to their latest terminology, do they wish to assault what is already taken for granted?! Which items, from among what is “taken for granted,” do they wish to assault?!

Yet we still hope that we will not be forced to publish detailed studies dealing with many sensitive and very serious issues contained in the storehouses of what someone writes or publishes if it is at all possible to avoid through this method or that.

Reactions to the Book are in Two Directions

As regarding the reactions to the book from “concerned” individuals, these reactions vary and diversify, but in essence they fall into two directions:

FIRST: The direction of those who still consider this book, Tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa): Doubts and Responses, as a serious achievement in the field of scholarly and objective research since it has provided logical answers that are accurate and convincing, stopping in their tracks those who cast doubts. The most prominent of those who provided such responses are the great religious authorities in Najaf al-Ashraf and Qum, in Islamic Iran, may Allah grant it dignity and honour.

I received many hand-written letters as well as oral declarations from some of them, may Allah prolong their presence among us and keep them as defenders of our creed. In addition to that, I received other letters and statements in the same direction from brilliant scholars who have enriched the Islamic world with their precious works and who enjoy a great scholarly reputation.

I do not exaggerate if I say that I do not know any, from among the major scholars who deservedly carry the title of “scholars” and who reviewed this book, or when the book was referred to in their presence, and who did not lavish praise on the book...! Most people should be aware of the good echo left by this book among the believing and educated youths especially since many of them were surprised when they saw how those dissertations were displayed so often and with such insistence from the pulpits and in a written form, so much so that you may see one idea discussed in ten books or more. What has surprised them the most is that such issues are enthusiastically discussed by some people during such harsh and cruel periods of our nation’s struggle against its Israeli enemy and against all forms of international arrogance.

SECOND: The reaction of the concerned front, the one that sees itself as being harmed by this book, the one that was the cause for the writing of this book in the first place, since one of its most prominent personalities has been the one who stirred the doubts which varied in shape and form, so they set out to defend him (based on the principle of feeling obligated to thank the benefactor).

Such responses have all poured into one venue: indictment, rejection and crushing confrontation to the extent that we became unable to tell whether there are Islamic legislative or ethical limits that should be upheld and reached though outwardly. Or has what is forbidden been dropped off?! Or has what is condoned become condemned, or what is condemned become condoned or even made obligatory if it contributes to safeguarding the fabric (of the nation) or of the individual, or of the front?! All this is based on a premise that contradicts our Islamic principles, one preached by Machiavelli before, that is, “The end justifies the means.” Such a premise has been modified by some people to the extent that the end not only justifies the means, it even cleanses falsehood “in order to correct” what is wrong of the beliefs of Imamite Shi’as, may Allah increase their dignity, eminence and honour!

Glimpses from Some Reactions

I can cite samples of the reactions expressed by the front that concerned itself with this book. Here they are:

Some people reacted emotionally on their pulpits, on the radio, and at private and public meetings trying to belittle the book and its author, regarding it as being written “illegally”...!

Banning the sale of the book, its reading or handling, applying pressure on the public to do so. Moreover, some publishing houses as well as book-stores were coerced not to circulate this book. This happened although the same people had already expressed on the radio their rejection of boycotting “misleading” books, considering doing so as a mistake which should be avoided.

Numerous and diverse rumors were circulated in more than one direction, without any religious or moral deterrent. Among them have been:

A. in the form of insinuations aiming at belittling the dignity of the author, casting doubts about his conduct and manners, religion and straight-forwardness.

B. condemnations, verbal abuses and insults aiming at belittling the writer’s scholarly status and position, depicting him as ignorant, backward, despotic in his views, unable to soundly com-prehend what some people say, etc.

C. doubts cast about the scholarly value of the book, or its style, or background, or even some-times authenticity.

D. discussions of imaginary backgrounds that supposedly caused the author to write this book at such a specific period of time.

Indirect threats, death threats, methods of terrorism, oppression, hegemony, seeking the help of security forces to curtail the effectiveness of the book or the activity of those who read it or circulate it and those who sympathize with him or who voice their opinion regarding the issues discussed therein, have all been applied.

Coercion to give the book a political stamp and to place it in the circle of balances, subjecting it thereafter to the environments of give and take in the market-place of benefits and auctions and even political interests when necessity forces them to resort thereto.

Casting doubts about the objectives and incentives of the author, regarding the book once as indicative of personal ambitions and once as an answer to malice, and a third time as the result of a psychological complex which some people attached to the author.

At any rate, the result, from their viewpoint, is that the goal of the book about al-Zahra’ (sa) is “political assassination” or scientific and social assassination of what they term as the “symbol” or “those charged with the Islamic status quo.” Such is a terrible crime that leads, as they view it, to the assassination of Islam itself in the name of Islam, so, Woe unto Islam! What a calamity! They have been depicting the issue to the public as a plan the chapters of which and the struggle and the threats thereof are cleverly woven by international or regional or local or even “Islamic” intelligence agencies, or even the Mossad!

Their attempt to limit the subject-matter to “a historical issue,” and only to a historical one, in order to divert the attention from many statements relevant to the aspects of the creed and the belief and to theological issues with which the book deals.

Their attempt to raise question marks about the viability of subjects such as this one, although they themselves are the ones who keep insisting on bringing them up, having depicted to the public that the matter does not exceed the very specific historical issue, that is, the issue of breaking the rib of al-Zahra’ (sa), setting aside all other injustices to which she (sa) was subjected.

The attempt to link the subject in its entirety, for the sake, of course, of publicity, to certain fronts which plan the downfall of the authority of so-and-so because it sees itself as being harmed by the appearance of an Arab authority that is loyal to its nation versus the Persian authorities that perhaps are loyal to their Persian nation...!17 They accuse the grand religious authority of some Islamic countries of being behind stirring the struggle against them, depicting them as mere competitors to them in as far as the religious authority is concerned.

Written Responses

Besides the above, and in addition to this and that, published responses have appeared by those who stirred all such circumstances. They are still exerting euphoric efforts to fix their statements, as diverse as they may be, in the minds and hearts of the public via various news media apparatuses and through the plentiful means at their disposal, so much so that during short periods of time and sequentially, they publish a book or more containing the same ideologies, or sometimes even the same speeches and interviews. Yet each book has its own form, size, title and arrangement, all differing from those of its predecessors. But if you open any of these books to read, you will be reading the same customary ideologies intended to be fixed in the public’s mind.

Whatever responses appeared from his party to my book titled Tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa) written by various writers, or by hired pens, or in radio interviews with his son or brothers or others..., all these tried to recover a lost esteem or stir doubts and suspicions about the book and its author.

Their news media has strongly circulated these responses. A radio interview with one of those hired pens aired by a local station owned by someone was transmitted as many as four times during less than a week. This was done in conjunction with honourary titles and adjectives lavished on the writer of the said book which he never dreamed of had he not been the first to shoot an arrow from his bow.

Then they circulated the same interview among the youths after the said radio station had continuously aired, during many days, commercials inviting the youths to obtain their copies of the taped interview. Such was their attempt to instil hostility, malice and hatred in those innocent souls. This by itself suffices to prove their awful failure to scholarly and logically face the challenge. It also proves the extent of the lowliness of the level whereby they treat those who criticize the ideology of one whom they label as their “symbol.”

I do not wish to elaborate on how their offices and establishments circulate thousands of free copies to various servants of Allah in different lands. Perhaps spending such large sums of money has its justifications! Perhaps they are to be excused by their own standards to some of which we have already pointed out and from which they set out in such cases!

Scholarly Value of such Responses

There is no exaggeration in saying that when we reviewed the contents of those “responses,” we were amazed, for we found nothing in them worthy of attention from a scholarly viewpoint. Our amazement was greater when we saw the extent of the attention paid to publicizing and circulating them and how they were passed out as “scholarly efforts” justifying the claims of some and dropping the objections of others. We do not know how they found spending such time, effort and money to circulate them, or to publicize for them, via their various news media, palatable.

It is for the achievement of this objective, and for others, that we, from our end, preferred to ignore them. We do not see it necessary to spend time and effort to expose their weaknesses, lowliness and shortcomings. The deceptions, insinuations, allegations, ill manners, and ignominious ignorance these “responses” contain, in addition to their well selected injurious expressions..., all can hardly escape any fair person with a heart and listens like a witness.

Our ignoring them may have deprived one who bets on distracting us with secondary issues of his opportunity to do so, investing our time with “You said, I said, and I meant, while they did not understand my objective,” so that those others may remain shielded in their ivory tower, depicting to the people that they are above such issues, and that our problem is not only with him but with many others, those who took the initiative to support such allegations This is so although he himself is the one who has been fueling its fire and increasing its flame once in secret and once in the open, once by making a clear statement, and once through alluding. And he is the one who has been spending serious money to have them published and distributed and perhaps rewarding those who take them, after having reviewed them, with his own endorsement of their contents!

From our part, all of this did not and will not be able to achieve those folks’ objectives. Rather, it has increased our conviction in three matters:

FIRST: My book, Tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa): Doubts and Responses, is a firm and powerful response to what someone has put forth and has been putting. There is no scientific, nor any objective, rebuttal to it. For this reason, I see no need to reconsider any of the book’s entries.

SECOND: I have become more convinced than ever before of the need to rebut whatever issues which others have put forth. I have become convinced that there is a certain insistence on publicizing such allegations and fixing them in people’s minds and hearts, something which causes a serious danger to many issues relevant to the religion, creed and conviction.

THIRD: It has become quite obvious to me that all or most of such allegations should be put forth before the people’s eyes rather than stirring a few issues from which we want the other party to know that we shall never remain silent, nor shall we placate anyone, when we find ourselves obligated by the Shari’a to stand in the face of anything that may harm issues relevant to Islam and to conviction.

Nation’s Religious Authorities and Renown Theologians Make a Stance

The good religious authorities and the nation’s scholars have not remained silent, though the norms of their rebuttal have varied. A number of Taqlid authorities have issued verdicts rejecting some of those allegations, so much so that the person responsible for them (for the allegations) was forced to exert an attempt, though unsuccessful, to dissociate himself from them once, and once to respond to them. Moreover, some religious authorities in Najaf al-Ashraf have alluded to the firm beliefs of the sect in the face of the attempts to cast doubts about them and to which they are exposed.18

Add to the above, a number of books and articles were published criticizing and rebutting him, and so did some people who delivered sermons and lectures. These are still being issued by many thinkers and men of letters from among those who guard the sect, its symbols and flag-posts.

My book (the Arabic original of this one), Tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa): Doubts and Responses, as we have stated, received a great deal of welcome, and it has become the favourite of great religious authorities whose letters and oral messages still reach us, all laden with praise and support and with supplications for our success. I have also been receiving letters from weighty scholars expressing their elation with this book, their pleasure and admiration of it. I may succeed in publishing them in the future.

Even if we were in an environment where others did not find the opportunity to move and to make a stand, this only doubles our feeling of the responsibility and mandates on us to stand, even alone, to defend the facts of the sect and the issues relevant to Islam and conviction. We find ourselves responsible, now more than ever before, for carrying out this particular religious obligation: defending our religion.

Our Hand is Stretched out for a Debate

This book, Tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa): Doubts and Responses, came about after several months of waiting during which we invited someone to a written debate, doing so in many letters and through many messengers [but to no avail]. But he remained refusing and rejecting while our hand remained stretched out asking him and insisting on debating in a scholarly and objective manner. This is so because it is the most exemplary method to prove the truth as true and to avoid more embarrassments of dissertations which stir worries about people’s conceptions and their issues of conviction, provided it is a serious and objective debate wherein both parties uphold the conditions, outcomes and results, once it is conducted in a conscientious manner obligating both parties to precisely express their relevant objectives and not to renege from the implications of their statements, all according to what people comprehend and circulate and to what some of them use as evidence against others.

Objections and Reproaches

I have been notified about some objections and differing viewpoints regarding my book titled Tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa): Doubts and Responses. I am of the view to make a reference to them in this Introduction with a quick reference to our stand in their regard.

Why Rebut?!

Some may wonder: Why don’t we remain silent as the others do, since doing so saves us a great deal of trouble and hardship, especially since some people possess financial, media and security capabilities in addition to popularity that may cause all sorts of harm to those who stand in their way? They cite the example of what happened to ‘allama Yasin al-Musawi, may Allah protect him, and others.

We say:

If there is a religious obligation mandating on us to make a stand, we have to revert the question back to them and ask them: Why do others remain silent?! Why don’t they speak as we speak and make a stand as we do, especially since the issues under discussion are only pure theological expressions which are not related to any policy, position or anything else? Moreover, the religious authorities have stated that there should be no silence in such a case.
The religious obligation, when the goal is to obligate, is the final and the last judgment, not fear of the financial capabilities nor facing harm nor anything else. Allah Almighty has said, “Those to whom the people said: Surely men have gathered against you; therefore, fear them, but this (only) increased their faith, and they said: Allah suffices us and is the most excellent Protector” (Qur’an, 3:173).

Had such “logic” been the criterion, permitting people to withdraw from the field and relax, then the prophets, their successors, and the reformers should have withdrawn from the fields of confrontation so that they might not expose themselves to any harm, and because others have been, throughout history, hoarding materialistic power, be they in the areas of the media or in others, more so than all others around them.

Sanctifying the Legacy

Some folks “accuse” us of sanctifying the legacy, be it lean or pithy, following the principle of,

“We found our forefathers on a course, and surely we are guided by their footsteps” (Qur’an, 43:22).

For example, why should we not “sanctify” the book by Sulaym ibn Qays?!19 Is it not a legacy document?!

We say that we do not need to emphasize that what we need of the legacy is what has been verified for us through sound and binding scholarly proofs in a way that mandates on us to uphold it, defend it, and not to permit anyone to be disrespectful to it since it represents a religious and Islamic fact.

As regarding Sulaym’s book, we have said that mere trusting its contents, according to us, and according to other scholars as well, does not mean it is due to its legacy; rather, it is due to verifying such contents through evidence.

These folks have overlooked the fact that we, at the same time, while emphasizing our endorsement of Sulaym’s book based on evidence, we have discussed the book titled Conference of Baghdad’s Scholars, and we hold a view in its regard which we have recorded in our book titled Tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa). Our scientific approach in the writing of Tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa), as it is in all other books of ours, proves the fact that we adopt the evidence: we go wherever it takes us.

We say the following to anyone who has any complaint against us: It is not sufficient to let accusations fly around. They have to be backed by irrefutable proofs; otherwise, those who let them fly around will themselves be the accused who may not be able to prove their innocence from that in which they let themselves fall.

A Reference

We would like here to point out that when we discussed the book titled Conference of Baghdad’s Scholars, the focus of our attention was the same book: who wrote it, when it was written, a review of some of its contents, etc. We relied in doing so on published and circulated copies, perhaps the best among them is the one that contains the commentary of our brother, the scholar ‘allama Shaikh Muhammed Jamal Hammad whose comments were incorporated in its footnotes which, to say the truth, are all useful. He surely exhausted himself in collecting their references and referring to the proofs that showed that much of the book’s contents are already contained in other respectable books. May Allah appreciate his effort, and may He keep his feet firm on the right course.

Arguments Regarding the Angels’ Species

It is said or, say, rumoured, that the book’s subject-matter is marginal and not serious; so, why do we concern ourselves with it while others concern themselves with what is more important and more beneficial?! Is not doing so similar to arguing about what sort of species the angels are while others have already reached Mars?! Is not doing so short-sightedness, close-mindedness and intellectual backward-ness?!

My response is the following:

1) I wonder about who initiated this issue as well as many others, insisting on them in his information media, exerting a great deal of effort, exhausting material and non-material resources as well as manpower just to lay emphasis on them and firm their foundations?! And he has been assaulting the scholars and the religious authorities of the nation, launching against them various accusations specifically because of these issues, keeping the public and the scholars for many months and years concerned with them?

2) The dispute with some people is not about what species the angels are, nor is it anything like that. Rather, it is regarding sensitive and weighty issues some of which touch on the subject of Imamate, infallibility, the characteristics of the prophets (as), the Imams (as) and their role, in addition to other theological topics.

As regarding the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa), these same folks deny that any violence took place against her, at her home, except threats of burning. This contradicts what a certain individual himself had stated in his sermon at the Husayniyya of Martyr [Muhammed Baqir] al-Sadr wherein he said verbatim, “... History and hadith are fraught, and narratives are consecutively reported, that she was beaten, that she miscarried, and that she..., and that she...”20 Yet he went back to deny it all over again, making his denial public many times.

On Sawt al-Iman Radio, he said that he never apologized nor retracted; rather, he had spoken in agreement with the view of others, being apprehensive of “dissension.” After the dissipation of such “dissension,” he went back to Qum to deliver the said sermon which has contained what the reader already knows!

This is why we, after a lengthy period of hesitation and many attempts to open the door for a debate with him, as well as many attempts to confine the subject-matter to a specific sphere, decided that all such attempts failed and their failure forced us to write this book: Tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa): Doubts and Responses. Some people faced this book in an emotional manner, some provocatively. Then he kept spending funds and encouraging the publication of responses containing many misleading lies, trying to firm his statement and fix it in people’s minds, claiming that no injustice befell al-Zahra’ (sa), exonerating the oppressors.

In this book, we have proven that there were more than just threats against al-Zahra’ (sa) in addition to other issues relevant to the creed which we once explained in detail and once in general as it becomes clear for anyone who reviews the said book and looks into it equitably and without prejudice.

Why was the Response Late?

Some of the criticism which we have had to face was that someone has said, “If some people had stated such issues and recorded them in their books many years ago, why have these objections been delayed till lately?” Our answer is:

1) The writings of those folks did not earn the attention of the scholars as the latter researched and investigated because they considered them entertaining reading material for the young generation, so they are not circulated among the scholars, verifiers and researchers. Rather, those who paid his books special attention are mostly a specific sect tied to him with special ties and by virtue of a particular circumstance.

2) As regarding the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa), objections to his statements in her regard and in regard to others did, indeed, appear many years ago. An uproar took place in 1993, and someone stepped away from his statements: his own retreat therefrom is recorded. Then he went back later on to contradict such a retreat under the slogan of “bowing before the storm.” As for the rest of his dissertations, there was a great deal of good intentions and acceptance of issues according to their nature and with confidence. There was no justification for suspecting those works of containing what contradicted such good intentions.

We add to the above a note that most of those works were written during the [Lebanese civil] war that reflected its negative results on various fields, including verifying books and subjecting them to scrutiny by the specialists, the scholars, and the believing and aware youths. Such circumstances, and others, distanced the author of these books from coming directly in contact with brilliant scholars and major verifiers at the hawzas of [theological] knowledge except during brief official visits which did not allow sifting the depth of his ideologies and discovering the truth of his convictions. Even if they were circulated, this does not, by necessity, guarantee their knowledge that such is his final conviction. This is so especially since he puts such ideologies under the banner of mobilizing the scholastic environment which does not need more than supposing an idea even when it obviously is wrong.

Who is “Oppressed”? Is this “Scandalizing”?

Among what we heard are the following issues:

They claim that we scandalized someone and oppressed him when we published a book that calls to account and refutes his ideologies and statements. We would like to say the following:

1) We never wished to discuss who the oppressor or the oppressed one is because the issue is not essentially personal. When it becomes personal, its tackling and discussion in such a method becomes unjustified. The discussion should have involved the wronged truth which is intended to be hidden from the people who have full right to discover it, to own it, to be fully familiar with it, and to be acquainted with its minute details.

Likewise, we do not wish to discuss the oppression of one who, under the guise of justice, oppresses. Nor do we wish to discuss the oppression which some people label as forgiving and overlooking the scapegoat, as we hear some people repeatedly say...!

But if it is the discussion of an oppressor who assumes the guise of piety, one who commits his crime from the position of mercy and benevolence, so that he may be godly, not thinking of the minute and marginal issues..., we cannot imagine anything like this to take place except in a reviving revolution of ideals and concepts, one which the advocates of “modernity” consider to be a legacy of the ancient past.

No matter what, what is required is that the truth should not be dealt with unjustly, nor should the values and supreme principles be oppressed. Such would be worse than any oppression to be discussed.

2) Since we have no choice except to refer, against our wish, to what we have been asked to refer, we would like to say the following:

We find it odd that the oppressor becomes the oppressed one, while the oppressed one becomes oppressed to the extent that these folks object to the publication of a book that refutes someone’s statements, rather than confront him with their objection for having made certain statements and disseminated them. This comes despite our invitation to him to discuss such issues before the scholars and the thinkers prior to presenting them to ordinary people. He responded to us in the Bayyinat newsletter of October 25, 1996 saying, “I do not believe that the public are commoners and that we should keep them ignorant... I find it wrong to put forth issues only at private meetings. Rather, we have to discuss them at public meetings.”

We, in this regard, are like what the poet described thus:

He oppresses me, then he calls me oppressor;

He condemns me, then I am called the one who condemns.

3) As regarding scandalizing, if there were such thing, it is obvious that someone had himself initiated the casting of doubts from the pulpits, on the radio waves, in books, newspapers and magazines, etc., about issues which do not accept doubt due to their clarity and to the irrefutable proofs which confirm them. Let us also not forget that naming him publicly was done by those who defended him on his own behalf. He also is the one who has been publicizing for and circulating these statements as is evident.

Quoting Sayyid Sharafud-Din

I have been criticized, with regards to this book, when reference was made to Sayyid Sharafud-Din [Sadr ad-Din al-Musawi] being quoted in the early 1950s as citing an incident involving the assault on the house of al-Zahra’ (sa). And when someone was asked about his age at that time, he said that he was 22 or 23 years old. We at that junction stated that since he was born in 193521, he must have been a lot younger. They rumoured that doing so represented accusing the man of being a liar which, in their view, was a very serious crime.

We respond to them with the following:

1) The language of our discussion is one of right and wrong, of hitting or missing the mark. As regarding the catalysts and causes of one falling into error, these are none of our own concern. One who errs is himself responsible for justifying his conduct. We did not apply the language of ethics or of the Shari’a , whether that was among the diction of lying or telling the truth. The intention is that he stated what was not true without having a reason or an excuse for doing so, whether he did or did not intend it to be as such.

2) We were only discussing the nature of the exactness of quoting expressions in an issue that took place forty years ago. Such quoting represents to some people one basis for denying the issue of the assault on the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) and the details that followed the incident. He is the one who has said, “When one wishes to remember his childhood through the history which has, to a certain extent, become far-fetched, going back to more than fifty years, it is only natural that such person cannot remember all the details.”22 Such a statement is realistically sound.

We have found the truth of such a statement in many issues not only in reference to Sayyid Sharafud-Din but also in other instances as well. Here we would like to mention the instances wherein error was made with regard to his age, leaving others alone except for one instance, so that they may serve as models telling about others; so, let us state the following:

1. This individual was asked about his age on graduating from the school and jointing the hawza. “How old were you then?,” he was asked. “I was eleven23,” said he. But he, in another instance, talked about himself saying, “... and through that, I sought theological studies at a very early age when, I think, I was nine years old.”24

2. In another instance, he said, “... I can say that I joined the theological hawza in about 1363 A.H. (1944 A.D.) when I was then eleven years old.”25

The difference between both statements is quite obvious. Once he says that he was nine and once that he was eleven; once he thinks and once he is positive! Then we find the difference in the context of the second statement. Had he been born in 1354 A.H.26 (1935 A.D.), his age would have then been nine years, not eleven, as he stated in the said text.

3. In the story of the famous incident of the Bi’r al-’Abd attack, which was a “very serious historical milestone,” according to him, even his “mighty resurgence,”27 according to those who sing his praise, we find him saying, “I was exposed to more than one assassination attempt prior to the failed attempt to which I was exposed in 198428 in the region of Bi’r al-’Abd.” Yet he also says, “As regarding the attack of Bi’r al-’Abd of 1984 wherein they tried to assassinate me..., etc.”29 The Bi’r al-’Abd attack took place on March 8, 1985, killing 80 persons30, and the book titled Tahadda al-Mamnoo’ was published in 1992, only seven years after the said massacre. This individual forgot the date of the greatest even that he had to face in his lifetime; so, how can he help forgetting an incident that took place more than forty years ago dealing with a topic which is not one of his concerns, as he himself has said and to which we referred on many occasions?!

4. We also find him saying in another incident, “I started issuing a written magazine titled Al-Adab, and I used to edit it when I was ten or eleven at the time. I used to write an issue whenever a new subscriber was added.”31 He also says, “During that time, I published a written magazine titled Al-Adab in which I wrote two articles. I solicited articles from some people, and I tried to write and issue a new edition whenever a new subscriber was added. The late Sayyid Mahdi was a very good writer. I published five issues of this magazine between the years 1949 and 1950.”32

The implication of his latest statement is that he was 13 or 14 years old when he published the said magazine based on his birth year being 1936 A.D. But if he was born in 1935 or in 1934, as is known from what has already been said in the text and in the footnotes, his age would then increase by a year or two to become 14, 15 or 16.

According to all estimates, his statement that he was ten or eleven years old when he issued the magazine is not precise. And if it all boils down, as he himself said, to something that became, to a certain extent, ancient history, then it is only natural that one cannot remember all its details. Let what he said about the Imam, Sayyid Sharifud-Din, be part of that “distant history,” the details of which can hardly be remembered with precision, a change in altering the facts of history, at least from the viewpoint of Sayyid Sharifud-Din.

Time Period Between Hijri and Christian Calendars

What is noteworthy here is that someone accused me of confusing, according to his claim, the Hijri, in as far as his age is concerned, with the Christian calendar which he meant in his statement about determining the meeting year with regard to Sayyid Sharafud-Din. We say that it is quite obvious that every 33 Christian years increase the Hijri calendar by one single year. The theory invented by the claimant cannot solve the problem of the terms to which we made a reference because the difference is quite big and because the number of years between both ends is quite large, and it is defined by words and letters, not by figures.

All Islamic Ideology is Human Except Fundamental Facts

In a discourse which I conducted with some officials of the Islamic Educational Center, I found him making an objection the gist of which is as follows:

The truth is not anyone’s property. Nobody, not even a mujtahid, can claim that he owns the truth, the whole truth. Islam, with the exception of fundamental facts, is a collection of human viewpoints in the comprehension of the texts. All the fiqh legacy is human, not divine.

Based on this statement, it does not make any sense to issue severe verdicts, as is the case in regard to this book, against those who hold different views, for the truth is not anyone’s property. He even says that the truth is relative! We did not wish to discuss such an objection had we not found out recently that the man has recorded the same more clearly in some of his books.

Having said “There is no doubt that the Qur’an is the Book of Allah, its diction remains subject to the interpretations of scholars and those specialized in exegesis,” he goes on to state the following:

“I believe, therefrom, that our legacy of fiqh, hadith and philosophy is the product of the interpreters, philosophers and thinkers. It has resulted from their intellectual output. It does not represent the truth except in as much as we feel satisfied with its representation of the truth based on our criteria of what is true. As such, I consider all the Islamic ideology, with the exception of Islamic fundamental facts, as human, not divine. Humans may err in what they comprehend of the Speech of Allah or of His Messenger (S), or they may hit the mark.

“Based on the above, I believe it is very important to look into the legacy that springs from the ijtihad of the thinkers, regardless of their point of focus, with an outlook that distances itself from the sanctity of their lives, qualifications, spiritual or practical lives among others on the level of religious authorities or pious men who fear Allah, Glory to Him and Exaltation. Such is one thing, while the issue of ideology is another. For this reason, I invite everyone to study such legacy critically, a legacy wherein we live our intellectual personality and openness which was lived by the ancient ones who implemented it in their intellectual experience.”33

I say that such an objection, though obviously invalid, is considered as quite serious. It makes it the most weighty and sensitive of all objections. I would like here to state some criticisms, promising to deal with them in detail at another opportunity where elaboration on text and on meaning will be opportune; so, let me say the following:

1. If all of this is “human,” with the exception of a limited number of “fundamental facts” such as belief in the Unity of God, Prophetic Mission, Resurrection, and issues relevant to the Islamic Shari’a that are taken for granted, like the obligatory prayers, fast, jihad, pilgrimage, zakat, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, prohibiting adultery, theft, wine drinking, gambling, slandering, homosexuality, backbiting, killing someone whose killing is prohibited, in addition to such issues which do not go beyond the cycle of very general issues, without going into their details, for such details are within the range of personal “human” interpretations; they are not divine, something which someone describes as “subject to change.”

If it is so, why then do we invite non-Muslims to accept Islam?! Do we invite them to accept the specifics of these fundamental facts in their cloudy and general labels which are quite a few? Or do we invite them to accept viewpoints of individuals who, like them, are only human?!

When it is said that we have to present Islam to others as a creed, an ideology and a system capable of solving all problems, the most exemplary model of conduct for all human beings, in all fields..., which Islam do we present? Should we present the specifics of such fundamental facts, or should we present the human ideology then say to them, “This human ideology is Islam which Allah Almighty revealed to His servants”?! Which ideology of these humans do we present to others?!

2. If what is meant by “fundamental” is what nobody discussed, this is wrong, for the existence of a discussion of an issue does not make such an issue a human ideology. Many may discuss the existence, or the non-existence, of God, and many Muslims may discuss the Prophetic Mission of Muhammed S, but neither discussion makes it a human ideology. Many sects discuss the ideology of Imamate, but this does not make it a human ideology. Many discuss religious facts and legislative verdicts, but this does not mean that such facts or verdicts become a human ideology.

Take, for example, some people’s attempt to analyze a man looking at another man’s nudity, or a woman looking at another woman’s nudity34. The prohibition of both cases is non-negotiable, yet some people’s permission thereof does not make this fixed verdict, that it is prohibited, a human ideology.

If what is meant by the “fundamental truth” is the issue whose validity is ascertained on casting a look at it, it is quite obvious that the Islamic truth, though fundamentally true in its own merits, or it may not be so according to some people, can be obtained by signs, proofs and legislation. Deriving a fact from the evidence, or obtaining a consensus in its regard, after exerting some extensive effort, does not qualify it as a human ideology simply because it is not a fundamental issue.

So is the case had it not been fundamentally true according to some people, as is the case with the said nudity. But some injunctions or issues may not have definite and final evidences. If they are missed by the indications and evidences, as applied by the Kashfis, then one does not come under any obligation before Allah, Praised and Exalted is He, if he violates the actual injunction.

Yet acting on the principles set by the Shari’a makes all results having an Islamic and a divine characteristic. And if the actual injunction is not validated, the soundness of obtaining an excuse from Allah Almighty through the implementation of means set forth by the Shari’a is a divine injunction, not a human one. My response to those who make such a claim is: Making fundamental facts as characteristic of being a divine ideology is invalid, if we agree on the term “divine ideology” at all.

When obligation becomes the effort to act on what the Shari’a mandates, or following the basics in their own sources, this becomes a divine injunction that obligates the individual, and it is a divine ideology, as someone would like to term it, not a human one, because Allah is the One Who made it an obligation to act on it, or to follow the origin of such sources.

The source is characterized by legitimacy, Islamic and divine characteristics due to its being among the sources determined divinely and Islamically for this case and for similar cases.

3. We deeply comprehend someone’s attempt to demonstrate Shi’asm as a human ideology when he says, “Le the Sunni and Shi’a issue be one of two Schools in understanding Islam”35 and that Shi’asm is merely a viewpoint when he says, “The issue under discussion may be that Shi’asm is a viewpoint in the line of Islam, a case isolated from the general reality of the Muslims.”36

Then he regards Imamate as “A variable that moves within the world of texts which are subject to ijtihad for their verification and implication, something which was not declared on the level which allows no room for a difference of opinion, nor was it confirmed to the degree that leaves no doubt therein. Such is the condition of debate in which the Muslims were involved, such as debating caliphate and Imamate, what is good and what is bad, and what is rational.”37

This statement implies that there is no text mandating Imamate, that Imamate, even Shi’asm altogether, is a human ideology brought forth by the Imams (as) like any other human ideology brought forth by others, rather than a divine ideology, because Imamate is not, according to some Muslims, a fundamental fact since the time when the Messenger of Allah S passed away, as someone claims. It is, then, a human ideology subject to ijtihad and is not divine, as someone claims; had it been divine, the deniers would have been excommunicated from Islam altogether, something which he does not uphold.

Does the existence of someone’s doubt regarding a fundamental fact turns what is fundamental into a mere viewpoint, changing it into a human ideology, then sorting it among what is “variable,” such as Imamate?!

4. What is fundamentally true does not need the mandating of Fiqh, Itjihad, Taqlid, or Ihtiyat on people. As regarding what is termed as “a human ideology,” it, too, carries no meaning because it is not mandated and there is no need for it...

5. If someone admits what is Islamically fundamental as being true, then he wishes to follow others in as far as human laws are concerned, or he himself likes to adopt a human, non-divine, viewpoint, then why should he be labelled as having brought about a bid’a (innovation in the creed)? And why should his books be considered misleading so he faces the harsh judgment meted to those who make innovations in the creed and getting his books to be banned because they mislead others? What is the criterion whereby a human ideology becomes at some time acceptable or at others not?

One may say that the existence of things that are not fundamentally true, on the whole, is regarded as fundamentally true, so it, too, is divine. Or one may say that the means of producing the human ideology that are acceptable in such a case are not acceptable to human laws. This may produce the following response: How can a divine ideology, according to their terminology, become human, and how can the human ideology be treated as divine for that sake? In both cases, it is not divine.

6. Let us suppose that the people refuse to uphold what is called a human ideology; should they be sensitive or enthusiastic about that ideology so they are motivated to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, to wage a holy war, to make sacrifices of their lives and of the lives of their offspring as well as of their wealth for its sake? How can we convince them of sacrificing their lives and those of their children?! Would they do so for the sake of a human ideology?! Have all the efforts and sacrifices of the Prophets, elite pious men and martyrs ever been for the sake of firming the foundations of human viewpoints which vary and which contradict with each other?!

What about this “human ideology,” namely Islam? What distinguishes it from any other human ideology or any man-made code whose advocates claim that it guarantees happiness for people and solves their problems? Does not this mean that this Islam, the “human ideology” that has no spirituality of its own, is merely an ideological luxury or the collection of viewpoints of individuals which people have circulated at their lush salons and savour it at their offices and night parties?!

7. If what some “scholars” comprehend of the texts and of a superficial understanding of the Qur’an and the Sunnah as a human ideology, why did Allah, Glory to Him, hide His “divine ideology,” as they term it, turning it into a pawn of speculations and human imagination?

What benefit remains from the sending of Prophets, and from establishing divine legislative systems, since such systems will become useless because the criteria then are these human concepts in their regard and, in the end, the severing of the tie with Allah on this basis?! How can we compromise this with the legislator requiring the public to uphold the Book and the Sunnah, using the latter as arguments against the servants, then he either rewards or punishes them accordingly although they both, as these folks claim, are unable to prove a divine ideology, and to bet the facts of the creed and of the Shari’a to the public?!

So is the case regarding all other evidences which Allah Almighty requires us to uphold. How did it become possible that Allah makes an issue, which is unable to fix its objectives, as means of reaching His goals? This is truly amazing!

8. Before we conclude our discussion, we would like to point out to the invalidity of the argument saying that the truth is relevant. This is silly. It is nonsense. The truth is the truth; some reach it while others miss its mark. There is no variation in it like the variation in the degrees of colours or in temperature degrees so that one may say it is relevant.

As regarding the variation in the abundance or the lack of sources, this makes the truth relevant. Were such a term fixed, it would still not benefit those who espouse the theory of the divine versus the human ideology, so all fiqh legacy as well as hadith comprise a human ideology, as they claim.

What Implication did the Bi’r al-’Abd Attack

I have been informed that one of the criticisms of this book is that it discusses, in a way that implies casting doubt about the claim that the said individual was the target of an assassination plot in the Bi’r al-’Abd attack.

I say that reference to the said attack came in the process of objecting to his statement wherein he said: “I am not concerned whether the rib of al-Zahra’ was broken or not.” His lack of concern springs out of the fact that it was a historical incident which took place a long time ago, whereas this personal incident took place also some time back. Despite that, he exerts an effort to remind others of it every year. It is then that radio announcers and others place this “painful event” before people. I did not intend from doing so to delve into the personal aspects of this ugly massacre in which more than eighty children, women, men, the young and the old, lost their lives, nor in its details.

Again, let me emphasize that I will not be dragged into discussing anything which causes the book to deviate from its pure theological and scientific objective.

Curses and Condemnations

One of the criticisms against this book, especially its Preface, is that it contains, as they claim, condemnations and personal assaults against somebody. I would like to say the following:

1. I find no reasonable nor any acceptable justification for this statement. The Preface treats topics with which someone dealt and which make up the book’s subject-matter: the tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa) so that they, on one hand, may be part of it once, and so that, on the other hand, they may strengthen such evidences in the minds of ordinary people. For example, why should ordinary people be told that this individual is simply raising some questions about al-Zahra’ (sa) or that criticizing his statements about al-Zahra’ (sa) is considered “scandalizing,” or that his statements in this regard fall into the category of Ijtihad? Rather, he himself says, “I held discussions with all the scholars in Iran and elsewhere..., etc.” Is not this statement made for the sake of creating a condition of submission and admiration among ordinary people so that his statement may be regarded by them as a fact taken for granted?

Perhaps one who has not been following up what someone airs from the radio or writes about the book’s subject-matter and about other serious issues recently discussed may be excused in imagining that there is some “cruelty” in such a Preface. But if one follows up, listens, reads, gets to know and witness, it is difficult to find an excuse for him for claiming that there is something in the book’s Preface that is strange to its subject-matters. He will be surprised and resentful when he scrutinizes the statements made by this individual with regard to the subject of al-Zahra’ (sa) in particular, not to mention other sensitive topics.

2. Asides from all of this, can anyone by himself produce for us an evidence for what may be termed as curses or condemnations, or even a lot less than that?!

3. I do not know what the position of these people will be with regard to one who constantly demonstrates himself as one who does not wish to respond to anyone out of his clemency and feeling above delving into such issues, being busy with what is more important and useful! Then he goes on to label others as well as all scholars, including top religious authorities, with labels the most mild of which is: intellectual inferiority, psychological complex, motivated by instinct, unstable... Then he describes on the air some scholars, who do not endorse his statements, as having no religion, in addition to very serious accusations which he has been repeating and circulating in every direction! We prefer not to “educate” anyone with these labels, for we think that people are above learning them, let alone using them.

As regarding written responses which he circulates and propagates using all his methods and means, despite the decorative speech that they contain in addition to misleading, falsifying and condemning, these have become clearer than midday sun. We made a reference to them in this Introduction at the appropriate place.

Why a Reply Method?

Someone tries to stir another question which he considers to be worthy of respect and regard. Here it is: Is it not better to stay away from a response method which carries possibilities of accusing someone of being wrong or ignorant and, in fact, is among the forms of challenge to the speaker who is supposed to be immune to anything like that?! Is it not better to write this book in a different way, i.e. by discussing a topic without referring to what this person or that says?!

I say:

1. I do not know if a subjective and scholarly criticism carries the attribute of the so-called “challenge”! Had this been accurate, people would have been better closing the door before any scholarly discussion with any particular person! Would it have been better that no discussion be held between two individuals in any scholarly ideological or vital issue?!

2. The question or, rather, the objection thereto, should be better directed to the same individual who faces criticism or rebuttal of his views or actually the beliefs of an entire sect. Rather, he employs many derogatory statements against it and against its scholars, accusing them of all cruel accusations, using very strong and stinging words the mildest of which are: unawareness, falling under the influence of a backward environment, stagnation, close-mindedness, living in the past, not being modernized..., etc.

3. I find it quite odd that someone should discuss this subject employing such a method. I have discussed it in a way whereby I avoid mentioning anyone’s name, trying not to embarrass anyone who finds himself in a position where he does not like to be.

If there is a situation for which someone himself contributed or which he prolonged, since he insists on following up the stirring of the elements of excitement, we do not know its secret, nor do we know its objectives, so much so that it has become quite clear to many people who the owner of such statements is. If the case is as such, we wonder: What is our fault?!

But it is quite clear that when we prefer to avoid naming names, some people did not like it, considering it charging anonymous people, disseminating ignorance and insults. They, therefore, stirred environments whereby they undertook to publicize and announce names when they did not like allusions or indirect references. As a comment on their action, we can do nothing but feel sorry, hoping that Allah will grant us success in knowing the “wisdom” in what they have done.

4. We, on one hand, never heard nor saw anyone who introduces himself as advocating debates and openness to others yet, at the same time, he subdues his debaters from within, so there is neither openness nor a debate! Then he refuses to openly debate with those whom he cannot oppress. On the other hand, we find him calling for putting forth issues before the public with honesty and clarity because scholarship and ideology are not the monopoly of one party rather than another.

We find them, instead, stirring the appetite of many to debate, saying, “We consider criticism the best present given to us.” In contrast, we find them facing this book, which is based on the plain scientific truth, with the worst attitude of anger with its contents and with its author.

Then we find them practicing a policy of besieging the book, exerting a great deal of effort to prohibit people, in one way or another, from circulating it or even selling or buying it, so much so that its fate surpassed the misleading books whose circulation and reviewing someone permitted lately! Perhaps the least bearable are their attempts to stir people emotionally by considering the book as being an attack against so-and-so, or that it aims at the downfall of this person or that, let alone their attempt to distort its contents, their unfairness and scandals which may never come to an end.

5. The purpose of the book is to establish a scholarly and subjective discussion of certain statements which someone collected in order to correct the attitude of those who may be influenced by what is said to them and act on it.

Had the research which is stripped from a direct reference been sufficient, scores of books which discuss these subjects, backing them up with numerous proofs, would have likewise been sufficient, and there would have been no need to write this book at all.

There are many authoritative books which, though fraught with irrefutable proofs, can not stop these people from being influenced by this person in an issue of consensus among the followers of Ahl al-Bayt (as) and is backed by statements of the Infallible Ones (as) cited consecutively by historians and traditionists of various inclinations and belonging to different sects.

Perhaps Speaker’s Objective is not the Impression he Gave

One of the objections which I have faced is this one: Perhaps the objective of the speaker is not what you yourself have understood; so, in order to be certain, the speaker has to be questioned in person.

My response is:

1. This individual speaks before the general public, to people at large. What we understood is what other people understood from what his statements apparently indicate, and we did not attribute to him anything other than what his statements carried of meanings which he used expressive of his objective according to all people who speak and who comprehend the language and according to the rules of discourse and methods of getting a message across.

2. If one who spent decades studying and researching cannot understand the purpose of these few, who then can address him about his own speeches so he would understand them?! We wonder what ordinary people who attended his meetings understood, having heard him directly or on the radio or through other means! There are among them men and women, old and young, youths, those who are educated and those who are not, the labourers and the farmers.

3. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is an error in understanding by this individual of some of those matters, how much can we imagine its size and amount besides scores of matters which have been understood just as people understand them once they are addressed thereby in a sound and straightforward way?! What could we do regarding the consensus views of major scholars and authorities of the faith as well as many educated people, including a sect that does not follow ours or our school of thought, so much so that someone started arguing against the followers of this sect?!

Let the person who objects lead us to those matters which need clarifications and corrections so that we may know how and why we misunderstood them! Then let us look into what is put forth and what is supposed to be a clarification/editing: can it be truly described as such? Is it valid at all?!

Those Who Fish in Muddy Waters

What we still keep hearing from more than one direction is that this book has made it possible for sects scattered here and there to fish in muddy waters, as they describe, and move in the direction of achieving other objectives unrelated to the objectives of this book. I would like to say the following:

Perhaps discussing inflammatory topics, when undertaken by one side, that is, that of the said individual, there should be no problem at all even if doing so leads to a shake-up in doctrinal pillars; rather, the field would remain as clear as the roaster’s eyes. But if someone else makes a stand to defend the truth and to object to someone’s statements with the goal to protect people from being dragged after someone’s statements, receiving them with good intentions and with an open mind, without any discussion thereof, this would be a major crime because it may represent an obstacle in the path of the project undertaken by someone for the past forty or fifty years. Is there a crime greater than attracting people’s attention to what harms lie in ambush for them?! Is that not considered shaking the foundations of Islam as a whole, as they describe it?!

Having said all what I have said, I would like to add the following:

1. We wish such a statement were conveyed to the individual who caused an uproar about these issues in the first place. He has insisted on circulating them and fixing them among the public on various occasions and for an extended period of time. I and my book became the scapegoat of his insistence. Many of its words were taken out of context. It was carefully characterized. Employing sizeable media potential and means that are “impressive and effective,” quite often we were warned, but we did not pay attention to the warnings, nor did we care the least about them, because we found our Islamic obligation mandating on us to treat what can be treated. If Allah is pleased, such is our objective.

2. There has been a great deal of exaggeration and fuss about those whom he labels as “fishing in muddy waters,” especially despite what we have stated above.

3. It is quite clear that putting an ideology before the public, so that it may become part of their creed or general knowledge, so that it may, in one way or another, become part and parcel of their everyday life, it requires taking the initiative to put forth an opposite view that exposes where it went wrong within the same sphere and applying the same method wherein the first ideology was discussed. It is not appropriate to wait for years because making a stand at that time against an ideology which has been fixed in people’s minds and hearts, becoming part of their creed, concepts, and everyday life, will be much, much more difficult then.

4. Whether the right idea is put forth today or tomorrow, or after scores of years, there will be those who benefit there from in any time or clime. We think that their presence does not constitute any hindrance to taking the initiative to correct or to explain; otherwise, were we to uphold such a stand to such an extent, we would never be able to respond to any idea, nor face any plan, especially if it is against many terms some of which are very serious and sensitive, something which requires speed in taking the initiative to such correcting.

Now is Not the Time for Such Issues

Having said the above, it becomes clear how to answer the statements of some of those whose echos we still hear. This echo is: “Now is not the time to put forth such issues to discuss, for there are other more important issues, and there are more complex and greater ideological, behavioural and doctrinal problems, in addition to the presence of our brothers who follow other religions and who may be disturbed by particular issues. Most importantly, Israel is there, and so are the plots of international arrogance that jeopardize our lives and very existence.”

I would like to state the following:

1. Such a statement should be directed to the person who puts forth such issues for discussion in the first place. The status quo has been in existence before and after raising these issues; so, why was it opportune to bring them about but not to respond to them?!

2. If nobody responds to these statements now, when can one respond so that the response is effective?!

3. When and in what period of time did the Muslims not have great and serious problems? When will they ever get out of these problems and their likes except at the time when the Awaited Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) comes out?! Since the Israeli enemy and international arrogance are both lying in ambush against us, should we at all allow or tempt anyone to assault our religious affairs or the matters relevant to our conviction, so that he may undermine them or alter their terminology by granting him asylum, by keeping silent rather than responding to him, and by sheltering him?! Will there be a day when there will be nobody who feels upset once our issues are put forth for discussion?! When will others agree that we discuss matters which indict or endorse the violations committed by those who do not respect them?! Then who will determine the day when we have no enemy plotting against us so that we may be able to correct what is wrong?!

4. We have repeatedly wondered: Why not examine one who carries out his responsibilities, tries to bring matters to their right course and safeguard the general attitude against falling in error in their beliefs and conviction and who wishes to discuss statements which he sees as touching on very sensitive issues in the theological field, in conviction, and in education? Why should he be looked on as the one who thus stirs a problem or wishes to cause a shake-up in the field rather than one who insists on facing the reality38 and corrects the “wrong and inherited” beliefs, as he terms them39, or even demonstrates knowledge rather than innovations when he says that “Some beliefs of the sect of Ahl al-Bayt are those innovations” which his knowledge contradicts?!

If we suppose that all this may cause a problem, why is he not himself questioned for stirring them in the first place, insisting on upholding them and “educating” the public in their regard?!

5. We have always been inviting this same individual to participate in a serious and subjective scholarly debate which obligates everyone, provided it will be in a clear and written language. Such language should not permit anyone to hide behind expressions such as “I did not mean...” or, “They misunderstood me” or, “They told lies about me” or, “I never said that” or, “perhaps” or, “maybe,” up to the end of such tools of circulation and denial in the face of clear statements and their objectives which a scholar as well as an ordinary individual comprehends.

We have always taken pain to use useful and productive means of debate, avoiding what is negative in the field of open discussions. A testimony to this fact is the number of our dissertations. Many of those who carried our messages to him testify to the same. They all returned empty handed.

We would like here to take advantage of the opportunity to call on all sincere people who can adopt such a debate, to carry it out within the frameworks which we have outlined. They may, by so doing, provide a great service to the creed that will grant them a special status and pride on the Day of Judgment.

A Bad Method; There is no Objection to Using it!

What is put forth for discussion, with the goal of diverting attention from a scholarly response to what someone articulates, is his statement saying: “The matter does not exceed being merely stirring questions of methodology and scholarship about the injustice meted to al-Zahra’ (sa) in addition to other subjects relevant to the creed, to history, to the Qur’an, etc.”

We have pointed out that such is not acceptable from a scholar who is supposed to answer people’s questions, especially the commoners among them. We also said that if one stirs questions only, why does he not support them with proofs which cannot be refuted, hiding behind the front of stirring questions?

We do not know whether this person is serious or even realistic about casting his questions. Or does he consider us among the people of misguidance, those who are his opponents in as far as the creed is concerned, so he grants himself a license to use a method which he himself has described as “bad and corrupt,” one which he himself uses against his enemies and “misguided” people?! Does he wish to use the same method with us, as if we were among those enemies who, according to him, are “straying from the right course”?!

If the answer is the first, then we really have a catastrophe at hand. But if it is the second, then the catastrophe is even greater, more bitter and more intricate.

So let us listen to him as he discusses the story of [prophet] Salih and [the people of] Thamud:

“The attempt of the arrogant ones to stir the doubt of the underprivileged with regard to the Message, through putting forth a naive question, has the appearance of seeking the truth, but it is inwardly an attempt to promote misguidance in order to dupe them into thinking that they have to reconsider their convictions on the basis that the issue includes giving and taking and does not go beyond the level of clarity so that they may discover that it does not represent the sure truth. But the underprivileged stood strongly to emphasize their belief in a method that made those folks discover their own identity of disbelief, stubbornness and violent resistence.”

Then, having described this method as “bad and corrupt,” he goes on to say,

“It is one of the methods of disbelief and misguidance when they talk to us in a friendly and flattering way as if they say: Are you serious or not when you announce your belief in what you believe or in the issues which you bring forth for discussion? Then they add saying: We do not believe like that because you, in our view, are in a level of awareness and knowledge which places you in a scholarly position which refuses to accept it; so, how can you believe in it?! It is a corrupt method which tries to turn the issue of belief and creed into one that insults man’s dignity due to its mistreatment of his intellectual capabilities.”

Then he goes on to say,

“We do not object to the employment of such a method with many of those misguided ones from among those who disagree with our creed because it agrees with the reality of the matters if we implement it.”40

Exiting the Sect’s Fiqhi Circle

They also objected to us by saying that we have accused someone of having exited the sect’s circle when we said that the mass of so many odd verdicts causes one to get out of the fiqhi (juristic) circle of the sect to which he belongs. The truth of the matter is that contradicting what is well known, no matter how much, does not obligate such exiting. We would like to add by saying the following:

1. Even a beginner student knows the difference between odd verdicts and verdicts which contradict what is well known, regardless of the individuals’ conditions, and regardless of the direct verdict against them, be it negative or positive.

2. What I have indicated is merely a precaution resulting from so many such odd verdicts. I did not discuss the criterion of fiqh, about capacity, depth and affiliation, and that it is the method followed by the faqih according to his restrictions and the onsets of his deduction, then according to the general stamp which distinguishes his verdicts. All this does not suffice this scholar with regard to these verdicts or to his agreement with others with regard to their verdicts. We may find a fiqhi sect among non-Imamite Shi’as generally agreeing with a sundry and odd verdicts, or sometimes they are not odd, adhered to by a Shi’a faqih here and another there despite the obvious difference in the methodology, onsets and similar characteristics. Such characteristics do not place them in a [separate] sect. So there is no benefit whatever gained by someone who keeps saying that so-and-so agrees with him or with this verdict of his or with that.

Is This the Jawahiri Approach?

As regarding the creative approach, although we find someone claiming that he follows the Jawahiri approach of deduction41, yet we also find him upholding, in his way of deduction, a method which disagrees with the Jawahiri approach. I would like to provide the reader with some examples:

1. He considers the conclusions and the life-styles of rational people as providing injunctions for a Muslim even if they may touch on an aspect of the Sunnah which is comprised of the statements, traditions and decisions of the Infallible one42.

2. He considers what has come down to us from the fiqh legacy, with the exception of what is fundamentally true, a few issues, the product of the faqihs; so, it is all human ideology, not a divine one43.

3. He considers the Qur’an as the one that expands on or restricts hadith. As for hadith, it cannot restrict the Qur’anic concept44.

4. Then he considers what is general and what is particular as contradictory of one another if they are separated by a lengthy span of time45, and that they are to be appended for the same reason to what is absolute and restricted.

5. The he says, “Reason uncovers injunctions’ implications.”46

6. He also is inspired by the Qur’anic meaning just as the Imams used to be inspired!47

7. He has no objection to act on qiyas (relative comparison) and other perceptive methods in any source for which there is no legislative rule in the Book or in the hadith although the Imams have banned qiyas. The Imams’ rejection of it is based on its closure of the wide gate of knowledge. It expands to include even the smallest gap though it may be in a legislative rule in a very specific reference.

8. He considers as reliable the hadith which the scholars have agreed that it is weak, claiming there is no need to lie in its regard.

9. For the same reason, according to him, it is permissible to act on the traditions narrated by non-Shi’as48.

10. Language, according to him, develops; so, we have to understand the Qur’an and the hadith based on the new meaning which was not circulated before, nor was the expression led to it during the time when the text was revealed49.

11. According to him, some legislative rules have to be reconsidered because they lead to paralysis and stagnation50.

12. He considers the principle of agreed on interests on which the Sunnis rely to be the same principle of public crowding in the School of Ahl al-Bayt (as) although the difference between them is quite vast51.

13. Obligatory precaution regarding the prohibition of something, according to him, is considered an inclination towards permissibility. So he considers anyone who advocates obligatory precaution by not shaving the beard, for example, to be among those who incline to say that it is alright to shave it, although the meaning of “precaution” is that the faqah does not have an evidence for prohibition. It is as though the faqah says, “I cannot issue a verdict in this regard; so, go to someone else, or take precaution, so that you may avoid being penalized.”

Placing the Hands on One Another, Testimony for the Wilayat

As an example for the contradictions in his fiqh methodology, I would like to mention the following:

He considers the saying of: “I testify that Ali is the Wali of Allah” while reciting the Iqama as causing a great deal of harm; he says the following in its regard: “I find no benefit for the Shari’a to incorporate a new element in the obligatory prayer, in the introduction thereto, or in its rituals, because this may lead to many harms.”52 We do not know why he does not remove it from the athan as well, for it is one of the introductions to the prayers as his statement indicates.

Counting what invalidates the prayers, he then continues to say, “To deliberately say آمين ‘ameen’ is precautionary, though it may be valid especially if the intention behind saying it is to supplicate.”53

Then he considers putting the right hand on the left, or vice versa, during the prayers to be nullification as a precaution, especially if it is meant to be part of the prayers, although a stronger consideration is that it does not invalidate it when it is not meant to be part of it and in the absence of a Shari’a rule in this regard, especially if it is meant to be submission to Allah.”54

He, then, has no evidence for the nullification of prayers when the hands are placed as described above, nor by articulating “ameen” on purpose, for the whole issue to him is only a precaution, and precaution, according to him, implies an inclination to authorization. Nay! He has no objection to the pronouncement of “ameen” even if it is not meant to be a supplication due to the presence, in his estimation, of validity, and so is the case with putting the hands during it as described above with the intention of its not being part of the prayers.

What is noteworthy here is that he did not record any reservation in this regard. He does not consider it as leading to many harms. He is reserved about the third statement in the Shahada (Declaration of Faith), considering it as falling in the same category, although putting the right hand on the left, or vice versa, and the pronouncement of “ameen” are both, like the above, elements introduced into an obligation, namely the daily prayers, not in something highly commendable and optional. This element has entered into the prayers itself, not in something regarded as a part thereof, although such a possibility is very weak.

Why should there be such a reservation regarding the third statement of the shahada?! Is it because of mere possibility? Is he not himself waging a fierce battle against all the scholars who advocate the necessity of precaution even when it comes to obligatory injunctions?!55

Perhaps the allusion we have indicated spares the reader any details with regard to his stand regarding two issues: one is linked to Ali (as) and the other to putting the right hand on the left, or vice versa. It is linked to a party that aims at firming everything except the line and the methodology of Ali (as)!

We wish, having seen how he advocates, that if testimony for the Commander of the Faithful (as) in both the athan and the iqama causes a lot of harm, he would not seek violent means to achieve his objective if he acts on the principle whereby he reached the conclusion that smoking is prohibitive and harmful, deriving it from this verse of the Almighty:

“... And their sin is greater than their benefit” (Qur’an, 2:219).

He found it palatable to interpret “sin” as meaning “harm” without any linguistic evidence... He did not like to interpret “benefit” as meaning “reward” although neither is preferred over the other.

Having said so, we do not wish to remind this individual of his pledges to make all his verdicts earning the endorsement of the sect’s scholars, yet we have found no endorsement whatsoever for his precautionary verdict wherein he prefers leaving out testimony for Ali (as) in both iqama and athan, neither from early scholars nor from the latest, having widely researched the views of more than a hundred scholars, may Allah be pleased with them all. Let him name one single scholar who advocates that it is a precaution to prefer leaving out the testimony for the wali (as) in both the iqama and the athan without the intention of making it part thereof.

Permissibility of Looking at Nudity

Is this not similar to his advocating the permissibility of a man looking at the nudity of another man, and a woman looking at the nudity of another woman, based on “rational” commendable acts and on qiyas?! Rather, he even perfectly clearly makes it permissible to look at the nudity of those who participate in nudist clubs56 although such a prohibition is quite obvious according to the beliefs of our sect. Can he name one single scholar who agrees with this verdict of his?! Maybe there should be no embarrassment after this day in going to such clubs, according to his views, in order to benefit scientifically from them!

May Allah protect us against slipping away from the Right Path in our way of thinking, in what we say or do.

About the Social Activity of al-Zahra’ (sa)

One of the issues raised is their claim that I have discussed the social activity of al-Zahra’ (sa) as I have discussed someone’s statement wherein he says that he does not “... find in history what refers to any social activity of al-Zahra’ (sa) in the Islamic society except in one or two narratives.”

I discussed the fact that she did not establish philanthropic foundations, nor did she participate in civil organizations or the like. So, he considered such statements derogatory to his activities in this field, as if he wants to find an evidence demonstrating that this book assaulted personal characteristics unrelated to the scholarly aspect on which the book is based. They also apologized for this person saying that he simply was criticizing and indicting the oppressive history. Let me say the following:

FIRST: Someone’s care about philanthropic or civil establish-ments is not considered as indicting him/her, nor is it a point of weakness in his/her practical life so it could be assaulted.

SECOND: Making a stand to oppose issues of this sort, paying them such an attention, is not an issue relevant to this party or that. Rather, this is considered a framework undertaken by those who deal with social issues. We never objected to such sort of activity, nor do we have any problems in this direction.

THIRD: Anyone who reads, with awareness and fairness, what we wrote and understands our objective and who still needs some explanation, we would like to say to him: We discussed the possibilities within the cycle of what social life demanded during that generation.

FOURTH: We believe that history has been unfair to al-Zahra’ (sa) just as it has been to many righteous and sincere people and those who laboured for the sake of Allah. But to deny the existence of any except one or two such traditions needs a complete supervision and a perfect tracing of historical texts in various books and biographies to prove it. We have cited in this book samples proving that anyone who makes a statement like this has not conducted a thorough research so that he would be accurate in such a way.

FIFTH: This same person who makes such a statement gives credit to this Lady, al-Zahra’ (sa), in various and numerous lectures of his which fall in the same category, as stated by some of those who took to defending him; so, what is the meaning of such minute restriction of the subject to one or two narratives?! We have found such matters cited in a lot more than that as is quite obvious.

Categorizing or Sorting Texts

One of this individual’s criticisms against this book is that it took pains to stack many texts and references. We say just as what the Commander of the Faithful (sa) said in one of his letters to Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan: “By Allah! You intended to speak ill [of me] but you instead complimented [me], and you wanted to expose but you yourself became exposed!”57

For what is meant from stacking texts is to show the meaning on which they all agree, in a scholarly way, through showing the existence of consecutive reporting which spares the researcher the need to minutely research the evidences. A minute research is required when an issue is not certain, is unclear and its non-existence through such consecutive reporting puts an end to doubts.

This is so when each text in many adds a degree of possibility, then such possibilities keep increasing whenever a new text is added to its predecessors till we reach a degree of conviction, then to a strong conviction, then to a stronger one, and so on till such possibilities become piled up to the extent the opposite possibility drops and disappears and reason diverts itself from taking it into consideration.

This happens with consecutive reporting and with certainty regarding the accuracy of the meaning to be proven. This matter is assisted by various elements and circumstances. For example: whenever references are reliable and at hand since the time when the texts came out, or since the incident, the chances of confirming the meaning will be greater, while the need for such “stacking” will be less.

This is assisted by the issue being one of those that do not agree with the policies of the rulers or with historians’ own personal likes and dislikes. Letting many texts of such a characteristic pass through increases the chances of strengthening such possibilities. Stacking doubts about them becomes faster and more plentiful especially when such an abundance is not contrasted by what contradicts it by those who assist the rulers and by those who are concerned about clearing the name of the party that set off the incident.

If the traditions differ among themselves with regard to minor details, or when some of them include particular details which the other party neglected or overlooked, this does not harm the stacking of doubts about the origin of the incident, since it is intended to be known and to be confirmed by all these narrations.

Perhaps one who criticizes us for stating the texts without verifying their sources has not paid attention to this issue because the one who stands to deny has no say in such issues.

Let me add that mentioning the references which were written across consecutive centuries does not necessarily mean that the successor copied his predecessor whose book is available with us, for quite often he may have copied it from another contemporary or previous reference. Moreover, a scholar’s attention in recording this issue and discussing it in numerous volumes proves that he does not take that incident lightly, nor does he look on it casually.

In our view, assaulting al-Zahra’ (sa), her being verbally abused, her house being broken into by force and by a number of people, and the arresting of Ali (as) in order to force him to swear the oath of allegiance was narrated from [predicted by] the Prophet S and from most Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (as) as well as from al-Zahra’ (sa) herself in many narratives.

This incident has also been reported, briefly or in detail, by many historians from various degrees and inclinations. Poets have composed poetry about it. Speakers have cited it. Scholars, despite their various inclinations and scholarly levels, have confirmed it. All this pours into one venue: There is information regarding its being reported by people who cannot all agree on one and the same meaning due to the differences among their sects, due to their various likes and dislikes as well as specializations across many centuries.

There is no room to accept someone’s claim that nothing wrong happened to al-Zahra’ (sa) nor to her house, nor inside it, except some people threatening her with burning... while there is also doubt about the seriousness of such a threat since the assailants’ hearts were “full of love” for al-Zahra’ (sa) and since her social status prohibited them from doing any such thing. This is so except when those who oppose reject stacked up texts and deny even their consecutive reporting, evidences and outcomes, contrarily to what they publicly declare!

To sum up, one who is not certain, or when there are no proofs supporting an issue, needs to research the evidences in a clear and consecutive manner. Had history been confined to what has only an authoritative support, according to the terminology used by scholars of hadith, then no historical fact can ever be proven except what strays from the common grounds and is quite rare.

Had the researcher been non-Muslim, one who is not concerned about investigating the truthfulness of the narrators as Muslims do, he cannot prove any historical fact at all, even what is mostly out of the ordinary and rare, unless he relies on the method sought and referred to by the happy martyr, Ayatollah Sayyid [Muhammed Baqir] al-Sadr, may Allah have mercy on his soul, when he discussed establishing firm grounds for consecutive reports based on possibilities:

Every news heard where there is a possibility of agreeing or disagreeing with it, and when the disagreement is based on the possibility of an error from the side of the reporter or the possibility of deliberate lying in order to serve a specific interest of his that spurs him to hide the truth, if the news comes from many sources…, the possibility of its disagreement with the truth diminishes.

This is so because the possibility of an error, or in deliberate lying from the side of each and every reporter of it in an artificial manner, if it is present to a certain extent, then the possibility of error, or of deliberate lying by the reporters of one and the same incident, is at a lesser degree.

This is so because the degree of possibility results by multiplying the value of the possibility of lying, by one reporter, by the value of the possibility of another reporter. Whenever we multiply the value of the possibility by the value of another possibility, the possibility decreases because the value of the possibility always represents a fraction defined from the true figure. If we represent the truth by the figure 1, the possibility will be ½ or 1/3 or something like that. And whenever we multiply a fraction by another fraction, the outcome will be a smaller fraction as is quite obvious.

When a large number of reporters are present, we have to repeat the multiplication by the number of narratives reported by those reporters so that we may reach the value of the possibility of lies in all of them. This possibility becomes very small, and it keeps decreasing as the number of the reporters keeps increasing, and so on till it becomes scientifically nil due to its diminution and to the fact that the human mind cannot retain very minute possibilities. The number of narrations which remove such a possibility scientifically, or defacto consecutive reporting, as well as the reports will all then be labelled as consecutively reported.

There is no specific value for the number reached in the latter case because this is affected to a great degree, in addition to the number of narrators, by the quality of such narrators and the extent of their reliability, mastership and other factors which make up the possibility. This shows that considering a report as being consecutively reported depends on the calculation of possibilities.

Consecutive reporting may sometimes be oral, in other times in general meaning, or as a whole. If the common axis for all reports is a specific wording, it will belong to the first type. If it is a specific ideology, it belongs to the second. But if it is persistent and derivative, it belongs to the third.

As long as the axis is more precisely defined, the result of the consecutive reporting required for confirmation, according to the calculation of possibilities, will come out faster. In such a case, the possibilities of finding common interest grounds among all the reporters to such a degree of precision, despite the differences in their conditions and circumstances, are further than the logic of the calculation of possibilities.

The characteristics of the reporters, their quantity and quality, also impact the evaluation of any possibility. Also bearing an impact is the characteristic of those who quote him, i.e. who tell the gist of the reports, and these are of two types: general and relative.

What is meant by the general characteristics is the following: Every specific meaning constitutes, in the calculation of a possibility, an aiding element leading to the report being true or untrue regardless of the type of person who reports it. For example: the oddity of the issue told. It is an element by itself aiding to prove the lie, so it mandates taking the time to reach conviction through consecutive reporting. Contrary to this is when the issue is normal, is expected and is in agreement with all other known issues. This is an element that aids the truth; conviction will then take place much faster.

What is meant by the relative characteristic is: every specific meaning constituting, according to the calculation of possibility, an aiding element leading to the truthfulness of the report or to its being a lie once the quality of the person who brings it about is carefully examined.

For example, if a non-Shi’a narrates anything endorsing the Imamate of Ahl al-Bayt, peace with them, the narrative itself will bring into focus the characteristic of the narrator as an element aiding to confirm his being truthful according to the calculation of possibility because a personal interest will be considered as a remote possibility that he will be lying. Both specific and general characteristics may be combined to prove the authenticity of the report, as is the case with the example above, if we suppose the report came out during the reign of Banu Umayyah or their likes who were always trying to obstruct such reports through coercion or enticement.

A specific idea, regardless of the sect to which its narrator belongs, is a strong evidence leading to the truth. The specificity of the content, while taking into consideration the sect to which the narrator belongs, is the strongest testimony to the same.58

Specialization and Sulaym’s Book

One of the rumours circulated against the book is that one of the references on which it relies is the book titled Al-Ikhtisas (specialization) and also the book written by Sulaym ibn Qays. Those who raise such issues do not necessarily find these books reliable despite the fact that most narratives relevant to the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) are referred to the second [book]. We would like to say the following:

1. The references which have recorded the events from which al-Zahra’ (sa) suffered are not confined to these books, nor do they end there either. The least review of this book and its sources, which are narrated by Sunnis and Shi’as, guarantees to prove the error of such a claim. Anyone who discerns the narratives which support each other and are consecutively reported have been narrated by followers of various sects. What is quoted from Sulaym’s book are only a few traditions which may not exceed the number of the fingers on one single hand. The differences among the narratives within the same report and among the sources on which they rely is a true witness testifying to the transmission being from more than one book, i.e. Sulaym’s book about which some people are sensitive.

2. With regard to the book titled Al-Ikhtisas, we would like to say that the same individual has relied on this same book, attributing it to Shaikh al-Mufid59. I have discussed in this book the doubts raised about it, and it has become obvious that they all are unworthy of anyone’s attention.

3. The authenticity of Sulaym ibn Qays’s book and the acceptance of its narratives do not hinge on the venue leading to him, openly and directly. Suffices to accept its narratives the fact that scholars have already accepted them and are pleased with them. They quote them and clearly rely on them, paying no heed to what is said about the men leading to his venue. This is a strong testimony to the fact that this book is above being criticized. It is firmly and strongly established so long as the proofs for its authenticity are to the extent that no noteworthy doubt can ever scratch its accuracy.

When someone discusses one of its narratives, it is the same as one discusses one of the narratives in al-Kafi’s work, or in the Tahthib, as stated by Imam al-Khoei, may Allah have mercy on his soul, in Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith. Rather, the criterion, according to the same individual whom and whose statements I discuss in this book, is the authenticated transmission, not the report of authenticity; so, he needs no authenticity of the venue. The authenticity of the context and its acceptance suffice. The rational commendable things which he has mentioned as justifying doubt in the text do not justify the end which he tries to reach as we have clarified and to which Imam al-Khoei referred in Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith.

The outcome is this: I have stated that Sulaym’s book has been received by the nation with acceptance and appreciation just as it received other reliable Imamite books even when some scholars have discussed some of its narratives. Such is meant by Grand Ayatollah Sayyid [Abul-Qasim] al-Khoei, may Allah have mercy on his soul, when he defended the contents of the book once then decided that the venue, according to him, was weak. What he stated came out to accept the evidence of the report of authenticity rather than the authenticated one.

By my life, one who decides that it is alright to accept Sunni narratives without any reservation or minute investigation of their references60, once he trusts the accuracy of their contents and finds no reason for any lies therein, has no right to discuss Sulaym’s book which is one of the most important books that uphold the right sect without straying from its path.

How could he conclude that the fiqh matters narrated in Sunni books can be authenticated in the pretext there is no need for lies therein, without being convinced of the authenticity of what Sunni books regard persons whose indictment about anything at all they do not like, while there is no justification for telling lies therein as well, but they are motivated not to publicly declare such matters though they themselves mention them?!61

He set out without a Legislative Method

Asides from all of this, the most amusing of the criticism we have heard about this book is what someone mentioned when he was asked about it. Said he, “I do not have any comment about the book, and I do not respond to many things which come out in a way contrary to the Shari’a and are irresponsible.”

It is unclear to me what is meant by this answer. Does he mean by “a way contrary to the Shari’a” that the writer held the pen with his left hand instead of the right one?! Or did he use stolen ink, or stolen pen or wrote on stolen paper?! Or did I start from the bottom of the page instead of from its top?!

Why is it not said that the condemnations and false accusations, which are directed at others with or without any occasion, also come out in a way that is contrary to the Shari’a?! Has what he said, or the lies and insinuations written as responses to the book titled Tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa): Doubts and Responses, been falsifying the truth, betraying and confusing the nation, whereas all his books and articles have contained condemnations and insinuations? If so, then such books are circulated free of charge, stirring a huge media blitz to welcome him! Is all of this done in a way accepted by the Shari’a?! We do not wish to know, while the aware person and the intelligent already knows.

Authentication of Texts

We have been reproached by some of our brethren for not verifying some statements by attributing them to their sources, or by verifying the dates when they were issued or aired since doing so complements the book and instills comfort and ease in the reader’s heart regarding the authenticity of such attributions. I would like to say that I found no reason for doing so due to the following:

FIRST: We did not want to concentrate on personalities so that it would not be considered as defaming anyone.

SECOND: We wished not to take part in attributing this matter to this person or that, more than it actually is, in order to safeguard him from being exposed to what we do not wish him to be exposed, and to safeguard the reputation of some good people against falling into doubt or error.

THIRD: What I have stated in my book has become quite famous and well known, so it needs no attributing to its sources or references. We do not think that this individual can deny any of his own statements to which we referred. He, more than anyone else, knows what and how big statements he wrote, recorded, aired and circulated among people throughout the Islamic world and in the areas where there are Muslims. What is tragic yet ludicrous is that we find some people who wish to support such statements and who demand that we should provide them, in very few places, with the references from which we quoted him. Had they referred to what their fellow had written, or to his published or circulated statements, they would have spared us such an effort.

No Need for any Change

Maybe some people suggest the following: Since the Introduction to the book contains some “severity,” could it be toned down a little bit in forthcoming editions? Let me say that the book’s Introduction is only a response to allegations which someone made as he tried to convince people to accept his viewpoints relevant to al-Zahra’ (sa).

Such a response has been scholarly, clear, and frank. I found no reason to mislead the kind reader especially since the statements (discussed throughout the book) have already been published and circulated by the news media. Nor do I find in this Introduction anything that condemns anyone except when the scholarly truth represents a shock to him, so he considers announcing it or responding to it as condemning or cursing.

Why was it alright for this same person to object to all the nation’s scholars since the first day of the Islamic history till our time, assaulting them and undermining them? Then it was alright for him to continue his accusations against the sincere scholars, labeling them as backward, lacking in understanding, suffering from psychological complexes, accusing them of being agents of intelligence agencies or falling under their influence, of having no creed..., up to the end of the list of terms of which his dictionary is brimful.

Why is it not alright for others to publicly, and in response to all of that, declare the scholarly truth which dispels their doubts or whims and make them aware of where they erred against this religion in an open and clear way? Is not the same person the one who discussed these methods, describing them as being employed by the unbelievers against the Prophet S and against the believers? He says,

“We may need to learn from this situation: How can we face the accusations fueling the war of nerves directed by the enemies of Allah who work in His Path: mockery, ridicule, accusations of backwardness, of being distant from the march of civilization..., up to the end of the list of such irresponsible diction? There are those who are lackeys of the foreigners or following in the latter’s footsteps with the objective of wrecking our nerves so that we may withdraw from the line of work and forsake the call to Allah...”62

He also says,

“We have found, besides theological terms such as apostasy, atheism, heresy, words such as backwardness, treason, subjugation to foreigners, moral decay, etc. This caused us to exhaust the vocabulary of the available dictionary and seek help from foreign vocabularies, English and French, such as Nazi, Fascist, totalitarian, and the like. For this reason, I imagine the hardship lived by a Muslim in the east, who adheres to his faith, as being the same severity lived by the secular man in the east, especially what is related to the vocabulary words dealing with general terms such as advancement, backwardness, or words which deal with political issues directly. From this, we understand that this phenomenon is not purely religious in the deep religious context, though it plays a role there, but it is a phenomenon related to the eastern emotional condition whose depth Marxism increased through the Marxist method of facing the opposite ideology or the opposing individual. When some Muslims resorted to harsh methods, they were treasuring the Marxist method in their application of Islam.”63

Having said the above, let me add saying that we do not know how these words came to make us face an embarrassing question about the wisdom in what some believers do against each other, ways implemented by the enemies of Allah against those who believe in Him. Before concluding, let me remind the kind reader of three matters:

FIRST: I expect the reader to witness anew a fierce assault against me containing many insults and accusations, one stirring antagonistic sentiments and provoking people against me. The pretext will be: my supposed “scandalizing” of so-and-so, and that my exposition is not scholarly or subjective.

SECOND: You will find them clinging to minor and secondary issues in order to confuse the sensitive and serious subjects of the book and to water down the issues.

THIRD: They will consider this legitimate defense of the truth and righteousness as stirring dissension from one side although I have not dealt with all his numerous statements in various issues relevant to creed and conviction. These are quite sensitive and weighty issues, as we have pointed out. They will not remember their prior consecutive and persistent agitations and the challenges of such sensitive and weighty issues raised by the nation’s scholars and religious authorities to whom we referred more than once. Surely the morrow is near to one who anticipates it.

May Allah safeguard us against straying from the right course in our way of thinking, speaking, in whatever we do. We plead to Allah, Glory to Him, to help us pursue goodness, guidance and success; He suffices us, and how good He is to rely on!

Ja’far Murtada al-’Amili

Rabi’ II 27, 1418 A.H./August 31, 1997 A.D.

  • 1. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Nahjul-Balagha, the part dedicated to the Imam’s letters (edited by Muhammed `Abdoh), Vol. 3, p. 16 (published by Dar al-Ma`rifah, Beirut, Lebanon).
  • 2. Refer to Jannat al-Ma`wa, p. 81.
  • 3. Refer to the previous references.
  • 4. `Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husayn (original Arabic text has been translated into English by Yasin T. al-Jibouri), p. 389, published by the Dept. of Islamic Studies, Tehran, Iran.
  • 5. Refer to Jannat al-Ma’wa, pp. 83-84 and 78-81.
  • 6. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 8 (ancient edition), p. 231, quoting Irshad al-Qulub. References will be discussed in the texts’ section to follow.
  • 7. Al-Saduq, Al-Amali, p. 118. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 51. We will discuss the references in the texts’ section.
  • 8. Al-Mufid, Amali, pp. 49-50.
  • 9. Al-Musawi, Al-Muraja`at, p. 346, edited and commented on by Shaikh Husayn al Radi. The Translator of this book has also translated Al-Muraja`at which was first published in 1415 A.H./1995 A.D. in Beirut, Lebanon, by the Imam Husayn Foundation, then it was reprinted by Ansariyan in 1380 A.H./2001 A.D. which has been reprinting it ever since due to public demand. The London, U.K., office of His Holiness Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani recently published a Spanish translation of this edition. Another translation into Albanian is complete but is yet to be published. Its Translator, al-Jibouri, is planning to publish it in the U.S. very soon, Insha-Allah.
  • 10. Refer to the Arabic text above of the poem composed by Egyptian poet Hafiz Ibrahim in reference to this incident.
  • 11. Al-Musawi, Al-Nass wal Ijtihad, p. 79 published by Al-A`lami Foundation.
  • 12. Refer to the footnotes of Al-Nass wal Ijtihad, p. 79, and Al-Muraja`at, p. 346
  • 13. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Nahjul-Balagha, the part dedicated to the Imam’s letters (edited by Muhammed `Abdoh), Vol. 3, p. 16 (published by Dar al-Ma`rifah, Beirut, Lebanon).
  • 14. Refer to Jannat al-Ma`wa, p. 81.
  • 15. Refer to the previous references.
  • 16. __, Dunya al-Mar’a, p. 25. __, Al-Murshid magazine, p. 282.
  • 17. There are many such indications. During this Summer, in a televised interview wherein Sarkis Na`oom participated, a certain individual expressed his pleasure with the statements made by Na`oom who concentrated on the subject of Persian and Arab religious authorities. He did not oppose him, nor did he express any reservations about his statements.
  • 18. Quoted from a published communique issued by his Qum office in order to falsify what was announced during the Friday prayers and was aired by a radio station belonging to some people regarding forging his signature and invalidating it.
  • 19. Sulaym ibn Qays al-Hilali, an Arab scholar and may be the very first author in Islam outside the immediate family of the Prophet (S), was one of the companions of Imam Ali (as) and is well-known for his book titled كتاب سليم بن قيس, The Book of Sulaym ibn Qays. According to Ibn al-Nadim, this book is "the oldest surviving Shi`ite book" which is written in the first Islamic century. Sulaym is said to have been born near the place where K£fi was later built. He became an ardent supporter of Imam Ali (as) as did Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, Salman al-Fairis and many others from among the Prophet’s most respected sahaba . He wrote down what he learned from and experienced with Ali (as), and his writing eventually became this same book. Sulaym collected some of the sermons which Imam Ali delivered at Kufa’s Grand Mosque. When al-Hajjaj ibn Yousuf al-Thaqafi became the governor of Kufi, after the martyrdom of the Imam (as), Sulaym fled to Persia with his writings in 694 A.D., staying in Nobandegan. There, he found a fifteen-year-old boy, Aban ibn Abu `Ayyash and became fond of him, so he started to educate him, and Aban eventually became a Shi`a. Sulaym entrusted all of his writings to Aban, after Aban had made a solemn oath not to talk of any of the writings during Sulaym’s lifetime and that after his death he would give the book only to trustworthy supporters of Imam Ali (as).
  • 20. This lecture was published in Qadiyya Islamiyya magazine of Qum, Vol. 1, p. 13, and it is recorded in his own voice on an audio cassette which many people already have. He had delivered this sermon/lecture at Husayniyyat al-Shahid al-Sadr in the sacred city of Qum on Sha`ban 21, 1414 A.H./February 3, 1994. It was reprinted on p. 22, Vol. 3, of Ru’a wa Mawaqif magazine and was also published on May 16, 1997 by Bayyinat newsletter, with two alterations:
    1. The lecture was dated 1995 instead of its real date especially since he never went to Qum in that year anyway.
    2. His statement was altered and underwent editorial additions in order to the removal of the contradiction in the stand made by the same person who delivered it. The statement was made to read as follows: “History is fraught with various ahadith (claiming) that she was beaten, and that she miscarried, and that she..., and that she... Yet these do not deny that her sanctity was violated as well as that of the Prophet’s house which was assaulted, and threats were made to burn it even if Fatima was inside it.” The purpose of the substitution of one word for another is quite clear. All narratives pour down in one venue which they all confirm and which we, too, want to prove in this book. His statement does not emphasize one particular issue at all. The addition to the statement came to emphasize the same. Such alteration and falsification provides us with the evidence that we cannot trust what they transmit to us. This is only one simple example. We have many more such examples.
  • 21. Refer to Al-Murshid magazine, issues 3 and 4, pp. 23 and 210, quoting the book titled As’ila wa Rudud minal Qalb. But on pp. 299, 282 and 127, the same reference states that he was born in 1936. On p. 122 of Libdiyar newspaper, issue dated April 19, 1992, it is stated that he was born in Najaf al-Ashraf on March 19, 1934/Sha`ban 19, 1354. The same interview was published in the book titled Afaq al-Hiwar al-Islami-al-Masihi [horizons of the Islamic-Christian dialogue], p. 351; so, refer to it.
  • 22. __, Tahaddi al-Mamnoo`, p. 23.
  • 23. Ibid.
  • 24. __, Al-Murshid magazine, issues 3 and 4, p. 56, citing p. 26 of Tahaddal-Mamnoo`.
  • 25. Ibid., issues 3 & 4, p. 62, citing p. 43 of Tahaddu al-Mamnoo`.
  • 26. Refer to Tahaddi al-Mamnoo`, p. 19. But he also stated that he was born in 1936 A.D., and so is the indication on p. 127 of Al-Murshid, although this coincides in 1935; so, refer to p. 210, issues 3 and 4, and consult Mu`jam Rijal al-Fikr wal Adab. What is noteworthy is that many dates are given to his year of birth. He mentioned 1935, 1936 and 1934. Refer to another footnote above.
  • 27. __, Al-Murshid magazine, issues 3 and 4, p. 299, where the statement is quoted as follows: “The greatest resurgence took place after 1982, then following the great explosion at Bi’r al-`Abd in 1984 which made him the focus of all attention.”
  • 28. __, Tahaddi al-Mamnoo`, p. 87.
  • 29. Ibid., p. 88.
  • 30. __, Al-Murshid magazine, p. 128, citing the Al-Sha`ab Egyptian newspaper of August 6, 1993 and p. 344 of The Secret Wars of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
  • 31. Ibid., issues 3 and 4, p. 57 and p. 28 of Tahaddi al-Mamnoo`.
  • 32. Ibid., issues 3 and 4, p. 20, citing the book titled As’ila wa Rudood minal Qalb.
  • 33. Refer to p. 480 of Hiwarat fl Fikr wal Siyasa wal Ijtima` where issue 8 of Al-Mawsim magazine of 1990 is quoted.
  • 34. Refer to the book titled Kitab al-Nikah, Vol. 1, p. 66.
  • 35. __, Al-Murshid magazine, Vols. 3 and 4, p. 68.
  • 36. __, Ta’ammulat fi Mawaqif al-Imam al-Kazim (u) p. 94.
  • 37. __, “Originality and Renewal,” Al-Minhuj magazine, Vol. 2, p. 60
  • 38. __, Al-Murshid magazine, Nos. 3 and 4, p. 281.
  • 39. __, Bayyinat newsletter of October 25, 1996.
  • 40. __, Al-Hiwar fil Qur’an, pp. 252 and 253.
  • 41. Refer to p. 244, issues 3 and 4 of Al-Murshid, citing a lecture delivered at the Institute of Islamic Shari`a in Bi’r Hassan on January 18, 1995.
  • 42. Ibid.
  • 43. Refer to p. 480 of Hiwarat fl Fikr wal Siyasa wal Ijtima`.
  • 44. __, Al-Murshid, Nos. 3 & 4, pp. 267, 247.
  • 45. Ibid.
  • 46. Ibid., p. 245.
  • 47. __, Al-Insan wal Hayat, p. 310.
  • 48. Kitab al-Nikah, Vol. 1, p. 58.
  • 49. Refer to pp. 19-20 of Qira’a Jadida li Fiqh al-Mar’a.
  • 50. Ta’ammulat fi Afaq al-Imam al-Kazim (as), p. 47.
  • 51. Al-Insan wal Hayat, p. 169.
  • 52. Al-Masa’il al-Fiqhiyya, Vol. 2, p. 123 (1996 edition).
  • 53. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 92 (fifth edition).
  • 54. Ibid., Vol. 1, pp. 91-92 (fifth edition).
  • 55. Refer to Al-Murshid, Vol. 3 & 4, p. 263.
  • 56. Refer to p. 66, Vol. 1, of Kitab al-Nikah. The basis upon which he relies does not refrain from prohibiting men from looking at women’s nudity, nor women from looking at men’s nudity, for he considers it one of the issues which are not relevant to obligations. His criterion is the nude person dropping the prohibition (of seeing himself/herself in the nude) from his/her own self when he/she uncovers the private parts. So, if one relinquishes on’s own right to safeguard the nudity, looking at such nudity will be (according to this scholar) permissible just as it is permissible for the women who do not refrain when they are prohibited from doing something prohibitive. Refer to his statements relevant to this subject and see for yourself.
  • 57. Refer to Book 58, to the Section about the Imam’s letters and messages of Nahjul-Balagha.
  • 58. Refer to Durus fi `Ilm al-Usul, Vol. 1, Second Series, pp. 108-110.
  • 59. Refer to Ta’ammulat fi Afaq al-Imam al-Kazim (as), p. 40..
  • 60. Ibid.
  • 61. Refer to Kitab al-Nikah, Vol. 1, p. 58.
  • 62. __, Risalat al-Ta’akhi, Vol. 1, quoting “Lessons from the Prophet’s Lifetime,” in a section on the birth of the Prophet (S), pp. 22-23.
  • 63. __, Al-Murshid, Nos. 3 & 4, pp. 198-199.

Part 6: “Their Love And Respect Deter Them”

It is highly unlikely that the coup leaders would assault the house of Fatima (sa), being deterred by her status from doing any such thing.

He tries to provide evidence for such a status with many matters which, in turn, are mere unsubstantiated claims or unfit to prove his point.

But he does not find it “unlikely” that they would threaten to burn the house in order to psychologically coerce them to yield to their demands, emphasizing that they only wanted to arrest the Commander of the Faithful, peace with him. As for al-Zahra’ (sa) or others, they had no business with them...!

In this Part, we are going to discuss these issues which he considers to be sufficient to justify the doubt which he entertains and which does not reach the degree of open rejection, although he tries to amass proofs and evidences to sufficiently deny all of that, not to merely cast some doubt. Here we are going to provide his proofs and evidences and explain how they are unfit for such a role.

This Part’s Research

Before entering into the details, we would like to point out to the discussion in this Part to be centering around these points:

1. A dispute with one person does not prohibit him from respecting that person’s wife for one reason or another.

2. Ali (as) taking Fatima (sa) to the houses of the Ansar to solicit their support demonstrates the loftiness of her status and of the respect which she enjoyed in the Islamic society.

3. Those brought by ‘’Umar to the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) objected when he threatened to burn the house and everyone inside it, so they said to him, “But Fatima (sa) is inside!” He said to them, “So what?!” This has many implications:

One: al-Zahra’ (sa) enjoyed a status which could not be ignored.

Two: The hearts of those brought by ‘’Umar were filled with love for al-Zahra’ (sa); so, how can we imagine that they would assault her?

Three: Even if they did not love al-Zahra’ (sa) nor respect her, they went there only to subdue the opposition and to arrest Ali (sa) and had no business with al-Zahra’ (sa) even if she was present there and then, and this is what ‘’Umar meant when he said, “So what?!”

Four: There is more than one narrative discussing people’s respect for al-Zahra’ (sa); so, how could anyone dare to assault her?

Five: Their going there, i.e. Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar going to the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) and requesting her to forgive them, shows the greatness of the status which she enjoyed in the Islamic society especially among senior sahabis.

Six: al-Zahra’ (sa) was pleased with both senior sahabis when they visited her seeking to appease her.

Seven: The reception awarded by al-Zahra’ (sa) to both senior sahabis proves the invalidity of the tradition of hers which says, “It is best for a woman that she neither sees men, nor men should see her.”

Their Dispute With Ali (as) and Respect for al-Zahra’ (sa)

Someone says that the dispute of the assailants with Ali (as) did not prohibit them from loving and respecting al-Zahra’ (sa) for there may be one candidate competing with another to be elected and wishing to drop him from the elections, but having a dispute with him does not stop him from respecting the wife of his competitor for one reason or another.

The answer is that we notice many matters regarding this statement:

FIRST: The case of Ali (as) with those who assailed him and his house, usurped his right and disobeyed Allah and His Messenger S, has no similarity with the competition between two candidates. Rather, it is similar to a military coup d’etat carried out by a sweeping and devastating force, though it was not that obvious yet deeper in its implications and indications.

SECOND: Respect for the competitor’s wife is not known by conjecture or assumption. Rather, it is known by practice, stand, and movement on the real grounds. We have seen these folks being very cruel and crude against the wife of the person described by this same individual as a “competitor”! It is the practice that lacks any mercy or compassion in their hearts. So let the reader read the description of what went on in various texts and legacies which we do not exaggerate if we say that they are consecutively reported as the kind reader will see for himself.

THIRD: Even if we submit that the assailants respected her, or even loved her (sa), respect and love did not stop them when she stood in their faces and threatened them with her aspirations and was the reason for the failure of their serious plan. All that did not stop them from turning against her and treat her with utmost cruelty.

Even if the doers were their brothers and offspring, they would still confront them with the same violence, for love for authority and the seriousness of what they wanted to carry out would put them in a fateful dilemma which would act as a catalyst for deciding the matter by force. The matter for them was much more serious; it was stronger than and ignoring such a respect.

Status of al-Zahra’ (sa) with the Ansar and with Her Assailants

Someone claims that those who assaulted the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) loved and respected her, and that those brought by ‘’Umar had hearts full of love for her; so, how could they have assaulted her?!

Then he seeks evidence from the following:

According to Bihar al-Anwar and many other references, Ali (as) used to take al-Zahra’ (sa) around the houses of the Muhajirun and the Ansar so that she might defend his right. She, then, wanted to take advantage of her status and of the respect awarded to her to win their support; so, how could anyone dare to assault her?!

Obviously, such talk is derived from al-Fadl ibn Roozbahan who used to rebut ‘allama al-Hilli by saying, “The chiefs of the Ansar and senior sahabis were Muslims who were led by their love for the Messenger of Allah S; so, could it be possible that they remained silent and did not speak to Abu Bakr in this regard? Surely burning the house of the family of the Prophet S is not permissible or commendable.”1

The answer is as follows:

FIRST: There were three parties in Medina:

1. A party which nothing could deter, be it religion or ethics or civil feelings, from harming Ahl al-Bayt (as), even burning their houses or killing them and those who seek refuge with them with the fire.

2. Another party which sympathized a little with the oppressed group which faced all these great calamities, but it preferred to remain safe and was not ready to sacrifice anything for the oppressed, not even for righteousness or for the religion to which they were invited.

All these elements combined, the love, respect, religion, oppression, humanity, could not move it to take a decisive stand against the assailing party aiming at forcing Ali (as) to swear the oath of allegiance to him. Both Ali and al-Zahra’ (as) tried to stir this particular party to action, but they could not; thus was the will of the Messenger of Allah S lost.

3. A third party which stood beside al-Zahra’ (sa) ready to sacrifice everything precious for the sake of effecting justice and equity and putting an end to injustice when daring and courage were viable. The members of this party was very small; they included Abu Tharr, Salman, al-Miqdad, ‘Ammar...

Thus, it becomes obvious that there was no indication that the assailants were members of the party that loved al-Zahra’ (sa) rather than the third or the second party. We find their actions, assaults and practices, as clear indications that they belonged to the party which did not respect her but did hate her, and they did not hesitate to burn her house with everyone who sought shelter in it.

They actually caused all of that to happen when they hit her and caused her to miscarry, so she died a martyr in its aftermath, although they were trying not to openly express such a hatred. Such was their policy. Thus did they placate people so that the public might not lean more to the family of Ali (as) and so that they would be convinced that he and his Ahl al-Bayt (as) were, indeed, oppressed, and that their way was more right.

To sum up, there is no meaning for pointing to the status enjoyed by al-Zahra’ (sa) and to the respect which she enjoyed by the members of the second party which liked its skins to remain safe and did not want to enter the arena of struggle. There is no meaning for pointing out to the status of and to the “respect” whereby she was held by the assailing party which did not hesitate to attack al-Zahra’ (sa) and confront her with evil and harm.

SECOND: Had the assailants really loved and respected al-Zahra’ (sa), there would have been no need for Ali (as) to take her around the homes of the Muhajirun and the Ansar to win their support and to convince them to defend his right, peace with him. Rather, it would have been sufficient for her to face the assailants in person and to use her influence with them and her position in their hearts so that they might retreat, or to disappoint those who enticed them to do what they wanted them to do without achieving their objective or earn anything that went against the wish of al-Zahra’ (sa) or which would have enraged her.

Asides from that, had they all loved al-Zahra’ (sa), would she still have needed to seek the support of the Ansar to attack those who loved her and to try to kill them?! Was al-Zahra’ (sa) the type of person who would cause animosity among those who loved her, letting them fight among themselves while she stood to watch both parties happy and pleased?!

THIRD: If those folks loved al-Zahra’ (sa), why did she die turning away from them and from those who brought them to her house?! Then she stated in her will that neither of the two senior sahabis (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar), nor any of those who oppressed her, should be present at her funeral. Then she was buried, for this reason, in the darkness of the night. It is for this reason that her grave is not known to people at all, to all of them, the only daughter of the Messenger of Allah S that she was and the Head of the Women of Mankind from the early generations to the last ones.

How could she meet their love with such cold-heartedness while Allah, Praised and Glorified is He, commands them to love her and to make her pleased, while she turns away from them or feel angry with them?!

Who Said to ‘’Umar, “But Fatima (sa) is Inside...”?!

Someone says that those who objected to ‘’Umar, when he threatened to set the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) to fire, were the same individuals whom he had brought with him to assault her house, so they said to him, “But Fatima (sa) is inside!" And he said to them, “So what?!”

Their objection is evidence that they loved al-Zahra’ (sa), venerated and respected her, because it means that “The daughter of the Messenger of Allah S was inside the house; so, how could we enter her house by force, scare and terrorize her?”

It has already been stated that the individual says that the assailants brought by ‘’Umar had hearts that were full of love for al-Zahra’ (sa), so how can we imagine that they would attack her?!

Before answering this question, let us keep in mind two issues mentioned by someone:

The first is that those who objected to ‘’Umar are the same individuals whom he had brought to attack the house where revelation had descended.

The second is that their objection reflects the status al-Zahra’ (sa) enjoyed in their hearts.

We would like to answer both points by saying:

FIRST: Who said that those who objected to ‘’Umar’s order were the same assailants? And what is the evidence for that, if any? Fatima’s house was located inside the Prophet’s Mosque itself, and people used to frequent the Mosque and be present thereat most of the time. When they assaulted the house of al-Zahra’ (sa), “... people assembled to watch, and the streets of Medina were full of men”2. So, why could those who objected to the assailants not be among those assembling men who gathered to watch what was going on or some of the good believers who were present at the Mosque of the Prophet S? That would make more sense, for it appears that the assailants did not consider any value for the house, or for those inside it, or even to the Mosque or to the grave of the Messenger of Allah S which was also inside the house of al-Zahra’ (sa).

SECOND: If we suppose that some men among the assailants said it, it is evident that they did not respect al-Zahra’ (sa), nor did they venerate her. Such a protest could have been prompted by their fear of the consequences of committing something as serious as that... If people accepted their conduct to attack Ali (as), since he was the sensitive nucleus of the opposition to their schemes and to their ambitions to take over the government, and if they excused them because Ali (as) had killed their fathers and sons and brothers while defending the Cause of Allah, al-Zahra’ (sa) did not do any such deeds. So, attacking her house with the intention to burn it, the only daughter of the Messenger of Allah S that she was, the one who was well known as such throughout the entire Islamic world, could not have been justified at all by the public, and it could have turned things against them if it appeared that al-Zahra’ (sa) had been killed as a result.

THIRD: The assailants attacked al-Zahra’ (sa) by beating her and through other means, causing her to miscarry. Nobody among the assailants, nor among others who did what they did, objected to it. Had they been afraid of ‘’Umar, were they afraid of Qunfath, or of al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah, or of their likes?!

FOURTH: If the assailants respected al-Zahra’ (sa) to such an extent, then the reason for her confronting them and for Ali (as) and Banu Hashim to have a sit-in at the house becomes quite clear because her confrontation in such a situation was to prevent the assailants from reaching Ali (as) and arresting him, as the individual seeking evidence for his statements says and according to his own criteria! Thus, the reason why she, rather than Ali (as) or anyone else who was present there and then, went in person to open the door. And we wish that it was sufficient to deter them from forcing the door open, although it does have an impact on safeguarding the truth from being lost and showing the real face of the leaders of the coup.

FIFTH: The history and policies of those brought by ‘’Umar to attack the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) point out to the fact that they did not love her (sa) at all, and we have found no proof to the contrary. History has informed us of the names of a number of the assailants such as:

Abu Bakr, ‘’Umar, Qunfath, Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, Salim slave of Abu Huthayfah, al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah, Khalid ibn al-Walid, ‘Othman (ibn ‘Affan), Assad ibn Hadar, Mu’ath ibn Jabal, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr, Muhammed ibn Maslamah (who broke al-Zubayr’s sword), Zaid ibn Aslam, ‘Ayyash ibn Raba’ah and others3 who will be mentioned in the texts’ section.

How Much Respect Did the Sahaba Have For al-Zahra’ (sa)?

Someone says that al-Zahra’ (sa) enjoyed a distinctive status among all the Muslims; so, attacking her in such a horrible way could stir the public opinion against the assailants. A proof for this great status is that people treated her with utmost respect and regards, and this raises many question marks about the accuracy of what is claimed about her being allegedly assaulted.

The answer is as follows:

FIRST: Her father, the Messenger of Allah S, enjoyed a greater status in the hearts of the Muslims than anyone else, yet this did not stop someone (‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab) from confronting the Messenger of Allah S with his famous statement, “The Prophet is hallucinating”4 or something like that. The person who articulated this statement was the head of those who assaulted the house of al-Zahra’ (sa).

We neither heard nor read anywhere that a single person from among those who were present, when the said statement was articulated, protested or expressed his displeasure and annoyance at such a rude statement. And a group from among the sahaba disobeyed the Prophet’s order to enlist in Usamah’s army. They did not provide any equipment for that army although he (as) had condemned all those who lagged behind Usamah’s army as is well known.5

They also scared the she-camel on which the Messenger of Allah S was riding in the night of ‘Aqaba and made a false charge against his wife (‘A’isha), in addition to many other matters which they demonstrated towards the Prophet S and his Purified ‘Itra.

Add to the above their killing of al-Husayn (as) and taking his family members captive. This, too, was a major crime which they committed and which is no less heinous than their forceful entry into the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) and their beating her. Those who killed al-Husayn were the offspring of those who assaulted the house of al-Zahra’ (sa)...

They also conspired to kill Ali (as) as he was standing for the prayers at the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah S at the hands of Khalid ibn al-Walid had not Abu Bakr said, “Khalid should not do what I ordered him to do” shortly before making his tasleem.6 Abu Hanifa issued a verdict permitting speaking prior to the tasleem based on this incident as is said.7 Sufyan al-Thawri, too, issued a verdict, based on this incident, saying that the prayers of anyone who makes himself unclean prior to pronouncing the tashahhud are valid.8

SECOND: There is respect which manifests itself during ordinary circumstances, when there is nothing to fear or to wish for, but when the case is not so, people, as Imam al-Husayn (as) said, “are the slaves of this world, and they give religion lip service; so, once they are tested, few, indeed, prove to be the true followers of the religion.”9

Respect during the time of ease does not necessarily mean support during the time of trials and tribulations when their interests are threatened, and this fact is known to everyone.

THIRD: What proves the error of what they mentioned, that is, that all those folks loved al-Zahra’ (sa) and respected her, and the fact that a group of people dared to go to an unbelievable extent against her, is what Shaikh al-Tusi narrates from Abul-’Abbas ibn ‘Uqdah from Muhammed ibn al-Mufaddal from al-Hassan ibn Ali al-Washsha’ from ‘Abd al-Karam ibn ‘Amr al-Khath’ami from ‘Abdullah ibn Abu Ya’far and Mu’alla ibn Khunays from Abul Samit from Abu ‘Abdullah (Imam al-Sadiq ) who says that there are seven of the greatest of sins..., etc., adding, “As for charging innocent women, they even charged Fatima (sa) from the top of their pulpits..., etc.”10

“Ali (as) is a Dissenter Who had to be Subdued”

Someone offers a view saying that:

1. Those who assembled at the house of al-Zahra’ (sa), namely Ali (as) and Banu Hashim, represented the opposition to the new government. The nature of the matter required that when the opposition was assembled to rebel against the caliphate, the rulers had to confront them and subdue them. Their going there, then, was to arrest Ali (as) in order to put an end to the opposition.

2. The purpose of the assailants was to arrest Ali (as); as for Fatima (sa), they had no business with her because there was a public opinion present then. ‘’Umar’s statement “So what?!” which he gave in answer to those who said to him, “But Fatima (sa) is inside!” comes natural. It means: “We have no business with Fatima (sa); we only want to put an end to the opposition by arresting Ali (as). So, if al-Zahra’ (sa) is present, we do not intend to have anything to do with her; our objective is only to arrest Ali (as).”

The answer is:

FIRST: We are very surprised to see how Ali (as) is described as a rebel and so are those with him from Banu Hashim as well as others. They are all described as the “opposition”! Since when did the usurpers settle in and establish their authority so that the others could be described as an “opposition”?! The assault on the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) took place immediately after Abu Bakr had already returned from Saqifat Banu Sa’ida and went to the Mosque. It is there that Abu Bakr sat on the pulpit on which the Prophet S used to sit, and it was then that the assault started. Even after they had held the reins of authority in their hands, is it right or wrong to label the person who has the legitimate right with him, the one against whom the assailants initiated their attack in order to usurp his right and position wherein Allah Almighty placed him and to subdue him with force, coercion, trickery and other illegitimate means, as an “opposition” or a rebel who had to be subdued? Should all of this be done in order to render legitimacy to the oppressive usurper?

SECOND: Had all this been “right,” is it right for ‘’Umar to say, “You shall get out or I burn the house and everyone inside it!” They said to him, “But Fatima (sa) is inside!” He said, “So what?!” Does this statement mean, “We have no business with Fatima (sa); we only want to arrest Ali (as)”? Does this mean that they would save Fatima (sa) from being burnt and direct the fire towards Ali (as) rather than anyone else?! Is it thus that the assailants could express their respect for Fatima (sa) in lieu of all the statements which her father, the Messenger of Allah S, made about her?!

THIRD: Does the existence of a public opinion mean that it would stop them from burning Fatima (sa)?! If this public opinion permitted the burning of Ali (as), why did it not likewise permit the burning of Fatima (sa) and both al-Hassan and al-Husayn, peace with them both, with him, since they are his supporters?! Since the statements made by the Prophet S in honour of al-Zahra’ (sa) served as a deterrent, why were they not deterred by his statements in honour of Ali (as)?! What kind of “public opinion” is this that allows arresting and assaulting Ali (as)?!

Had there really been a public opinion, why did it not deter someone from saying that the Messenger of Allah S was “hallucinating”?! And why was the speaker not punished or at least reprimanded?! We have not found a shred of evidence testifying that they even frowned at him, which is the least they should have done under the circumstance, except if this same individual wanted to deny that the same man (‘’Umar) did not commit such a rude insult against the Greatest Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him and his progeny! And why did this “public opinion” not prohibit the hitting of Fatima (sa) and her miscarriage in its aftermath?! Why did that “public opinion” not prohibit the killing of Imam al-Husayn (as) and those with him from among the stars on earth of Banu Hashim and of the elite from among the believers and sincere ones?! Why did it not prohibit the taking of the daughters of the Messenger of Allah S captive to be paraded in one country after another as men looked on? And why, and why?...

FOURTH: It is quite obvious that “So what?!” serves to join a preceding sentence to one that follows it, so it means: “So what if Fatima (sa) is inside the house?! I shall burn the house and everyone inside it...!” It does not at all mean, “We have no business with Fatima (sa). We have only come to arrest Ali (as),” as the speaker claims. His claim is not supported by any of the rules of Arabic grammar, and it is not acceptable in the sciences of fluency or in any other.

As for his phrase “and everyone inside it,” it clearly refers to human beings; it emphasizes his intention to burn the house and all people inside it, namely Fatima (sa), her sons al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as), as well as Ali (as). Had we accepted the interpreter’s viewpoint that they had no business with Fatima (sa), then they had no business with those inside her house, namely Banu Hashim, al-Zubayr and al-’Abbas who, the speaker says, were also present there and then. Was the phrase “and everyone inside it” linguistically applicable to only Ali (as) and not to al-Hassan and al-Husayn, peace with them, nor to Fidda, al-Zubayr, Banu Hashim, Fatima (sa), al-’Abbas..., etc.?

Add to the above this: If he had no concern about Fatima (sa), why did he not ask her to leave the house for which he had brought firewood to burn it and to burn everyone inside it?! Instead, he answered with “So what?!” when told that Fatima (sa) was inside.

Asking For Fatima’s Forgiveness Denotes the Status of al-Zahra’ (sa)

Someone wonders: “Did not the request of both senior sahabis, ‘’Umar and Abu Bakr, of al-Zahra’s forgiveness indicate that she (sa) enjoyed a lofty status among major sahabis?” Here is our answer:

FIRST: Their request for forgiveness by itself proves that they had harmed her and enraged her to the extent that they sought her forgiveness even if through pretense.

SECOND: There is no doubt that al-Zahra’ (sa) maintained her value in the Islamic society, and this is what forced those who harmed and assaulted her to try to absorb the public anger against them and to remove the negative impression caused by what they had committed against her (sa).

THIRD: When they sought to appease her, they did not offer anything that would prove that they were serious about such an appeasement. All indications point out to their action as a media ploy and nothing else. They did not return Fadak to her, nor did they take any practical steps to remove the effects of their cruel assault on her, nor did they retreat from their firm determination to usurp the caliphate from Ali (as). Also, they did not publicly admit any wrongdoings, which they also committed, before the sahaba in public.

FOURTH: Her maintaining her value did not stop them from assaulting her with beating and with other means. Moreover, her father enjoyed a greater value in the hearts of the people, and he was more holy, yet his greatness, holiness and value did not stop them, when their ambitions and interests prompted them, from directing the most cruel of crude speech to him when one of them prohibited him from writing a book appointing Ali (as) as his successor when he was on his bed feeling sick. This is what is known as “Thursday’s Calamity.” Their man [‘’Umar] said, “The Prophet is hallucinating,” or “overcome by pain.”11

They had also confronted this great Prophet S with screaming loud noises during the pilgrimage season12 when he said to them, “The Imams after me..., etc,” till nobody could hear what the Messenger of Allah S was saying after that, i.e. “all of them from Quraish,”13 when they had the feeling that he was going to emphasize the Imamate and caliphate of Ali (as) after him.

Also, the value, the greatness and the holiness of this Prophet S did not prohibit them from insisting on disobeying his sure order to enlist in Usamah’s army although he said to him, “The curse of Allah be on anyone who lags behind Usamah’s army.”14 Nor did it stop them from trying to assassinate him by scaring his she-camel at the ‘Aqaba.15

FIFTH: What sort of status did she have in their hearts while ‘’Umar was saying to Abu Bakr, who was crying on being rebuked by al-Zahra’ (sa) when they both visited her to appease her, “Are you upset on account of a woman being angry with you?”!

SIXTH: Historical events cannot be evaluated based on one factor in formulating an event, such as the human factor, or the ethical, or the religious, or the interest, or the economic, or the rational..., etc., although each one of them has a degree of affecting the formulation of this event and determining its motives as well as outcomes.

Had such a statement been valid, it would have been mandatory to belie that Yazid killed al-Husayn (as), for example, or Pharaoh claiming to be a god, because all of this is not in harmony with the religion, nor with the ethics, nor is it accepted by reason or conscience.

The fact is that the factor in formulating an event may be all those afore-mentioned matters combined, and it may be the madness of desires, too. Rather, an event may result from stupidity, or from an emotional outburst, or from psychological diseases or complexes, or from right or wrong ambitions. And it may be some of those factors in addition to one more in addition to this or to that. So, deeming al-Zahra’ (sa) as great and respecting her probably would not prohibit them from confiscating Fadak, for example, if their policies, interests, the passion to rule, or love for money, necessitated it.

We all know that one’s love for his son and his compassion towards him does not stop the father from killing the son if the latter becomes his rival for authority. We have heard many rulers say, “Authority is sterile; it has no mercy.”16 One may beat his son very hard for a personal reason or for standing between him and his ambitions and desires. It is said that a woman during the Abbaside period killed her son for the sake of power. Al-Ma’mun killed his brother (al-Amin) for the same reason as we have already stated.

Thus, it becomes clear that there are factors and influences some of which may be stronger than others, and some may cancel the effect of others.

Was al-Zahra’ (sa) Pleased With Both Senior Sahabis?!

The same individual adds saying that the issue came to a conclusion during her lifetime, for she, peace and blessings of Allah be on her, became pleased with Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar when they both sought to appease her. We say the following:

FIRST: True, to please al-Zahra’ (sa) is the hope of the line which attacked her (sa) out of concern for not seeming to be among those who harmed the Messenger of Allah S and who incurred his anger, so they would be held in public as those who harmed and angered Allah, Praise to Him. Some of them made attempts to commit forgery in the narration which mentioned that same issue for the benefit of those whom they loved; so, they said that she was pleased with them17; this is what al-Sha’bi says, and his is a disputed hadith because he was not old enough to be present at the time when the incident took place.

Another party took to silence, stating neither pleasure nor displeasure.18 What is more strange than all of that is the claim of some people that those who performed her funeral prayers were Abu Bakr19 and Ali (as)!

But the scholars who agree with the same sectarian line of these folks are the same who have accurately narrated this incident for us, paying no heed to what these folks have added to it. Rather, they said that when both men went to appease her, she did not grant them permission to enter her house till they pleaded to Ali (as), who also approached her on their behalf, and even then she refused to let them in but said to him, “The house is yours,” that is, “You are free to let in anyone you like according to the dictates of circumstances which are beyond your control.” As for her, she maintained her view and stand, and there was nothing else that would mandate anything on her. Ali (as) then permitted them to go inside because he was the owner of the house; al-Zahra’ (sa) did not permit them in.

Once they were both in, she refused to speak to them. She spoke to Ali (as) and required both men to admit what they had heard the Messenger of Allah S say, that is, “Fatima’s pleasure is from my own pleasure, and her anger is from mine. Whoever loves Fatima (sa), my daughter, loves me, and whoever pleases Fatima (sa), pleases me, and whoever incurs Fatima’s anger incurs mine.” She said to them (after they had admitted the above), “Then I plead to Allah and to His angels to testify that you incurred my anger and never pleased me, and when I meet the Prophet, I shall complain to him against you.”20

When Abu Bakr wept because of that, ‘’Umar rebuked him saying, “Are you upset on account of a woman being angry with you?!”21 As regarding the text according to Sulaym ibn Qays, here it is:

Ali (as) was performing the five daily prayers at the (Prophet)’s Mosque. After each prayer, Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar asked him, “How is the daughter of the Messenger of Allah S doing?” till they felt tired of saying it.

They asked about her once more saying (to Ali ), “Between us and her is what you already know; so, could you please seek permission for us to apologize to her for the sin which we have committed in her regard?” He said, “I shall grant you that.” They stood up and sat at the door. Ali (as) went inside to see Fatima (sa). He said to her, “O free lady! So-and-so are at the door and they wish to greet you, so what do you say?” She (sa) said, “The house is yours, and the free lady is your wife; so, do whatever you please.” He said, “Tie your headpiece.” She did, turning her face to the wall. They entered, greeted her then said, “Be pleased with us, may Allah be pleased with you.” She said, “What prompted you to do what you did?” They said, “We have admitted our wrongdoing and hoped that you would forgive us and get out of your displeasure with us.” She said, “If you were truthful, then provide me with the answers to my questions, for I shall not ask you a question except that I know that you are familiar with its answer.

If you tell the truth, I shall come to know that you are truthful as to why you have both come here.” They said, “Ask whatever you please.” She said, “I ask you in the Name of Allah, did you ever hear the Messenger of Allah S saying, ‘Fatima is part of me; whoever harms her harms me’?” They said, “Yes.” She, thereupon, raised her hand to the heavens and said, “O Lord! They have both harmed me, so I am complaining to You and to Your Messenger about them. No, by Allah, I shall never be pleased with you till I meet my father, the Messenger of Allah, and tell him about what you did to me, and he will judge you both.” It was then that Abu Bakr was extremely upset and started wailing and weeping. ‘’Umar said to him, “Are you, Caliph, upset on account of a woman being angry with you?!”22

We do not know why the man chose the version narrated by non-Shi’as without taking the trouble to compare it with the other version. Nay! He even makes no reference whatsoever to the other version although his version is forged by those who wish to justify what those who assaulted and harmed al-Zahra’ (sa) had committed despite the clear evidence leading to such a forgery. Yes, he has accepted it, leaving the accurate and the authentic version aside.

SECOND: Pardon23 comes from one who sincerely regrets and repents what he has committed, and repentance means taking what is right to its rightful owner, correcting the damage and repairing the harm done. Otherwise, no repentance can be accepted from a usurper who holds on to everything then says, “Forgive me and be pleased with me, and I shall not return anything belonging to you back to you.” Forgiving someone like that is more painful to one’s heart because it is uglier than the sin which he committed. So, why and on what basis should she forgive both men while they did not retreat even one step from what they had committed against her?! They did not return Fadak to her, nor did they return anything of her inheritance from the Messenger of Allah S or from anything else except when one thinks that she was wrong in presenting her claim.

They also did not admit their crime against Allah’s right and against the nation when they usurped the caliphate from its rightful owner, nor did either of them show any readiness to accept retribution for the crime of assaulting her by beating her till she miscarried.

Those who did so were the cornerstones of the government and the aides of the ruler who thus went seeking to apologize as his swords were unsheathed against the necks of anyone who opposed him or who complained against him. There was no repentance whatsoever. Rather, there was an attempt at polishing their image, strengthening their position and gaining more power to keep what they had confiscated.

Had the matter been contrariwise, and had they been serious about seeking to be forgiven, what stopped Abu Bakr from punishing Qunfath or al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah or ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab or others who violated the privacy of her home, peace and blessings of Allah be on her?! If he could not do any of that, the least he could have done was to reprimand them or to frown in their faces or do something like that. Rather, he added to it providing a cover for them and awarding them more care and attention.

I do not know, did he give government jobs and money to so-and-so as a reward for the assault which they had committed?!

As for Qunfath, they exempted him from paying any taxes on the wealth which he amassed while working for them, as the Commander of the Faithful (as) narrated, as his reward!

I do not know if al-Zahra’ (sa) wanted to take back from them what they had confiscated from her, would they beat her anew, or would they publicly sentence her to death?!

THIRD: Had she (sa) been pleased with them, why did she, then, state in her will to be buried at night and that neither of them should be present at her funeral?! Ali (as) carried out her will precisely, hiding her grave site, so they both, and their supporters, were furious about it and tried to exhume a number of graves which Ali (as) had dug up just to divert others from the real one. Ali (as) confronted them with a strong and decisive stand, so they both retreated.24

If the government was strong and in full control, it was able to circulate the rumor that she (sa) had been pleased after being displeased, and nobody would have the courage to belie the government’s claims. This rumor would have been accepted by many people. But when she stated in her will to be buried during the night and neither of those men should attend her funeral, nor any of those who oppressed her, she foiled their chance to thus falsify the truth. She did so when she provided the decisive evidence and the shining proof in the form of a historical testimony to her anger with them embodied also in the fact that nobody knew her grave (sa) across the ages, the Head of the Women of Mankind that she was, the only daughter of the Seal of all Prophets and Messengers of Allah S.

FOURTH: It is quite reasonable and acceptable that they both wanted from trying to appease al-Zahra’ (sa) to make the point that it was merely a personal matter which ended just as it began, and that now she was pleased with them and there was no problem with her, as someone’s statement suggests.

There was an insult against Fatima (sa), and there was an assault committed against her holy person with beating or through other means. An attempt like that may be interpreted as merely a rash action, or an overwhelming anger which took the doers out of their normal moderation.

Was the reason for such an anger al-Zahra’ (sa) herself? Did she do anything or say anything to cause it? Was it the tone of her voice? Or were there any other reasons? They would surely close their eyes rather than determine who was/were responsible for it.

The assailants themselves reverted to themselves and repented, and al-Zahra’ (sa) supposedly was obligated to forgive and to overlook, for this is exactly what Islamic ethics mandate and is emphasized by the verses of the Qur’an, especially since she was the most worthy of all people to uphold such ethics, the pious, purified and infallible woman that she was.

This means that she thus rendered legitimacy to the aggression, to the confiscation of the caliphate, and to the usurpation of the inheritance which she had received from the Messenger of Allah S. So, nothing remained except that they simply were too rash to beat her during the confrontation, and they were to be excused for it because it came when emotions reached their ebb and because of the state of suspension and upheaval! And she herself may have been the reason for it anyway because she (sa) was wrong when she stood in their face, and so was Ali (as) who did not rush to recognize the new victorious ruler, nor was he in the vanguard of those who rushed to swear the oath of allegiance and to support! Thus will they regain the public’s respect, which is the most precious of their aspirations.

But when al-Zahra’ (sa) refuses even their entry into her house, rejecting their “repentance,” insisting on complaining against them to the Messenger of Allah S, then she states in her will to be buried at night, that both men should not attend her funeral, then she asks that her grave be unknown to the public..., she surely spoils their plan.

Despite all the alteration and forgery, history records how she died while being still angry with those who assaulted her, so Ali (as) buried her at night. He did not even declare the athan, another fact which is documented by respected and reliable references available with a large mass of the Muslims.25

Imam al-Rida (as) was asked once about both of these senior sahabis. He said, “She was for us a kind mother who left this world angry with both of them, and we shall never be pleased till she is pleased.”26 Almost the same wording has been transmitted through ‘Abdullah son of al-Hassan.27

Thus, it becomes obvious that al-Zahra’ (sa) is an infallible and purified woman; Allah is Pleased for her pleasure and is Wrathful when she is angered. She, through her insightful stand, informed everyone in the past or in the future, whoever enters the gateway of history, that the issue was not a personal one, that it was the issue of the creed, of Islam, of transgressing against Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be on him and his progeny, against righteousness, and against humanity.

It was an assault against Islam which she personified. Aggression against her aimed at prohibiting her from defending the Imamate whereby the faith stands and which is a decisive Divine edict; it is the nation’s right, the right of man, every man, every human being.

She recorded her stand after she extracted their confession which clearly indicted them. Such an indictment demonstrated the fact that the aggression affected the Messenger of Allah S and, hence, it was an aggression against Allah, Glory to Him, and it was not her privilege to forgive one who transgressed the bounds of Allah, Glory to Him, and those of His Glorious Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be on him and his progeny. She informed both men of this fact when she said to them, “I shall complain against you to the Messenger of Allah S.”

In order to stop anyone from telling the public that al-Zahra’ (sa) reverted to herself after that or sent them a message with so-and-so that she was pleased with both of them, she stated in her will to be buried at night.

Some may also claim that it is a Sunnah to bury the dead at night28, as it actually happened, and it is legislated as such, she surmised that doing so was not sufficient to prove the continuation of her anger with them even after her demise, so she stated in her will that both men should not attend her funeral, nor should they perform the funeral prayers for her. Ali (as) prohibited them from doing any of these things in compliance with her will.29

Some references mention that “She took from the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (as), a covenant for which Allah and His Messenger S are the Witnesses, that nobody would attend her funeral except Umm Salimah, Umm Ayman, Fidda, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as), Salman, ‘Ammar, al-Miqdad, Abu Tharr and Huthayfah.”30 Ali (as) performed her funeral prayers31, reciting the takbar fve times32.

There is no truth in their claim that Abu Bakr attended her funeral and performed the funeral prayers33, for he never reached her grave, nor did he do anything like that for the Messenger of Allah S himself although he remained unburied for three days34. The inauguration was completed after his burial.35

Let the fact that her grave site is not known to anyone till our time and the inability of anyone at all to identify it precisely be a glorious proof for such an exclusion which indicts them. All reliable and authentic historical evidences underscore the lies of those who make contrary claims from among those who forge history and who surely are the enemies of the truth.

Thus it becomes quite clear that she (sa) made her death and funeral as means of jihad in the Cause of Allah, for the sake of the religion, and for the sake of explaining the facts to posterity.

The results of this jihad appeared from the very first moments. It is narrated that when the report became public that al-Zahra’ (sa) had passed away, “... there was a great deal of commotion among the people who kept blaming each other and kept saying, ‘Your Prophet left behind him only one single daughter, and when she dies and is buried, nobody was present during her last moments, nor when she was buried, nor when her funeral prayers were performed, nor do you even know where she is buried so you can visit her grave...!”36

Al-Fattani has said, “If we contemplate on what we have stated, let alone what we have not, as well as the following evidences, you will come to know that the origin of the pain from which Fatima, peace and blessings of Allah be on her, was inflicted by both men (‘’Umar and Abu Bakr) and by their followers in general, so much so that she died very angry with them in a way which nobody can deny. Rather, it is a definite conclusion reached by anyone who examines the truth minutely, one who keeps aside denials and the norms of fanaticism as is the case with all consecutively reported traditions.”37

Unsuccessful Devious Attempts

What is really strange is that we find someone trying to dissociate himself from the fact that al-Zahra’ (sa) boycotted those who oppressed her till she died by saying the following:

“The meaning of Fatima (sa) boycotting Abu Bakr and refusing to talk to him till her death is that she did not discuss this issue (the wealth) with him, that is, she did not ask him for anything, nor did she find herself obligated to meet him, nor did anyone transmit anything about their meeting together, so one would say that she neither greeted him nor spoke to him because she was busy with her sickness and with other things.”38

Then they decide that al-Zahra’ (sa) was too pious to behave like that and more God-fearing.39 We answer them as follows:

The same folks who say so have also said that she (sa) met both senior sahabis when they went to meet her and to appease her during her sickness. She spoke to them and was pleased by them, as they allege.40

Al-Shashi has rebutted this claim by saying that her anger connotes that she (sa) abstained from saying anything to them which is clearly boycotting them.41

Is the Grave of al-Zahra’ (sa) Known to Anyone?

It is noteworthy that the Imams, peace with them, never acquainted their Shi’as with the site of her grave (sa), as was the case with that of the Commander of the Faithful whose grave site was identified by Imam al-Sadiq (as), as is well known, and so is the case with all other Imams who identified their grave sites to their Shi’as with the exception of al-Zahra’ (sa). The Shi’as, who apply the Islamic tenets and Sunnah as taught by Ahl al-Bayt (as), too, those who attended the funeral and the burial, such as ‘Ammar, Abu Dharr, Salman, al-’Abbas, ‘Aqil and others never acquainted anyone at all with her grave site in compliance with her own will and in loving her. Ibn Abu Qara’ah, who died in 367 A.H./977 A.D., says the following verses of poetry:

ولأي حال لحدت * بالليل فاطمة الشريفة؟

ولما حمت شيخيكم * عن وطئ حجرتها المنيفة؟

أوه لبنت محمد * ماتت بغصتها أسيفة

For what was Fatima, the Honorable One, buried at night?

And she didn’t allow your Shaikhs42 to set foot in her chamber.

Alas! Muhammed’s daughter died chocked with sorrow and grief.43

Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin, may Allah have mercy on him, has said these poetry lines:

For what was she in the depth of the dark buried?

For what was she in secrecy placed in her grave?

Buried and none attended her funeral,

Nor do they know where her grave is44

From the above you can come to know the fallacy of someone’s claim alleging that the grave of al-Zahra’ (sa) is now well known, and we wish he would lead us to it and explain for us the decisive proofs which refute any excuse and dispel any doubt, and we will surely appreciate his effort!

Yet we are sure that he just cannot do so.

Courage of al-Jahiz الجاحظ

How great the distance is between this man who specifically chooses a tradition wherein clues of alteration and forgery are quite obvious, claiming that al-Zahra’ (sa) was pleased with those who went to visit her to appease her, despite all the factual and historical and tradition evidences belying such a claim, and the other man who is very well known as having deviated from the line of Ali (as) and of being especially interested in denying the merits of Ali (as) while supporting his foes, i.e. the famous writer, ‘Amr ibn Bahr al-Jahiz! The latter says the following in his well known dissertation titled “Al-’Abbasiyya” as transmitted from him by Shaikh al-Tusi, may Allah have mercy on him:

When he (Abu Bakr) deprived her of her inheritance and was unfair to her and even assaulted her and committed a great sin against her, making her taste oppression and losing all hope of justice, and when she realized how weak she was, and how few her supporters were, she said to him, “By Allah! I shall invoke Allah’s retribution against you.”

He said, “By Allah! I shall supplicate to Him for you.”

She said, “By Allah! I shall never speak to you.”

He said, “By Allah! I shall never renounce you.”

So, if they do not deny that Abu Bakr was truly rejected by her, then the rejection of Fatima (sa) of him is by itself a proof testifying to her claim. The least they could have done in such a situation was to acquaint her with that of which she had no knowledge (if anything), or reminding her of that which she had forgotten (if anything), or correcting her mistake (if any), and exonerating her above anything lowly or that she would say anything wrong, or oppress a just person, or boycott someone who sought to remain attached to her.

So, if you find them blaming neither of the opponents, then the matters are equal and the causes are straightforward, and reverting to the roots of how Allah has decided regarding faring with one’s inheritance is better for us and for yourselves and more obligatory on us and on you... If they say, “How can anyone even think that Abu Bakr would be unfair to her or assault her while whenever Fatima (sa) became more harsh with him, he became more lenient and kind, and how so when she said to him, “By Allah! I shall never speak to you,” he said, “By Allah! I shall never renounce you,” then when she said, “By Allah! I shall invoke Allah’s retribution against you,” he said, “By Allah! I shall supplicate to Him for you”?45

Then he tolerates all this harsh talk from her at the government’s headquarters and in the company of the Quraishites and the sahaba when the caliphate was in need of pride and prominence and the respect and eminence it required? Yet all of that did not prohibit him from talking to her as someone who was apologetic, seeking nearness to her, safeguarding her honorable status, trying his best to get close to her heart... saying, “Nobody in poverty is dearer to me than you, nor anyone closer to my heart in ease, but I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say, ‘We, prophets, do not leave inheritance; whatever we leave behind is charity.’”

It was said to them that this is not evidence for innocence from injustice, nor is it a way out of oppression. An oppressor may oppress, and a cunning man may scheme, if he has a goal in mind and is used to being disagreed with, he is used to speak in pretense the speech of the oppressed one and fake the humility of one seeking equity and pretend to be kind and to seek justice.46

An Embarrassing Conclusion

Thus it becomes clear that al-Zahra’ (sa) never recognized the authority nor the imamate of Abu Bakr since she passed away angry with him and with his friend, dissociating herself from both of them, prohibiting them from attending her funeral or even knowing where her grave was.

It is not possible at all to say that such an Infallible lady, who is purified by token of the Verse of Purification (Qur’an, 33:33), the one for whose anger Allah becomes angry, died the death of the days of ignorance according to the sacred hadith saying, “Whoever dies without knowing who the Imam of his time is, or who has not sworn the oath of allegiance to such an Imam, dies the death of the days of ignorance.”47

The ‘allama researcher, al-Khawajoo’i al-Mazandarani, has said, “Be informed that those who follow their creed from among the Muslims, regardless of their sects, have all endorsed the authenticity of the statement made by the Prophet S wherein he said, ‘Anyone who dies without knowing who the Imam of his time is dies the death of the days of ignorance.”

There is no premise for the claim which some people make that this tradition is above the level of criticism, and that what she was expected to do was either acting contrarily to what the Prophet S had brought, or that she had an Imam other than Abu Bakr; so, who could that Imam be? Can anybody imagine him being anyone other than Ali (as)? And can anyone imagine that al-Zahra’ (sa), who passed away without swearing the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, died the death of the days of ignorance?!

Al-Zahra’ (sa) Meeting Men; the Veil Issue

By the way, we would like to state that someone has derived evidence for the fallacy of the tradition saying, “It is better for the woman not to see men nor men seeing her”48 from al-Zahra’ (sa) who made this statement, meeting men and talking to them during the crisis while confronting those who assaulted her home and confiscated Fadak.

After all, she did meet Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar when they both went to appease her, and she talked to them in an ordinary manner. And she (sa) used to go out with the ladies who went out to support the Prophet S as he led the military campaigns to take care of war chores. The Prophet S received women. Had it been better for the woman not to see men, the Prophet S would have set up a barrier between him and each and every woman who went to meet him, then he would have told her to speak from behind the barrier. Our answer to all of this is as follows:

FIRST: This tradition, though weak in isnad, cannot be proven as a lie through mentioning what has already been stated because her meeting (sa) with men during the time of the crisis wherein she confronted Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar does not mean that she let others see her face, and her discourse with them may have taken place from behind a barrier or in a way where they do not see her face.

It is not meant by her not seeing men and them not seeing her that she was not visible to them or that each party does not see the shape and size of the other. Some prefer to understand this tradition as being in favor of the free mixing between men and women. Also, the fact that she accompanied the Prophet S on his campaigns does not mean that men could see her face or attractions. There is no proof that she (sa) used to undertake any military affairs whatsoever. Her accompanying the Prophet S like that does not connote what is alleged.

So is the case with regard to the Prophet S receiving women. It does not mandate that he should set up a barrier between him and every woman who came to have audience with him, nor did he set up a barrier for her to talk to him from behind it. Sufficed her to take safeguards from whatever means of veiling she had at her disposal, and she would talk to him while observing the hijab. Speaking with someone does not obligate any adorning or embellishment or sweet talking.

SECOND: When she (sa) delivered a speech before a crowd of the Muhajirun and the Ansar and others, she was wrapped in her outer mantle as the texts indicate.49

THIRD: The subject of her preference not to be seen by men nor to see men is not confirmed only by the said tradition. There are many other traditions and texts such as the following:

1. One is narrated by Muhammed ibn Ya’qub from some of our men from Ahmed ibn Abu ‘Abdullah saying, “Ibn Umm Maktam sought permission to meet the Prophet S who had in his company ‘A’isha and Hafsa to whom he said, ‘Get up and enter your chambers.’ They both said to him, ‘He is blind!’ He said, ‘If he cannot see you, you surely can see him.’”50

2. Umm Salamah is quoted as having said, “I was in the company of the Messenger of Allah S who had with him Maymana. Ibn Umm Maktam came in after the Prophet S had ordered the veil to be set up, so they both were veiled from him. They said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Is he not a blind man who cannot see us?’ He said, ‘He is. Are you?! Can’t you see him?!’”51

What is odd is someone using this narrative of Ibn Umm Maktam entering the residence of the Prophet S while he is in the chambers of his wives which means his privacy, as he describes it. Then he builds on it the revelation of Surat ‘Abas in his regard, and we have pointed out to the error of such a statement if one studies the correct biography of the Prophet (S) so let whoever wishes to refer to it to do so if he wishes.

If Ibn Umm Maktam, by thus entering once or twice to visit the Messenger of Allah S, has produced for us this condition, we ought to verify the deeper situation between the Prophet S and most, if not all, those whom he met during his lifetime.

3. What is quoted from Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as): ‘Abdullah has told us that Muhammed has said that Musa has said that his father quotes his grandfather, Ja’far ibn Muhammed, quoting his father, peace with them, saying that a blind man once sought permission to enter her house, so she struck a veil between herself and him. The Prophet S asked her, “Why did you wear a veil while he cannot see you?!” She said, “O Messenger of Allah! If he cannot see me, I can see him, and he still breathes!” The Prophet S said, “I testify that you are part of me.”

In Da’a'im al-Islam, Abu Ja’far (as) is quoted as saying the same. In al-Rawandi’s Nawadir, the same is quoted by (Imam) Musa ibn Ja’far (as).52

4. Through the previously quoted isnad, Ja’far ibn Muhammed quotes his father, peace with both of them, saying that Ali (as) entered the chamber of Fatima (sa) daughter of the Messenger of Allah S, and he was extremely upset. She asked him why, so he said to her that the Prophet S asked people about woman when she is closest to her Lord, and they did not know how to answer him.

She said to him, “Go back and tell him that she is closest to her Lord when she stays at home.” He set out and told the Prophet S the same. The Prophet S asked him, “What?! Is this your own answer, O Ali?!” Ali (as) informed him that Fatima (sa) had informed him of it. He said, “Now you have said the truth, for Fatima (sa) is part of me.” These incidents are both narrated by Sayyid Fadlallah al-Rawandi in his Nawadir through an isnad ending with him.53

  • 1. Refer to Abtal Nahjul-Balagha (including in Dala’il al-Sidq), Vol. 3, Part 1, p. 47.
  • 2. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, Vol. 6, p. 50.
  • 3. Kanz al-`Ummal, Vol. 5, p. 597. Al-Hakim, Al-Mustadrak, Vol. 3, p. 66 who said that this is authentic according to the endorsement of both Shaikhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim), and it is endorsed by al-Dhahbi. Hayat al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 18. Ibn Hamzah, Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, pp. 171, 173. Al-Ikhtisas, p. 186. Al-`Ayyashi, Tafsir, Vol. 2, pp. 66, 67. Al-Riyad al-Nadira, Vol. 2, p. 241. Many texts will be cited in a forthcoming section which expose the identity of the participants in the assault, and it is there that you will, Insha-Allah, find their sources in detail.
  • 4. References for this incident will be cited in a section about those who sought to appease al-Zahra’ (sa) which indicated the status she used to enjoy.
  • 5. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 27, p. 324. Al-Istighatha, p. 21. Ibn Abul Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 6, pp. 11, 52, 50, and in other places as well. Al-Bahrani, Manar al-Huda, p. 433. Muftah al-Bab al-Hadi `Ashar, p. 197, edited by Dr. Mahdi Muhaqqiq. Haqq al-Yaqin, pp. 178, 182. Ithbat al-Hudat, Vol. 2, pp. 343-46, quoting Minhaj al-Karama and Nahj al-Haqq. Al-Shahristani, Al-Milal wal Nihal, Vol. 1, p. 23. Sharh al-Mawqif, Vol. 8, p. 376. Al-Kaf`ami, Majma` al-Ghara’ib, p. 288.
  • 6. Al-Qahba’i, Mujma` al-Rijal, Vol. 2, p. 264 in a footnote. Ibn Hamzah, Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, pp. 173, 202. It is said that al-Jahiz الجاحظ narrated it in Al-Zaydiyya al-Kubra from a group of traditionists including al-Zuhri. Ibn Shathan, Al-‘Izah, pp. 155-158. Jala' al-`Uyun, Vol. 1, p. 201. Refer to Vol. 2 of the book by Sulaym ibn Qays which will soon be quoted as to Vol.2, p. 360 of Ithbat al-Hudat. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 5, pp. 339-40. Al-Rasa’il al-I`tiqadiyya, p. 455. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 17, p. 222. Al-Mustarshid, p. 451 (Iranian edition). Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 29, pp. 126, 133. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, p. 234. `Ilal al-Shara'i`, Vol. 1, p. 182. Al-Kashshi, Rijal al-Hadith, p. 695 in the biography of Sufyan al-Thawri.
  • 7. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 1, p. 222.
  • 8. Al-Mustarshid fi Imamat `Ali (A) p. 90. Al-‘adah, p. 190.
  • 9. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 44, pp. 195-383, Vol. 75 p. 117.
  • 10. Tahthib al-Ahkam, Vol. 4, p. 149. Ma`adin al-Hikma, Vol. 2, pp. 122, 123 quoting him and also quoting Man la Yahduruhu al-Faqih, Vol. 2, p. 366 (Najaf edition).
  • 11. Al-‘Idah, p. 359. Tathkirat al-Khawass, p. 62. Sirr al-`Alamin, p. 21. Al-Bukhari, Sihah, Vol. 3, p. 60 and Vol. 4, pp. 5, 173 and Vol. 1, pp. 21, 22 and Vol. 2, p. 115. Al-Sam`ani, Al-Musannaf, Vol. 6, p. 57 and Vol. 10, p. 361 and Vol. 5, p. 438. Al-Mufid, Al-Irshad, p. 107 (Najaf edition). Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 22, p. 498. Al-Nu`mani, Al-Ghayba, pp. 81, 82. `Umdat al-Qari, Vol. 14, p. 298 and Vol. 2, pp. 170, 171 and Vol. 25, p. 76. Fath al-Bari, Vol. 8, pp. 100-102, 186-87. Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya, Vol. 5, pp. 227, 251. Al-Bid’ wal-Tarikh, Vol. 5, p. 59. Al-Shahristani, Al-Milal wal Nihal, Vol. 1, p. 22. Ibn Sa`d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, p. 244. Al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wal Muluk, Vol. 3, pp. 192-93. Al-Kamil fil Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 320. Ansab al-Ashraf, Vol. 1, p. 562. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 6, p. 51 and Vol. 2, p. 55. Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 2, pp. 164, 182. Muslim, Sihah, Vol. 1, p. 75. Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 1, pp. 355, 324, 222, 325, 332, 336, 362, 346. Ibn Hisham, Al-Sira al-Halabiyya, Vol. 3, p. 344. Nahj al-Haqq, p. 273. Al-`Ibar wa Dawan al-Mubtada’ wal Khabar, Vol. 2, Part 2, p. 62. Ithbat al-Hudat, Vol. 2, pp. 344, 348, 399 and Vol. 1, p. 657. Al-Tirmithi, Al-Jami` al-Sihah, Vol. 3, p. 55. Nihaya al-Arab, Vol. 18, p. 375. Ibn Shahnah, Rawdat al-Munazir, Vol. 7, p. 808 (as referred to in a footnote in Al-Kamil fil Tarikh). Also refer to Haqq al-Yaqin, Vol. 1, pp. 181-82. Dala’il al-Sidq, Vol. 3, part 1, pp. 63, 70. Al-Sirat al-Mustaqim, Vol. 3, pp. 3, 7. Sharif ad-Dan Sadr ad-Dan al-Musawi, Al-Muraja`at, p. 353; Sharif ad-Dan al-Musawi, Al-Nass wal Ijtihad, pp. 149, 163. Al-Mukhtasar fi Akhbar al-Bashar, Vol. 1, p. 151. Al-Kaf`ami, Majma` al-Ghara’ib, p. 289. Minhaj al-Sunnah, Vol. 3, p. 135. Manaqib al Abu Talib, Vol. 1, p. 292. Tarikh al-Islam, Vol. 2, pp. 383-84. Kashf al-Mahajja, p. 64 (Haidari Press edition, 1370 A.H.). Al-Tara’if, pp. 432, 433. Refer to Al-Taratab al-Idariyya, Vol. 2, p. 241. Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-`Ummal (Indian edition, 1381 A.H.), Vol. 7, p. 170. Al-Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, Vol. 7, pp. 181, 184. Abu Ya`li, Musnad, Vol. 5, p. 393 and Vol. 3, pp. 393-94 and Vol. 4, p. 299. Mujma` al-Zawa’id, Vol. 4, p. 214.
  • 12. Refer to Ibn `Awanah, Musnad, Vol. 4, pp. 394, 400. Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 5, pp. 99, 93, 90, 96, 98, 101. Abu Dawud, Sunan, Vol. 4, p. 106. Al-Nu`mani, Al-Ghayba, pp. 121-24. Irshad al-Sari, Vol. 10, p. 273. Muslim, Sihah, Vol. 6, p. 4 (Mashkal edition). Shaikh al-Tasi, Al-Ghayba, pp. 88-89. Fath al-Bari, Vol. 13, pp. 181-184. I`lam al-Wara, p. 38. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 36, pp. 235, 239, 240 and Vol. 63, p. 236. Muntakhab al-Athar, p. 20. Ikmal ad-Din, Vol. 1, pp. 272-73. Tarikh al-Khulafa’, pp. 10-11. Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqa, p. 18. Al-Qanduzi, Yanabi` al-Mawadda, pp. 444-45. Al-Khisal (in a chapter about the Twelve Imams); refer also to Vol. 2, pp. 470, 472, 474 of it. Refer also to `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida and Mawaddat al-Qurba and to Vol. 13, p. 1 of Ihqaq al-Haqq (the Appendices). Ibn al-Batriq, Al-`Umda, p. 421. Refer to Al-Nihaya fil Lugha, Vol. 3, p. 54. Ibn Manzur, Lisan al-`Arab, Vol. 12, p. 343 and to Al-Qarab fi Mahabbat al-`Arab, p. 129.
  • 13. Regarding the narrator hearing the phrase “all of them from Quraish,” or “from Banu Hashim,” refer to the following references: Muslim, Sihah, Vol. 6, p. 3 through various venues (Mashkal edition). Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 5, pp. 90, 92-101, 106-18. Abu `Awanah, Musnad, Vol. 4, p. 394. Hilyat al-Awliya’, Vol. 4, p. 333. I`lam al-Wara, p. 382. Ibn al-Batriq, Al-`Umda, pp. 416-22. Ikmal ad-Din, Vol. 1, pp. 272-73. Al-Khisal, Vol. 2, pp. 275, 469. Fath al-Bari, Vol. 13, pp. 181-85. Al-Nu`mani, Al-Ghayba, pp. 119-25. Al-Bukhari, Sihah, Vol. 4, p. 159. Al-Qanduzi, Yanabi` al-Mawadda, pp. 444-46. Tarikh Baghdad, Vol. 2, p. 126 and Vol. 14, p. 353. Al-Mustadrak `alal Sihahain, Vol. 3, p. 618 and its Talkhis by al-Dhahbi (referred to in its footnote) on the same page. Muntakhab al-Athar, pp. 10-23 which cites numerous references. Al-Tirmithi, Al-Jami` al-Sihah, Vol. 4, p. 501. Abu Dawud, Sunan, Vol. 4, p. 116. Kifayat al-Athar, from p. 49 till the end of the book. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 36, p. 231 till the end of the chapter. Ihqaq al-Haqq (Appendices), Vol. 13, pp. 1-50, citing numerous references.
  • 14. The references for this statement have already been cited.
  • 15. Refer to Al-Mustarshid fi Imamate Ali  p. 146 and p. 147 of Al-Farq Baynal Firaq.
  • 16. Refer to the following references: Sharh Mamiyyat Abu Firas, pp. 73-74. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 48, p. 131. `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida, Vol. 1, p. 91. Al-Qanduzi, Yanabi` al-Mawadda, p. 383. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 453. Al-Khawarizmi, Manaqib Ali  ibn Abu Talib, p. 208. Ibn Sa`d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 5, p. 227 (Sadir’s edition). Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya, Vol. 8, p. 316. Tatimmat al-Muntaha, p. 185. Qamus al-Rijal, Vol. 10, p. 370.
  • 17. Refer to al-Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, Vol. 7, p. 281. Al-Riyad al-Nadira, Vol. 1, p. 176. Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’, Vol. 2, p. 121. Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 2, p. 174 quoting Al-Wafa’ and al-Sammani in Al-Muwafaqa and Vol. 6, p. 174 of Al-Sunan al-Kubra. Al-Sira al-Halabiyya, Vol. 3, p. 361. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 8, p. 72. Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya, Vol. 5, p. 289. Hayat al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 473. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 6, pp. 19, 49 and Vol. 2, p. 57. Fath al-Bari, Vol. 6, p. 139. Nuzhat al-Majalis, Vol. 2, p. 183.
  • 18. Refer to al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-`Ummal, Vol. 12, p. 515 and Vol. 13, p. 687.
  • 19. Kanz al-`Ummal, Vol. 5, p. 605 quoting al-Bayhaqi, adding, “This tradition is taken for granted and its isnad is good.” Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 8, p. 29.
  • 20. Al-Imama wal Siyasa, Vol. 1, pp. 14-15. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 36, p. 308 and Vol. 78, p. 254 and Vol. 43, pp. 170-71. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 45. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, pp. 411, 445, 498, 499. Kifayat al-Athar, pp. 64-65. Al-Burhan, Vol. 3, p. 65. `Ilal al-Shara'i`, Vol. 1, pp. 186-189. Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, p. 213. Tawfiq Abu `Alam, Ahl al-Bayt, pp. 168-69, 174. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 5, pp. 322-23. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, pp. 85-87. Al-Manawi, Al-Jami` al-Saghir, Vol. 2, p. 122. Al-Rasa’il al-‘Itiqadiyya, p. 448.
  • 21. Refer to `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 500. `Ilal al-Shara'i`, Vol. 1, p. 187. Diya’ al-`Alamin, Vol. 2, p. 87.
  • 22. The book of Sulaym ibn Qays (edited by al-Ansari), Vol. 2, p. 869. Jala' al-`Uyun, Vol. 1, pp. 212-13 with additional details. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 197-203 and Vol. 28, p. 357. `Ilal al-Shara'i`, Vol. 1, pp. 186-87.
  • 23. Reference to the same is made in Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 108.
  • 24. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, pp. 286, 348-49 and Vol. 29, p. 193. The author also transmitted her will in a footnote on p. 171, Vol. 43, of his book from the following references: Hilyat al-Awliya’, Vol. 2, p. 43. Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, Vol. 3, p. 162. Usd al-Ghaba, Vol. 5, p. 524. Al-Isaba, Vol. 4, pp. 379-80. Al-Imama wal Siyasa, Vol. 1, p. 14. A`lam al-Nisa’, Vol. 3, p. 1214. Refer also to Ibn Abul Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 6, p. 50, where the author says, “I have confirmed that she did died angry with both of them, etc.” `Abd al-Razzaq, Musanaff, Vol. 3, p. 521. Al-Isti`ab, Vol. 2, p. 751. Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 1, p. 83. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 44.
  • 25. Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya, Vol. 5, pp. 250, 285-287, quoting al-Bukhari, Ahmed and `Abd al-Razzaq. Refer to al-Bukhari’s “Kitab al-Maghazi” where Khaybar’s campaign is discussed and how the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “We do not leave our inheritance as charity.” Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 6, pp. 49-50 and Vol. 16, pp. 218, 232. Muslim, Sihah, “Kitab al-Jihad wal Siyar.” Ibn Hamzah, Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, pp. 211, 205. Al-Thiqat, Vol. 2, pp. 164-65. Al-Tabari, Tarikh Muluk, Vol. 3, p. 208 (Dar al-Ma`arif edition). Tawfiq Abu `Alam, Ahl al-Bayt, p. 172. Mushkil al-‘Athar, Vol. 1, p. 48. Ibn al-Batrq, Al-`Umdah, pp. 39-91. Al-Sunan al-Kubra, Vol. 6, pp. 300-01. Al-Tanbih wal Ishraf, p. 250. Al-Dhahbi, Tarikh al-Islam, p. 591 (published by Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi, the Prophet’s Biography Dept.), and in its footnote there is a reference to many sources. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 8, pp. 28-29. Rawdat al-Muttaqin, Vol. 5, p. 349. Al-Tara’if, pp. 257-58, 262, 269. Tahrar al-Afkar, p. 228. Alqab al-Rasul wa `Itratih, p. 44. Refer also to p. 370 of Kifayat al-Talib. Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, Vol. 3, p. 162. Ithbat al-Hudat, Vol. 2, p. 366. Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 1, pp. 6-9. Al-Riyad al-Mustataba, p. 291. Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 1, p. 174. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 5, pp. 322-23. Al-Sam`ani, Musannaf, Vol. 5, p. 472 and Vol. 4, p. 141 and Vol. 3, p. 521. Taysar al-Wusal, Vol. 1, p. 209. Refer also to Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, pp. 65-66, 91.
  • 26. Alqab al-Rasul wa `Itratih, p. 44. Al-Tara’if, p. 252.
  • 27. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 16, p. 232 and Vol. 6, p. 49.
  • 28. Judge `Abd al-Jabbar, Al-Mughni, Vol. 20, p. 335.
  • 29. Refer to pp. 10-11 of Al-Istighatha. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, pp. 467, 505-06, 523, 508, 493, 411, 501-02, 504, 404, 534, 122, 515, 512. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 78, pp. 250, 253-256, 310, 387 and Vol. 43, pp. 201, 207, 218, 181, 191, 214, 199, 182-83 and Vol. 28, p. 353 and Vol. 29, p. 192 (footnote), 193 and Vol. 30, pp. 348-49, 286. Ibn Shahr Ashub, Al-Manaqib.
  • 30. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 78, p. 310.
  • 31. Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, Vol. 3, p. 162. Al-Nawawi, Tahthib al-Asma’, Vol. 2, p. 353. Sifat al-Safwa, Vol. 2, p. 14. Ibn Shabbah, Tarikh al-Medina, Vol. 1, p. 197. Ibn Haban, Tarikh al-Sahaba, p. 208. Ibn al-Batriq, Al-`Umdah, pp. 390-91. In a footnote of the latter, it is indicated that the text is quoted from p. 154, Vol. 5 of Muslim’s Sihah and from al-Bukhari’s Sihah, in a chapter about the Khaybar campaign and from al-``Omari al-Musilli’s book Al-Rawda al-Fayha’, p. 252. Al-Irbali, Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 128. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 3. Jami` al-Usul, pp. 9-10.
  • 32. Refer to Ibn al-Sabbagh al-Maliki, Al-Fusal al-Muhimma, p. 131. Jawahir al-Akhbar wal Athar al-Mustakhraja min Lujjat al-Bahr al-Zakhkhar, Vol. 3, p. 118. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 128.
  • 33. Refer to Al-Riyad al-Nadira, Vol. 1, p. 176. The author comments saying, “This has been transmitted by al-Basri and is included by Ibn al-Samman in Al-Muwafaqa. Thakha’ir al-`Uqba. P. 54. Al-Isaba, Vol. 4, p. 479. Tahthib al-Kamal, Vol. 35, p. 252. Tarikh al-Hijra al-Nabawiyya, p. 58. Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 1, p. 86. Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 1, p. 278. Al-Sira al-Halabiyya, Vol. 3, p. 361. Judge `Abd al-Jabbar, Al-Mughni, Vol. 20, p. 335.
  • 34. Abu al-Salah, Taqrib al-Ma`arif, p. 251. Ibn Shahr Ashub, Al-Manaqib, Vol. 1, p. 297.
  • 35. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 46. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, pp. 94-94, quoting Al-Manaqib.
  • 36. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 46. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, pp. 93-94, quoting Al-Manaqib.
  • 37. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 95. Al-Hidaya al-Kubra, p. 179.
  • 38. Sharh Bahjat al-Mahafil, Vol. 1, p. 131, quoting al-Dhahbi. Fath al-Bari, Vol. 6, p. 139. Al-Sira al-Halabiyya, Vol. 3, p. 361.
  • 39. Fath al-Bari, Vol. 6, p. 139.
  • 40. Al-Dhahbi, Tarikh al-Islam (the part discussing the righteous caliphs), p. 47. Fath al-Bari, Vol. 6, p. 139.
  • 41. Fath al-Bari, Vol. 6, p. 139.
  • 42. Abu Bakr and `’Umar are always referred to in history and theology books as “the two Shaikhs,” senior sahabis. The word “shaikh” has many meanings. One of them is “scholar” or “mentor” as exists in many places throughout this book. The “two shaikhs,” scholars, are also al-Bukhari and Muslim. Generally speaking, “shaikh” is used to identify a man who has passed his mid-aged. It also conveys the meaning of a tribal chief or chieftain. __ Tr.
  • 43. “Abul-Hassan” Ali ibn `Isa ibn Abul-Fath al-Arbili, Kashf al-Ghumma fi Ma`rifat al-A’imma, Vol. 2, p. 131.
  • 44. Al-Majalis al-Saniyya, Vol. 5, p. 120.
  • 45. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 16, p. 214. Al-Shafi, Talkhis, Vol. 3, p. 152 and other references.
  • 46. Al-Shafi, Talkhis, Vol. 3, pp. 152-53. A commentator said the following commenting on p. 151 of Al-`Abbasiyya by al-Jahiz: “The book titled Al-`Abbasiyya was published among letters compiled and verified and explained by Hassan al-Sandubi which he called “Letters of Al-Jahiz” and the number of this Letter is 12. It was published at the Rahmaniyya Press in Egypt in 1352 A.H. Sayyid al-Qazwini quoted these same paragraphs on p. 420 of his book Fatima al-Zahra’ minal Mahd ilal-Lahd from pp. 300-03 of these said Letters.
  • 47. Refer to the wordings of this tradition on p. 390, Vol. 1, of Al-Ghadir where al-Taftazani is quoted on p. 275, Vol. 2, of his book titled Sharh al-Maqasid. Al-Karakchi, Kanz al-Fawa’id, p. 151. Ibn Shahr Ashub, Al-Manaqib, Vol. 3, p. 304. Mujma` al-Zawa’id, Vol. 5, pp. 219-18, 224-25. Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 4, p. 96 and Vol. 3, p. 446. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 23, pp. 80, 88, 89, 92. Some of his footnotes cite p. 269 of Al-Ikhtisas, pp. 230-31 of Ikmal ad-Din and p. 15 of Muntakhab al-Athar from Al-Jam` Baynal Sihahain. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 13, p. 242 from al-Iskafi in Naqd al-`Uthmaniyya and pp. 82-83 of Manar al-Huda by Shaikh Ali al-Bahrani. Al-Muhalla, Vol. 1, p. 46. Al-Bukhari, Sihah (“Kitab al-Fitan,” in a chapter titled “You shall see after me things which you shall abhor.”) Muslim, Sihah (“Kitab al-Imara,” in a chapter about the obligation to be with the majority), Vol. 4, p. 517 (Dar al-Sha`ab edition).
  • 48. This tradition is narrated from the Prophet , from Imam al-Sadiq (A) and from Ali (A); so, refer to Wasa'il al-Shi`a, Vol. 20, pp. 67, 232. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 14, pp. 183, 289. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 48, 54, 84 and Vol. 100, p. 239 and Vol. 101, p. 36. Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 9, pp. 202-03 from al-Bazzar and Vol. 10, pp. 224, 226 from many references. Mujma` al-Zawa’id, Vol. 4, p. 255. Kashf al-Astar, from p. 235, Vol. 3, of al-Bazzar’s Musnad. Fada’il al-Khamsa minal Sihah al-Sitta, Vol. 3, pp. 153-54 quoting p. 315, Vol. 8, of Kanz al-`Ummal. Al-Dhahbi, Al-Kaba’ir, p. 176. Da`a’im al-Islam, Vol. 2, pp. 124, 215. Is`af al-Raghibin (as referred to in a footnote in Nur al-Absar), pp. 171-72, 191. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 92. Makarim al-Akhlaq, p. 233. Manaqib al Abu Talib, Vol. 3, p. 119. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 197. Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 1, p. 62. Hilyat al-Awliya’, Vol. 2, p. 41. Ibn al-Maghazli, Manaqib al-Imam Ali (A) p. 381. There are other references mentioned in the footnotes of Kitab al-`Awalim. Manaqib Amir al-Mu’minin Ali  by Judge Muhammed ibn Sulayman al-Kafi, Vol. 2, pp. 210-11. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 14 quoting Al-Manaqib and Al-Durra al-Yatima fi Ba`d Fada’il al-Sayyida al-`Adima, p. 31. Da`a’im al-Islam, Vol. 2, pp. 214-15.
  • 49. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, p. 254. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 16, pp. 211, 250. Balaghat al-Nisa’, p. 24. A`lam al-Nisa’, Vol. 4, p. 116. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 106. Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 10, p. 299. Al-Murtada, Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, pp. 69, 71. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 69. Al-`Awalim, Vol. 11, p. 468. Sharh al-Akhbar, Vol. 3, p. 43. Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn  Vol. 1, p. 77. Ibn Maytham, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 5, p. 105.
  • 50. Al-Wasa'il, Vol. 20, p. 232. Al-Kafi, Vol. 5, p. 534.
  • 51. Al-Wasa'il, Vol. 20, p. 232. Its footnotes quote p. 233 of Makarim al-Akhlaq, Ahmed’s Musnad, al-Tirmithi’s Al-Jami` al-Sihah, Vol. 5, p. 102. Abu Dawud, Sunan, Vol. 4, p. 63 and al-Dhahbi’s Al-Kaba’ir, p. 177.
  • 52. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 14, p. 289, footnote on p. 95 of Al-Ja`fariyyat is quoted and so are the following: p. 214, Vol. 2, of Da`a’im al-Islam, p. 23, Vol. 11, of `Awalim al-`Ulum, and its footnote p. 13 of al-Rawandi’s Nawadir is quoted. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 91. It is also narrated by al-Maghazli, pp. 380-81.
  • 53. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 14, p. 182. Its footnote cites p. 95 of Al-Ja`fariyyat and p. 14 of al-Rawandi’s Nawadir. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 92 and Vol. 100, p. 250. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 123.

Part 7: Why Did Al-Zahra’ Have To Open The Door?

In this Chapter, we will discuss points relevant to the following:

1. Ali’s zeal and manliness prohibit him from letting al-Zahra’ (sa) open the door to the assailants.

2. Ali’s courage prohibits him from letting al-Zahra’ (sa) face the danger as a result of opening the door before the folks.

3. Al-Zahra’ (sa) is ever confined to her chamber; how could she face the men?!

4. Why did al-Hassan or al-Husayn (as), Fidda, Ali (as) or al-Zubayr, or any of the Hashemites present inside, not open the door instead?!

5. Those seeking shelter inside the house were all armed; so, how could the Commander of the Faithful (as) expose her to danger?

6. Al-Zahra’ (sa) is the trust of the Messenger of Allah S; so, how could the Commander of the Faithful (as) thus expose her to danger?

7. Beating al-Zahra’ (sa) is a “personal matter” irrelevant to the caliphate, and the Prophet S never told Ali (as) not to defend himself or his family in personal matters. Rather, he told him not to initiate a battle on account of the caliphate which is a public issue related to the entire Islamic reality.

8. How could those present hear what was happening to al-Zahra’ (sa) and yet refrain from going to her rescue?

These are the points which we will tackle in this chapter. On Allah do we rely, and from Him do we derive help and guidance; we plead to Him for all of that.

Where were Ali’s Zeal and Manliness?

Someone is of the view that if Ali (as) sits inside the house and lets his wife open the door, this contradicts zeal and manliness. Can such a conduct come from Ali (as)?!

In answer, we would like to say the following:

FIRST: There is no doubt that Ali (as) is the Imam of the zealous, the man of manliness and of rushing to assist others. So are both al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as); they, like their father, are the Imams of the zealous. Imam al-Husayn (as) transported his women with him, including the wise lady Zainab (sa), to face the trials and tribulations, the hardships and calamities, because Allah, Glory is all His, willed to see them taken captive. They were taken from one country to another.

Those who were near and those who were distant were looking at their faces, being in the hands of enemies who never hesitated to commit the most heinous crimes such as killing the wasis of Prophets, slaughtering the children, and capturing the daughters born in houses where revelation descended.

Since the human huri, namely Zainab (sa), told Ibn Ziyad once, “Whatever pleases Allah pleases us, too, we Ahl al-Bayt,” Ali (as) was more apt to do likewise than his daughter; whatever pleased Allah, Glory to Him, pleased him, too.

It goes without saying that the Imam and Commander of the Faithful Ali (as) wanted this religion to continue strong and firm even if it would cost him his life, and he was always ready to tolerate all sorts of harm along this path. The response of al-Zahra’ (sa) to the assailants did not contradict zeal or manliness, nor was transporting Zainab and the women to Kerbala’ as captives.

SECOND: The Prophet S used to ask some of his wives, as well as Umm Ayman, to respond to the door when someone knocked at it1 when necessary. Had there been anyone more zealous than the Messenger of Allah S?!

THIRD: The assailants are the ones who transgressed and violated the tenets of the faith, the zeal, the manliness and even the customs of the days of ignorance. As for Ali (as), he did not do any of that. Rather, he carried out his responsibilities. So did al-Zahra’ (sa). The violators and the oppressors were the assailants.

Where is Ali’s Courage?!

Regarding the incident of the burning, Ibn Roozbahan has said, “Had this been true, it would have proven his (Ali’s) incompetence, and he is way above that, for the most incompetent is a man whose house and family are burnt as his wife is inside and he is unable to defend them.”2

Someone adopted the same conclusion and said that it was not tasteful for al-Zahra’ (sa) to open the door, nor to answer those folks, while Ali (as) was present with her inside the house. Then this same someone tries to stir emotions and excite feelings when he adds the following to the above: “What would people say about him had he done that? Would they say that he is a hero?! Or would they say that he is a coward? So, how can you attribute to Ali (as) the feats of capturing heroes on the battlefield while he does what you yourselves would not have agreed to do?!”

Then he underscores his statement by saying that once in a commemorative majlis held in Dubai, a reciter mentioned this issue. A Sunni man was present there and then and said to a Shi’a man, “You say that Ali (as) is a courageous hero who gave heroes many a headache; how come he did not defend his wife while she was a trust handed to him by the Messenger of Allah S?!” We say the following:

FIRST: This talk is not new to us. [Shi’a] Scholars have already responded to it, and so have Zaidi scholars as well. Ibn Hamzah has said, “He (as), the brave man that he was, did not neglect to look into the affairs of the nation, seeking the straightforwardness of the creed, staying aloof from whatever could make things worse.”3

SECOND: The same Ibn Hamzah, responding to someone, has also said, “There is no shame on him, were he to be overpowered because overpowering is not indicative of what is right or wrong, or what is cowardly. He is an Infallible Imam according to texts of hadith, and he does not behave on impulse or out of anxiety. Rather, he does what he is ordered to. He enjoined others to be patient, and he took to patience in obedience to the Command of Allah, Glory to Him, and to the order of the Messenger of Allah S not to be the first to take to anger, nor to lag behind out of cowardice.”4

THIRD: Beating al-Zahra’ (sa) is not the only incident of its kind in Ali’s long history with those folks. It has been transmitted that Ali (as) himself was exposed to beating, too, but neither by Abu Bakr nor by ‘’Umar, but from someone who was at the time much less prominent and influential, namely ‘Othman (ibn ‘Affan). In his book, al-Zubayr ibn Bakar5 has stated the following:

“Ali (as) ibn Abu Talib has been quoted as saying, ‘Othman ordered that I should have audience with him on a very hot day. I placed my garment on my head and went to see him. I entered, and he was on his bed, a rod in hand, surrounded by abundant wealth: two heaps of gold and silver. He said, ‘Take of this whatever you wish so you may have enough (i.e. buy enough food) to fill your stomach, for you have burnt me.’ I said to him, ‘You have surely been kind to your kin!

If this wealth is an inheritance which you have inherited, or a giver gave it to you personally, or you earned it from a trade deal, I would then be one of two: I may either take of it or simply thank you for your offer [but not accept it], or I may refrain so I may work hard (to earn my living). But if it is a wealth that belongs to Allah, and the Muslims are to partake of it, and so are the orphans and the wayfarers…, then by Allah, you have no right to give me any of it, nor do I have any right to take any of it.’ ‘Othman said, ‘I, by Allah, insist that you should do what you have refused to do.’ Then he kept hitting me with the rod. By Allah, I did not keep his hand away from me till he had enough. I pulled my garment over my head and went back home. I said, ‘Allah is between you and me if I enjoined on you to do what is right or prohibited you from doing wrong.’”6

Ali (as) was even exposed to assassination as well. We have discussed this issue in a section about the respect of the sahaba for al-Zahra’ (sa). It is narrated in Al-Kafi through an authentic isnad that Imam al-Sadiq (as) has said, “When ‘’Umar [ibn al-Khattab] sought the hand of Umm Kultham for marriage, Ali (as) said, ‘But she is only a child,’ ‘’Umar went and said to al-’Abbas, ‘I sought the hand of the daughter of your nephew, and he turned me down. By Allah, I shall damage the well of Zamzam, and I shall leave nothing precious belonging to you without ruining it, and I shall get two witnesses to testify that he stole, and I shall cut off his right hand.’ Al-’Abbas came and informed Ali (as) (of what ‘’Umar had said), asking him to let him take care of that matter, which he did.”7

This incident clearly reflects the extent of their daring against him, peace and blessings of Allah with him.

FOURTH: There is no doubt that none of us accepts his wife to be assaulted, or his mother, or his sister, while he sits idly by at home and says, “There is neither power nor might except in Allah...” Had one done so, people would have definitely labelled him as a coward, and so would we. But if the assailants wanted to drag him to a fight, or to provoke our own sentiments, so that we may react senselessly and without calculating the consequences of our actions, everybody would blame us if we were to comply with the wishes of these assailants and thus enable them to achieve their objectives.

The assailants wanted exactly to achieve such aims by provoking Ali (as). Had he responded to them, the opportunity to knowing the truth would have been lost, and they would have had the winning darts and all the means of distortion of the truth and of fabrication as we will explain by the Will of Allah.

The heroism of Ali (as) in such a situation manifests itself in his putting up with being harmed, and in his refusal to respond to their provocation. Ali (as) is the one who sacrifices everything in order to safeguard this religion, considering it his responsibility and religious obligation. He would not have sacrificed his religion for anything.

FIFTH: Let us, for the sake of argument, suppose that what this person says is true, that is, those folks respected al-Zahra’ (sa), why then did he not also suppose that the objective of al-Zahra’ (sa) from answering the door was to take advantage of her status in order to turn them away by the easiest and most readily available means?! Do you see whether her status and the respect awarded her kept the assault and the harm of those folks away?!

A Lady Confined to Her Chamber Never Opens the Door

Since al-Zahra’ (sa) was a lady confined to her chambers, how did she set out to open the door? One who neither sees men nor meets anyone does not do that. Here is the answer:

FIRST: Does a lady such as that have no right to defend herself if she, or her children, or her husband, or her honour, or her religion, or her message, is assaulted?!

SECOND: Was not Zainab (sa) a lady confined to her chambers? Why did Imam al-Husayn (as) take her with him to Kerbala’ to meet captivity, calamities, hostile men, to deliver speeches in Kufa and Syria before the tyrants of the land and of her time?!

THIRD: Does her being confined to her chambers prohibit her from responding from behind the door, or would such a response expose her to the public, so they would see of her what they are not permitted to see?!

FOURTH: If she responded to them from behind the door, this does not mean that she met them face to face. If they broke the door open, so she sought shelter behind it in compliance with her hijab, and they squeezed her between the door and the wall, would she still be responsible for all of that?!

What supports this is the fact that some texts state that she (sa) stretched her hand from behind the door, so they whipped both her hands.8

FIFTH: Is this not the same lady, who was used to being confined to her chambers, who delivered a sermon to people at the Mosque (of the Prophet (S)) as the inquirer himself admits, and those who were distant and near heard her voice?!

Does a woman who is used to being confined to her chambers have no right to defend a just cause and the truth even if she alone had to do it, and even if it required her to announce to the public that she was oppressed? Have not the faqihs made an exception in the way to defend one’s right for the voice of a woman to be heard even if it is said to be prohibitive?

How was it permissible for her to deliver a sermon at the Mosque but not to answer the knock on her house door from behind the door?! Does her confinement to her chambers prohibit her from defending the Imamate and show the truth to future generations when such a very serious task was confined to her (sa) alone? Does her confinement to her chambers block her from confronting the oppressors and the usurpers so that she would unveil their identity to people and expose their true intentions and how they dared to do things against Allah and His Messenger and how they went as far as harming women, nay, harming the most holy woman ever, the Head of the Women of Mankind and the only daughter of the greatest of all Prophets of Allah S even as soon as he died?

Is there any clearer argument than hers? Could we have come to know who the oppressor and who the oppressed, who the assailants and who the defenders were, any other way? Could we have come to know who dared to insult al-Zahra’ (sa) and the Messenger of Allah (S) about whom someone said that he was “hallucinating”? This is so despite those who deliberately distort the facts and commit fabrications.

SIXTH: What is really odd is the following statement made by someone:

“All narratives state that Ali (as) was not the only one inside the house when it was assaulted in order to get him out of it and to force him to swear the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr following the demise of the Messenger of Allah S. A crowd belonging to Banu Hashim was with him, including Fidda, al-Zubayr and al-’Abbas; so, why did any of them not open the door instead of herself (sa)?”

The answer:

The claim that many people from Banu Hashim were inside the house at the time of the incident is not known as a fact for the following reasons:

FIRST: The then government, as quoted (by historians), clearly indicated that ‘’Umar was shouting, “Burn her house with everyone inside it!” There were none at home except Ali (as), Fatima (sa), al-Hassan and al-Husayn, peace with them.9

His saying that, “There were none at home..., etc,” be it said by the compiler or author, suffices to support our argument, and it negates the presence of Fidda and al-Zubayr.

SECOND: If we take for granted the assumption that other individuals were present at certain times, the attack on the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) took place more than once. This is clear from the narrative stated in Al-Imama wal Siyasa.10 Many other narratives indicate the same especially when you gather and compare them, keeping in mind the particularities of events. Had there been persons at the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) during the first attack, it does not necessarily mean that they were there during the second attack or the one that followed it... What is the evidence?

THIRD: There is no narrative saying that all Banu Hashim were at the house. Yes, they say that Banu Hashim boycotted the inauguration, and the one saying so may be confused. He may have imagined that they boycotted it at the house of Ali (as) and did not pay attention to the word “boycotted” which simply means refrained from swearing fealty, not having a sit-in at the house of Ali (as) or at that of anyone else!

FOURTH: Some narratives have clearly referred to the presence of only al-Zubayr11 in addition to Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn, peace with them all, without mentioning anyone else. Yet some narratives have referred to the presence of a number or a crowd of Banu Hashim, not all of them.12

These narratives, though not contradicting each other, since what is fixed therein does not contradict one another, but they, especially the last, deny the presence of all Banu Hashim at the house of Fatima (sa).

FIFTH: The house is small. It cannot hold all Banu Hashim, not even half of them, especially since the Prophet S was buried there, and its sanctity had to be respected.

SIXTH: What stopped Ali (as), Fidda, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) from opening the door was the same cause which stopped al-Zubayr and all other members of Banu Hashim from doing the same as will be clarified when the following question will be answered, by the will of Allah.

Had Ali (as) Responded to Them

Someone claims that Ali (as) was supposed to open the door, or Fidda, or someone else. As for al-Zahra’ (sa), there was no justification for her going there to open the door rather than they.

Here is the answer:

There are two issues which have to be discussed:

One of them is this: Could Ali (as) or others have opened the door?!

The other is: Why did al-Zahra’ (sa), rather than anyone else, undertake such an action?

The answer to both questions is interwoven; therefore, we would like to present it thus:

FIRST: The Prophet S used to ask some of his wives to open the door when knocked, as we have already stated; so, there is nothing embarrassing in principle about Fatima (sa) responding when her house door is knocked.

SECOND: It is quite obvious that had Ali (as) been the one to open the door, or at least respond to the assailants even from behind the door, it would have implied a couple of things: He was either to do what they had ordered him, that is, swear the oath of allegiance to their man, Abu Bakr, so he in this case would have recognized the legitimacy of what they had committed, nay, it would have removed any proof that he himself had the right to it from the very beginning. Or he would have only responded to the assailants then refused to agree to their demand. This would have caused the assailants to argue with him and to try to coerce him with strong words, or with kind ones, or even try to get him out by force to swear the oath of allegiance. He would have given them the opportunity to distort the issue and to show it to be the opposite of what it actually was, and they would have claimed whatever they liked, so much so that they would have broken him and distorted the truth to the public, especially since they were the commanding rulers to whom flatterers looked up and tried to get close.

They would have said the following to people: “We went to express our condolences and to ask how the people were doing, but Ali (as) was the one who confronted us and whose tongue was sharp against us, or was violent to us, out of his jealousy of us, and due to his conceit, and to express where he stood, how strong he was, how close in kinship he was to the Messenger of Allah S, father of the Prophet’s grandchildren. So, he is the aggressor and we are the victims. He is the one who envied and who was malicious, the one who attacked us, the arrogant man, the one who laid a claim to something from which he himself announced his dissociation.” While being busy preparing for the burial and funeral of the Messenger of Allah S, it was rumoured that Ali (as) had expressed no interest in caliphate. This is so according to the testimony of al-Munthir ibn Arqam who said so at the saqifa where Abu Bakr gained momentum over Sa’d, and as the Ansar disputed among themselves; his words were:

“There is a man among them who, once laying a claim to this matter, will not be disputed by anyone; I mean Ali, the son of Abu Talib (as).”13

In a letter said to be written by ‘’Umar to Mu’awiyah, the first says the following about Abu Bakr: “I advanced him to the people to swear the oath of allegiance to him, and I kept him company in order to scare him and scare anyone who denied his fealty and said, ‘What did Ali (as) ibn Abu Talib do?’ so I would say, ‘He took it out of his neck and made it obedience to the public will, a minority ruling their majority;’ therefore, he kept sitting at home.”14

Yes, they would say to the people: Since Ali (as) turned away from this matter, and since there had to be order, fearing dissension, we took to doing it in order to safeguard Islam and protect the unity of the nation and the people’s dignity, and to regulate their lives because we wanted what is good for people, seeking nearness to Allah and nothing else. And when he confronted us with violence, we had no choice except to arrest him in order to avoid dissension and to safeguard the religion and the nation.

Who would have rejected their claim, seeking that they were rulers in full charge, and the rulers have whips and swords besides which there is wealth and position, and they could satisfy ambitions and aspirations? And their media remains to be the most heard because it strikes with the swords of money, power and might, with ambitions and desires. And there was the oppressive grudge of many people against Ali (as) and all those who shelter themselves under his wings or are related to him. They had to benefit from these grudges, too, in order to solidify their control and strengthen their authority.

When Fatima (sa) answered them, her answer was the surprise which caused them to lose the opportunity which they thought was there, so they confronted her with violence and force, with anxiety and recklessness, when they assaulted her ferociously an assault that revealed a conduct which had no justification except insistence on extracting authority by force even at the cost of killing al-Muhsin, violating the sanctity of her house (sa), assaulting her with heavy beating, the woman who had no ambitions that she was, nor was she envious nor conceited nor grudging nor a trouble maker...

She was only a woman who wanted to know who knocked at her door. She was not about to articulate reckless words without calculation, for she had no reason at all to do that, the orphan that she was who had just lost her father, the greatest Prophet S in the history of mankind, the man who took them out of the darkness and into the light. She was his only daughter, the human being who was distinguished as the very best of all the women of mankind from the early generations to the last, the woman for whose pleasure Allah is pleased and for whose anger He is angry.

Had they spoken kindly and politely when they went to her and said something like: “How do you feel, O daughter of the Messenger of Allah S? We have come here to see how you are doing, to inquire about your health, and to offer our condolences on the demise of the Messenger of Allah S; so, do you permit us to visit you in order to entertain Ali (as) and see how he is doing?,” would al-Zahra’ (sa) have met them with anything but pleasant Islamic ethics, with good words and would have welcomed them?!

Then she makes demands on them and argue with them when they try to confiscate the caliphate, or when Ali (as) demands it of them with wisdom and patience, away from the environment of force and violence, with swords and whips.

But the truth is that those folks wanted to hurry and get Ali (as) to swear the oath of allegiance (to Abu Bakr), for otherwise, it won’t be long before the lies which they told the public would be discovered and Ali (as) would not at all relinquish his right; so, how will they be able to answer the people when the latter ask them: “In the near past, you swore the oath of allegiance to Ali (as) on the Ghadir Day, then you told us that he resigned! Here shows your discrepancy, the opposite of what you claimed!” So they rushed to Ali (as) in order to obtain the oath of allegiance from him by force in a terrorist way in order to shun any opposition or resistance which might embarrass them and expose what they did not like to be exposed. Through this same terrorist environment did they present Ali (as) as a rebel against legitimacy, an outlaw.

The stand of al-Zahra’ (sa) took them by surprise. It robbed them of the ability to behave properly. It foiled their attempt to achieve their objective. So they behaved towards her recklessly, with anxiety and grudge, and she caused their matter to be scandalized by the public, unveiling their intentions and schemes. Where is the piety which they claim, and where is the love for goodness which they allege?! The people knew the truth of what they wanted to achieve, their false claims of putting an end to dissension and the establishment of Allah’s Commandments and the tenets of the religion which they professed.

What they did to al-Zahra’ (sa) stripped them of the ability to polish their image. Al-Zahra’ (sa) opening the door turned into a successful blow which wiped out their schemes and mischief, nullifying all attempts at forgery and distortion of the facts and realities.

How can the future generations be made immune to media forgery practiced by the rulers who possess great authoritative and materialistic potentials?!

Al-Ma’mun killed his brother, al-Amin, then his media apparatus painted him as a petty man, an ignorant and a stupid one as well as mentally retarded. Till now, researchers think of him on these same lines inspired by al-Ma’mun to people although the truth is that he was exactly the opposite. But his sin was that he lost, so he was killed.

We have in our belief in the Qur’an the criteria which enable us to discover many facts relevant to what they attribute to the Prophet S and to the Imams, peace with them. But for others who do not adhere to the Islamic creed, if these wish to discover the truth by studying the historical information available with them, this task will be extremely difficult.

If one of them reads that there was a man whose name was announced by the Prophet S as “... your master after me (after my demise),” so the crowd, especially the Ansar, shouted his name15, and they said at the saqifa that they would not swear the oath of allegiance to anyone but Ali16 (as), the man of courage and knowledge, the strong mujahid, the man who recorded many a magnanimous stand and offered great sacrifices, the Prophet’s son-in-law who was raised by the Prophet (S), his cousin and loved one...

... Then he reads in contrast that the opponents of Ali (as) took advantage of his absence from the field and confined the matter to themselves then went to his house and demanded that he endorse what they had usurped, surrender, recognize and submit to their will...

... Then he reads a third time hints regarding the existence of rumors circulated among the people saying that the man in charge quit and no longer demanded his right for personal or general reasons...

The researching judge Nur-Allah al-Tasatturi says, “Some of those who deviated from the line of Ali (as) insinuated to the public that he did not do anything at all to secure the caliphate for himself because he was too upset on account of the death of the Prophet (S), remaining at home, overcome by grief. Khuzaymah ibn Thabit al-Ansari went and said to his people from among the Ansar what he had heard about Ali’s condition, adding that nobody was more fit for caliphate than Ali (as) from among Quraish.

The Ansar were worried lest the problem should be compounded and a harsh man from Quraish might seek revenge against them, seeking retribution as was the case during the time of ignorance and due to the grudge nurtured in the hearts of many people on account of the Battle of Badr, so they went to Sa’d ibn ‘Abadah, master of the Ansar, and gathered with the crowd at the saqifa to request Sa’d to accept the post of caliph. But Sa’d refused to take Ali’s post, reminding them that it was the order of the Prophet (S) who did so in compliance with orders which he had received from Allah, the most Exalted One. When the Quraishites heard all of that, and they always were opportunist, they schemed and rushed their oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr....”17

Then the same person may read the following in a fourth place:

This same person regretted having shunned the caliphate, the greed impulse woke up within him again, so he confronted them when they went to him to reject his request, declaring war against them; nay, he even faced them with condemnations and verbal abuses; he even reprimanded them for such high treason and very serious crime.

Then he reads on the following: They responded to being condemned with condemnations of their own, violence with equal violence, so much so that the matters deteriorated to collision and confrontation due to the intensity of the outrage.

A person reading all of this will accept and believe it. He will see before him a complete and harmonious picture and will tell himself that authority is sterile due to the power, wealth, posts, benefits, eminence and prominence. Anyone likes to obtain power with all of that and will seek, for the achievement of his objective, any proofs and evidences and amass witnesses, and he may even be unjust, oppress and forge “facts” to achieve this goal.

So, this person will never be able to discover the truth if he is offered authority or government for which two parties dispute with each other, each saying the following during such circumstances: I am the one who is oppressed and assailed, while the other party is the oppressor and the assailant. This is so because this person, as we have just said, does not have sufficient criteria which enable him to verify the truth and distinguish it from falsehood.

An Orientalist has expressed this same weighty truth when he said that he did not realize the extent of the oppression to which Imam al-Husayn (as) was exposed except on seeing how his infant son was killed. This is true because he has no key whereby he can open the gate to knowing the personality of Imam al-Husayn (as) except his emotional and human criterion. As for us, we have the Qur’an, and the speech of the Messenger of Allah S, and we have ideals and principles as well as facts whereby we measure matters and get to know the truth.

Thus, it becomes clear that had Ali (as) been the one to respond to the assailants, the truth would have been lost for many people, something which Ali (as) could never have sacrificed under any circumstance. They would have done what they wanted to do by forcibly entering the house and doing other things, and they would have been more fierce and savage, more violent and more oppressive, and people would have fallen in a greater tribulation.

The only window would have been closed before the people to know the truth especially those from among them who were distant from the circumstances of Medina, in addition to the next generations till our time. Could it have otherwise been possible to discover the follower of the truth from that of falsehood, the power hungry one, the over-powering and usurping assailant from the one who was oppressed, persecuted and whose right was usurped and about whom lies were circulated through rumours and innuendo?

Yes, had Ali (as) been the one to respond to the assailants, what is right, and the truth, would have been lost. Had one of us or, say, many of us, not been his Shi’as, nor knew his truthfulness and righteousness, we would have had a different discourse with this precious Islamic creed of ours.

Ali (as) was the Imam of the foremost and of those who followed, and he was responsible for safeguarding the future generations till the Day of Judgment against misinformation and forgery especially with regard to their creed, and he had to grant them the true opportunity to discover forgery wherever it might be or whoever was responsible for it.

What if Fidda Responded to Them?

Even if Fidda فضة had been the one to respond to their knocking at the door, the matter would not have been much different from what we have just stated. Her answer would not have acquainted the people with the truth of what those folks were hiding: the lust for power, the sure determination to usurp and confiscate right from its legitimate owner. They could have removed her from their path in a way which would not have played any role in clarifying the picture nor knowing the truth. They could have, in a rude or unethical manner, accused her of confronting them.

Fidda did not enjoy the prominent status enjoyed by al-Zahra’ (sa), nor did the Prophet (S) say about her that Allah is angered when she is angered. As for al-Zahra’ (sa), she is the woman who is infallible and purified according to the text of the Qur’an, and she is the one for whom Allah is angry when she is angered and is pleased when she is pleased.

Had it not been for al-Zahra’ (sa), the religion’s characteristics would have been obliterated and the grudging and hypocritical people, those who stood to attack this precious Islamic creed, would have achieved the most precious and sweet of their aspirations. Through her countable steps towards the door, al-Zahra’ (sa) safeguarded the right of Ali (as) to caliphate and protected the Imamate, not only the caliphate, from those who would subject it to their iniquity and forgery. She also enabled people, including non-Muslims, be they her contemporaries or those who succeeded them, from discovering the truth.

Contemplating on history provides us with the conclusion that every Imam has had a major role to play in safeguarding the foundation of Islam to the extent that the religion would have really been lost had it not been for the declaration of the Imamate on the Ghadir day, and had it not been for Imam al-Hassan’s peace treaty, and had it not been for the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn, peace with both of them. There is no exaggeration if we say that had it not been for the stand to which al-Zahra’ (sa) was exposed, to the harm she received, to the beating and to the miscarriage..., Islam would have retained nothing except appearances, names, forms and empty rituals.

An Example and a Witness

We would like here to mention two testimonies which enter into the sphere of what we have mentioned: the responsibility of the Prophet (S) and of the Imam (as) to safeguard the nation against falling a victim to media forgery. They are:

FIRST: The Prophet (S) had asked, on his sick bed, for a deer’s shoulder and an ink-pot to write for them something whereby they would never stray after his demise, although he had already named Ali (as) as the Imam on various occasions and stances prior to that, especially on the Ghadir Day where he secured for him the oath of allegiance from the people. But he, peace and blessings of Allah with him and his progeny, wanted to protect the nation against falling prey to forgery so that it would not be said that the Prophet (S) changed his mind, and new things came up and new circumstances which necessitated excluding Ali (as) from that issue.

This initiative by the Prophet (S) revealed the truth of what someone was hiding within himself and what intentions he was harbouring towards this issue in particular when he said, and the Prophet (S) heard it, that the Prophet (S) was “hallucinating or something like that. There was no room after that to make the excuse that his sahaba were sincere in their piety, were respectful towards the Prophet (S) and interested in carrying out his orders and earn his pleasure. His statement that the Prophet (S) was “hallucinating” exposed the extent of his insolence against the Holy Prophet (S). So, if their ambitions and interests prompted them to face the greatest Prophet with such daring, and if they were treating the greatest of all Prophets (S) with such a crude conduct, would they hesitate to beat women or hide the truth in order to achieve their objectives?!

SECOND: Al-Husayn (as) transported with him the women and the children to Kerbala’ so that the criminal rulers might not claim that highway robbers killed al-Husayn (as) or that he was lost in the desert, so he died of thirst there, as actually took place to the road guides of Muslim ibn ‘Aqil, or that wild beasts feasted on him, or anything like that. Then came those who forge the facts to bury his coffin with respect and veneration, pretending to be grieving for having thus lost him, deceiving people like that and underscoring their method of deviation and crimes.

For the same reason, Ali (as) went out of Mecca on the day of tarwiya, although he was supposed to go that day to ‘Arafa. Al-Husayn (as) was the only remaining offspring of the Prophet (S) and the symbol seen by people as responsible for safeguard-ing and looking after this religion and for teaching them its tenets. So, how could he thus leave and abandon them on a day when one of the greatest Islamic rituals was to be observed?! Instead of going to ‘Arafa, he went somewhere else! This would attract the attention of a lot of people and would raise numerous questions.

He left Mecca going somewhere else, from the ever-beating heart of Islam which embraced the greatest Islamic holy places to another place free of any holy place. And he did so during the pilgrimage season rather than during ordinary times and, particularly interesting, on the very first day of such a season. He was supposed to be the leader of the people and the authority to whom they referred to teach them the injunctions of their pilgrimage and its tenets.

Al-Husayn (as) is the same person for whom hearts and eyes longed to see, though once in a lifetime, in addition to the overwhelming happiness enjoyed by any Muslim for talking to him and sitting near him. Then he announced to all people to tell them that it was the Will of Allah to see him killed and his women taken captive.

There is a crime, then, an unusual crime, the crime of killing a magnanimous person during unusual circumstances. It is a crime that sought, at the time, the greatest human being on the face of earth in order to kill him in a devastating war wherein men, all men, from the Prophet’s offspring, and everyone with them, and the daughters who were born at homes where revelation used to descend, as well as the Prophet’s family, would all be taken captive.

So, people had to wonder about who the criminal was, and what kind of stand they should take, what responsibilities they shouldered in the face of such a very serious and bitter situation. And they were to wait for the crime report patiently.

Al-Husayn’s departure was not for the sake of a worldly glory or for authority, nor was it fleeing from a danger, nor to go on a vacation and have fun. Rather, it was for the sake of confronting danger of the greatest proportions and to face its challenge.

Those who heard al-Husayn (as) say so and who confronted such an event came from all Islamic lands, perhaps from every city and village, quarter and street, and they would return with impressive memories, emotions, faith that would shake their conscience and stir their awareness. They would tell those who visit them about such memories which would still be beating with life because, since their inception, they made them live in apprehension and anticipation.

All this would render the power of the oppressive authorities too weak to distort the truth no matter how hard they tried. Doubts and big question marks would face such distortion strongly no matter how devious and cunning it might be. So, blessings of Allah with al-Husayn (as), with the offspring of al-Husayn (as), and with the companions of al-Husayn (as).

Would they be too Afraid to Open the Door though Armed?!

There is another attempt exerted by someone in favor of the claim that there was no reason why al-Zahra’ (sa), rather than anyone else from among those who were inside, should open the door. He says, “If people come to arrest you, would you tell your wife to open the door, or would you open it yourself?!”

Those folks went to arrest Ali (as); so, why did al-Zahra’ (sa) open the door, especially since those inside her house were all armed and would not be too scared to face the assailants? Al-Zubayr came out carrying an unsheathed sword, so they broke it.

It seems that such confusion is learned from al-Fadl ibn Roozbahan who said the following:

“The apples of the eyes of Banu Hashim, the most prominent of Banu ‘Abd Manaf, and the most valiant heroes of Quraish were all with Ali (as), and they were all inside the house, armed with Yemenite swords. If they had heard that everyone inside the house was to be burnt to death, would they abandon their zeal and manliness and refrain from coming out with their swords to kill those who intended to burn them?”18

Here is our answer:

FIRST: I think that what I have already indicated above while answering the previous question suffices to explain the necessity of al-Zahra’ (sa) opening the door. The issue is not merely stopping the assailants from arresting Ali (as); rather, the issue is that Ali’s confrontation with them would have resulted in losing the opportunity to show others what was right, and it would have provided the assailants with the opportunity to achieve their objectives behind distorting history and falsifying the truth.

Exposing the reality of those folks, informing the people that they were the oppressors and the assailants, hinged on al-Zahra’ (sa), rather than anyone else, responding to them, not even on Fidda or any of the Banu Hashim.

It should be noted that although this issue is quite clear, someone uses vocabulary which is not conducive with this fact, such as saying “arresting Ali (as).” There will be other expressions which he uses such as “subduing the opposition,” “confronting the mutiny,” etc.

It is as if they saw Ali’s stay at home, and al-Zahra’ (sa) response to them, was in apprehension of such an arrest rather than a plan to foil what the assailants wanted to accomplish from their attempt. Both Ali and al-Zahra’ (as) succeeded a great deal in such foiling despite the price which they had to pay.

SECOND: It was quite obvious that confronting the assailants with swords and violence was exactly what the assailants had in mind, and it would have served their interests greatly. It was exactly what Ali (as) had feared and against which he was prohibited by the Messenger of Allah S as well.

The arguing person seeks evidence from the fact that Ali (as) was “checked by the will of his Brother [the Prophet S” not to use violence with regard to the caliphate issue. So, what is the meaning of Ali (as) expecting all of that to happen? Was it intended for him to disobey the order of the Prophet (S) and to surrender to the trap set up for him so that the nation would thus lose the opportunity to know the truth?!

THIRD: Not responding to the invitation for violence does not mean that those sought for the aggression should not take necessary precautions to defend themselves, should there be an evil intention against them or harm. Their reluctance to seek the caliphate is one thing, while self-defense when their blood was sought is another.

As regarding what al-Zubayr did, he did it when they took Ali (as) by force, and he could not tolerate standing idly by, so he tried to attack them in order to free Ali (as) whereon Khalid [ibn al-Walid] threw a stone at him which hit his back, and the sword fell from his hand. ‘’Umar took the sword and hit it on a stone, breaking it.19

In another text, ‘’Umar (ibn al-Khattab) came with a group of men. Al-Zubayr came out with his sword unsheathed. He stumbled, dropping his sword, so they leaped at him and took it.20

Doesn’t Ali (as) Defend the Trust of the Messenger of Allah S?!

Someone asks thus: “Since al-Zahra’ (sa) was the trust of the Messenger of Allah S in Ali’s hands, why did he not defend her?! Shouldn’t the trust be protected?!”

Here is the answer;

FIRST: The previous answer suffices here, too. Allah’s religion was a greater trust from Allah and His Messenger S to Ali (as). The trust had to be safeguarded, too, but this trust, namely al-Zahra’ (sa), never hesitated for one moment to defend, in person and with all what she had, the other trust, namely the religion of Allah, Glory and Exaltation are His.

SECOND: Ali (as) did nothing to undermine his safeguarding of the trust, and al-Zahra’ (sa) carried out her obligation and acted on her responsibility. The assailants were the ones who violated the commandments of Allah, assaulting the trust of the Messenger of Allah S. So, the question regarding safeguarding the trust should be first and foremost be directed at them.

As regarding the claim that Ali (as) let her face the challenge alone, and this was considered as delinquency from his part, it is not accurate at all; it is a stupid statement. Rather, it is very silly to say so because her responsibility was to defend the Imamate, and she did just that. His own responsibility was not to give them legitimacy nor to carry out their scheme. He was to protect the people’s opportunity to distinguish justice from injustice, not to give them an opportunity to assault al-Zahra’ (sa), nor to polish their image, nor to sanitize the ugliness of what they committed then pass it on to the public cunningly.

The assailants’ mission was to give credence to its perpetrators and not to incur the anger of al-Zahra’ (sa), that of Allah and His Messenger S. Both Ali (as) and al-Zahra’ (sa) carried out their respective responsibility very well to do what they had to do, and they could not do what they actually did. Anyone who carries out his legislative obligation cannot be labelled as being delinquent towards his trust and in violation of the Shari’a. Rather, delinquency was the lot of others.

Is Beating al-Zahra’ (sa) a “Personal Matter”?!

The same individual goes on in his “protests” to say:

“If you say that Ali (as) did not defend al-Zahra’ (sa) because of the Prophet’s will to him, so he was hand-tied because of this will, we say to you that the Prophet (S) simply told him not to initiate a battle for the sake of winning the caliphate. He did not tell him not to defend his wife. The beating of al-Zahra’ (sa) has nothing to do with caliphate because it is a personal matter. Al-Zahra’ (sa) herself does not have anything to do with caliphate.”

The caliphate issue is relevant to the entire Islamic reality.

Here is our answer to the above:

Before responding to the above, we would like to record the following observation:

The issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) with those folks is the issue of Imamate, then of caliphate, because those folks were installing themselves as the imams of the people, while Imamate is a Divine position which Allah had vested on others, not on them, and caliphate is one of the functions of Imamate. The proof for what we state here is their attempt to confine specifically to their own selves the right to legislate. When one of them was reprimanded for once issuing a legislation, he said, “I am a colleague of Muhammed S.”21 I have discussed some of what is related to this issue in my book about the political life of Imam al-Hassan (as), so refer to it.

Having pointed thus out, I would like to add the following:

FIRST: Those folks went to the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) in order to force the Commander of the Faithful (as) to swear the oath of allegiance to them to firm the foundations of their caliphate and underscore the fact that it would be solely theirs rather than his, and al-Zahra’ (sa) tried to stop them from realizing this objective precisely, and so did Ali (as). Those folks wanted to remove al-Zahra’ (sa) from their way in order to force Ali (as) to swear fealty to them.

So, this is a war waged by the enemies of Ali (as) for the sake of grabbing the caliphate, and the Messenger of Allah (S) had already told him not to wage a war over caliphate22 according to the admission of the same opponent; so, what is the meaning of his statement that al-Zahra’ (sa), and the fact that she was beaten, had nothing to do with caliphate? The truth is that the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) and what she went through is related to the whole Islamic reality.

Does this claimant think that her demanding Fadak to be returned to her was also for the sake of enhancing her standard of living, although her life before Fadak, with the acquisition of Fadak, and after she had lost Fadak, remained one and the same? She did not build a mansion from Fadak’s income, nor did she decorate herself with gold or silver, nor did she acquire better pieces of furniture, nor any valuables, nor did she treasure anything for the future, nor did she buy orchards or real estate, nor luxurious conveyances, as someone else did, and as others do. Rather, the income from Fadak used to be spent in the Cause of Allah to help the poor and the indigent.

The Fadak Factor

What proves the fact that the Fadak issue was political is a dialogue which went on between Imam al-Kazim (as) and Harun ar-Rashid. The latter used to say to Imam Musa ibn Ja’far, peace with both of them, “O father of al-Hassan! Accept Fadak so that I may give it back to you,” but he always used to refuse. Ar-Rashid kept insisting till the Imam (as) said, “I shall not accept it except when its boundaries are defined.” “What are its boundaries?,” ar-Rashid asked him. “O commander of the faithful,” responded the Imam (as), “If I define its boundaries, you will not give it back to me.” Ar-Rashid said, “I plead to you in the name of your grandfather (the Prophet (S)) to do just that.” The Imam (as)said, “The first boundary is ‘Aden.” Ar-Rashid’s face changed color and said, “Eh?!” The Imam (as) went on to say, “The second boundary is Samarkand.” Ar-Rashid’s face was clouded with outrage. The Imam (as) added, “And the third boundary is Africa.” Now ar-Rashid’s face became so dark, it looked black and said, “Eh?!” The Imam said, “And the fourth lies beyond the Caspian Sea and Armenia.” Ar-Rashid said, “Nothing remains for us; so, move over and take my seat on the throne.” Al-Kazim (as) said, “I have told you already that if I define it, you will not return it.” It was then that ar-Rashid decided to kill the Imam (as), handing over such a task to Yahya ibn Khalid...23

Yes, al-Zahra’ (sa) remained the same ascetic and adoring lady who used to sleep with her husband on a sheep skin on which they used to serve food to the animals during day-time...24

Because of the above, we do not agree with those who say that she addressed Ali (as) with an implied threat of reprimanding him of the harm that had affected her fetus while he sat in the chamber too reluctant to confront the aggressors till she said to him, “...Here is the son of Abu Quhafah usurping my father’s inheritance and what will belong to my sons thereafter.”25

But there is another meaning for this narrative which has not reached our comprehension, or there may be an evidence which has not reached us, or people did not properly quote what she had said. With the presence of such a possibility, we do not dare to judge the story as being definitely a lie as some people apparently state.

What is important is that we cannot imagine al-Zahra’ (sa) thinking in such a self interest-seeking way, the lady who was compensated by the Messenger of Allah S, instead of a servant, with a legislated tasbeeh which carries her name till the Day of Judgment, i.e. tasbeeh al-Zahra’ (sa). The severity of the address gives us the [wrong] assumption that she did not know that Ali (as) was right in all his stands, although al-Zahra’ (sa) was the most knowledgeable of all people that Ali (as) was with the truth, and that the truth was with him, revolving wherever he went. Had he did anything else, the creed’s features would have been obliterated.

If this fact is clear for anyone who studies Islamic history, a question comes up: “How can we, one thousand and four hundred years later, understand it, yet al-Zahra’ (sa), the infallible lady of knowledge, the Head of the Women of Mankind, the zenith of the religious, doctrinal, social and political awareness, did not know it?!”

The stands made by al-Zahra’ (sa) during her lifetime and after her demise reveal to everyone the richness of her knowledge, the depth and terseness of her way of thinking, and her extreme precision in conduct and affective stands.

To sum up, let us say the following:

FIRST: Al-Zahra’ (sa) did not consider her being beaten, or the confiscation of Fadak, as a personal matter, nor was her response to those folks from behind the door a personal conduct but a defense of Imamate and caliphate threatened with usurpation. She wanted to stop the legalization of such a usurpation then the removal of or the avoidance of its negative consequences.

SECOND: What they committed against al-Zahra’ (sa) and their comment, i.e. that the Prophet (S) was “hallucinating” during his sickness, in addition to other such things, were all for the sake of obtaining the most important and sensitive post and the most impacting on the whole Islamic reality. All this makes us conclude that anyone who did so was not qualified for the post which he was seeking. It makes it clear for us that he does not represent the best or the most suitable individual to be a Muslim ruler. Neither his stands nor his behavior reflect the precise Islamic vision in all matters.

So, the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) is the most serious and the most impacting on the Islamic reality and was never a personal matter. Regarding it, the latter is underestimating it; it is a distortion of the truth.

THIRD: The indications pointing to the above-stated conclusion is that Allah, Glory belongs to Him, made al-Zahra’ (sa) the criterion for us to distinguish between right and wrong, between what is accurate and what is not. Through her can an oppressor and a sinner be distinguished from others. This is so because the Messenger of Allah S had clearly declared that Allah is angry when she is angry and is pleased when she is pleased; whoever harms her harms the Prophet (S), and whoever harms the Prophet (S) harms Allah, Glory to Him.

So, the type of one’s connection with al-Zahra’ (sa) determines the type of his connection with Allah, with His Messenger S, and with all values and principles. It is on such a basis that one can distinguish between what he should take and what he should leaves away and define his stand and the type of relationship with this individual or that.

Those Present Had to Help al-Zahra’ (sa)

Someone says:

“Let us accept that al-Zahra’ (sa) had to respond to those folks, but how could those present inside the house, such as Ali (as), al-Zubayr and others of Banu Hashim, see what she was undergoing without rushing to her help and, rather, preferring to sit idly by saying, ‘There is neither power nor might except in Allah’”?!

We say:

FIRST: How did the person thus arguing receive evidence that she was not helped?! Help does not mean initiating a battle with arms and starting a war.

SECOND: There is a text stating that she was the one who rescued Ali (as) when they arrested him, so they beat her. The text says: “Fatima (sa) intercepted them against having access to her husband at the house’s door, so Qunfath beat her with the sword..., etc.” Then the narrative describes the breaking of her rib and her miscarriage, peace and blessings of Allah be on her.26

THIRD: If rescuing her would cause the problem to worsen to the extent that the Prophet (S) banned Ali (as) from letting it worsen due to repercussions having an impact on the creed, such a rescue would become disobedience of the order of the Messenger of Allah (S) and treachery towards the creed and sacrificing what should never be sacrificed: the best interest of the nation, especially if it would provide the assailants with the opportunity to create a problem which would cause people to lose the knowledge of the truth.

The duty of both Ali and al-Zahra’ (as) was to equally safeguard the right of the nation and of the future generations to know the truth and to foil others’ attempt to distort the facts. This is exactly what Ali (as) actually did, the Infallible Imam that he is.

FOURTH: There is a text which says that Ali (as) rushed to her help, so the assailants fled away and did not confront him. The text is transmitted by ‘’Umar, and it states that ‘’Umar kicked the door with his foot, causing Fatima (sa) to miscarry. He then entered and slapped her on both her cheeks from outside her veil. Ali (as) went out. When she noticed that Ali (as) was there, she went outside the house. “I (‘’Umar) said to Khalid [ibn al-Walid] and Qunfath and those in their company, ‘I have been saved from a momentous danger!’”

In another narrative, ‘’Umar said, “I have committed a great crime because of which I shall never feel secure. Ali (as) came out of the house; neither I nor all of you collectively can subdue him. Ali (as) went out. She put her hands on her forelock in order to uncover it and thus complain to Allah from what had afflicted her..., etc.”27

Other texts from other references will be cited, by the Will of Allah, in the part dedicated to texts.

  • 1. Refer to al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, pp. 470-71. Kashf al-Yaqin, pp. 260-305. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 32, pp. 39, 90, 267, 347 and Vol. 90 starting from p. 272 and Vol. 37, p. 313 and Vol. 38, pp. 35, 121, 122, 126, 152, 349, 356-57. Al-Tara’if, p. 72. Ibn al-Maghazli, Manaqib Ali; al-Rawandi, Al-Da`awat, p. 47. Mashariq Anwar al-Yaqin. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 1, p. 91. Al-Khawarizmi, Manaqib, pp. 86-87. The biography of Imam Ali (A) in Tarikh Dimashq (edited by al-Mahmudi), Vol. 3, p. 164. Fara’id al-Simtayn, Vol. 1, p. 231. Kifayat al-Talib, p. 312.
  • 2. Ibtal Nahj al-Batil (published as part of Dala’il al-Sidq), Vol. 3, Part 1, p. 47.
  • 3. Ibn Hamzah, Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, p. 188.
  • 4. Ibid., Vol. 4, pp. 200-01.
  • 5. His full name is: al-Zubayr ibn Bakar al-Assadi al-Qarashi, a descendant of the famous sahabi Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam (3 – 73 A.H./624 – 692 A.D.), the first to be born in Islam after the Hijra. Al-Zubayr ibn Bakar was born in Medina in 172 A.H./788 A.D. and became a famous scholar during the Abbasid era. Ibn al-Nadeem lists 31 books which al-Zubayr ibn Bakar reportedly wrote some of which deal with history and others with literature. He died in Mecca in 256 A.H./870 A.D. at the age of 82 or 84 (depending on which calendar you prefer) when he was occupying the post of judge. – Tr.
  • 6. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 5, p. 346.
  • 7. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 5, p. 346.
  • 8. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, pp. 293-95.
  • 9. Al-Shahristani, Al-Milal wal-Nihal, Vol. 1, p. 84. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 271. Bayt al-Ahzan, p. 124.
  • 10. Al-Imama wal Siyasa, Vol. 1, p. 12.
  • 11. Al-Mufid, Al-Amali, pp. 49-50.
  • 12. Al-Mufid, Al-Jamal (new edition), pp. 117-18.
  • 13. Al-Ya`qubi, Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 123.
  • 14. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, pp. 292-94.
  • 15. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 16, p. 215. Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 2, pp. 354-55 quoting al-Dashtaki’s Tuhfat al-Ahbab.
  • 16. Al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wal Muluk, Vol. 3, p. 202 (Dar al-Ma`arif edition).
  • 17. Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 2, pp. 347-48.
  • 18. Ibtal Nahj al-Batil (published with Dala’il al-Sidq), Vol. 3, p. 46.
  • 19. Al-Ikhtisas, pp. 186-87. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 229.
  • 20. Al-Tabari, Tarikh al-‘Umam wal Muluk, Vol. 3, p. 202.
  • 21. Al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wal Muluk, Vol. 3, p. 291 (Al-Istiqama edition). Al-Fa’iq, Vol. 2, p. 11.
  • 22. Al-Mufid has stated that Ali (as) quoted the Messenger of Allah (S) as saying the following to him: “If they total twenty, then you should fight them.” Al-Ikhtisas, p. 187. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, pp. 229, 270, 313. In this reference, the Prophet’s statement is: “If you found forty of them determined to harm you, you should fight them.” Al-`Ayyashi, Tafsir, Vol. 2, p. 68. Tafsir al-Burhan, Vol. 2, p. 93. Refer also to p. 12, Vol. 3, of Al-Sirat al-Mustaqim. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, pp. 188, 213. Al-Mustarshid fi Imamat Ali (as), p. 63. Also refer to the book of Sulaym ibn Qays (edited by al-Ansari).
  • 23. Refer to pp. 315-16, Vol. 1, of Rabi` al-Abrar. Al-Tara’if, p. 252. Refer also to Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 543. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 48, p. 144.
  • 24. Refer to Tathkirat al-Khawass, pp. 307-08. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 8, pp. 22-23.
  • 25. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 148 quoting p. 208, Vol. 2, of Al-Manaqib and Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 77.
  • 26. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, p. 212.
  • 27. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, pp. 393, 395.

Part 8: From Here And There

Did Medina’s Houses have Doors?!

Someone quotes a history professor at Damascus University1 as saying that during the time of the Messenger of Allah (S) and thereafter, Medina’s homes did not have wooden doors. Rather, only curtains used to be placed on entrances. Then he said that he discussed it with the professor and that the latter had a proof. Then he follows his statement by saying, “So, how was al-Zahra’ (sa) squeezed between the door and the wall? And how did the fire burn the door’s wood?!”

The same transmitter produces two “proofs” to support his statement. They are:

FIRST: The Prophet (S) returned from one of his trips and went to Fatima’s house. He found on its entrance a curtain which Ali (as) had given to her as a gift, so the Prophet (S) returned. Fatima (sa) knew why he returned, so she gave the curtain to al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) to get it to her father to do with it whatever he pleased. He S said, “May her father be her sacrifice!” This proves that the entrances had only curtains.

SECOND: Narrating the incident when al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah committed adultery saying that the witnesses saw him in action when the wind blew away the entrance’s curtain, not that they entered the house and saw him in such an abominable and uncompromising condition. This, too, proves that the entrances had curtains, not wooden doors.

The answer to the above is:

FIRST: The same individual raises a case against the history professor at Damascus University that Medina’s homes during the time of the Messenger of Allah S did not have (wooden) doors, saying that he discussed it with the man who had a proof.

We say to the same individual: “Did you rebut his proof or where you convinced of it? If you rebutted it, how did you do that and by what means? And if you accepted it, as seems to be the case, why didn’t you publicly declare it rather than refer people to someone else?!”

SECOND: Perhaps the claim that Medina’s homes did not have doors was a joke intended to tease Ikhwan al-Safa and to break the ice after a period of shunning and avoiding!

This joke is the one that prompted us to collect scores, even hundreds, of texts proving that Medina’s homes did have wooden doors with knobs to open and to shut, to break or to burn, to lock or to knock, during the time of the Prophet (S) and thereafter. They also had keys and locks as well as latches and a knob ring whereby they were knocked at. Their wood may have been either juniper or teak, as was the case with ‘A’isha’s house door. Or they may have been made of palm leaves, or from wood. Curtains may have been placed on them or any countless things which we need not mention.

So, there is no harm if we take the dear reader back to the following research titled “Medina’s Homes During the Time of the Messenger of Allah S” where the reader will find his quest in numerous texts which we have cited from many books and references especially from Bihar al-Anwar and a host of references and also from the Sihah books, from Ahmed’s Musnad and from Sunni collections of hadith.

THIRD: To seek evidence from the story that the Prophet (S) returned from one of his trips, went to Fatima’s house and found on its entrance a curtain which he did not like2 is insufficient to come to such a conclusion, for the doors, generally speaking, had both wooden knobs as well as curtains, and the door could be opened while the curtain remained. The following points this fact out;

1. Abu Dharr  quotes the Messenger of Allah S as saying, “If a man passes by a door which has no curtain and is not shut, and if he looked (inside), the sin is not his but belongs to those who inhabit that house.”3

2. In a tradition by Imam al-Sadiq (as), it is stated that “... The Prophet S ordered to get all those inside the house out except Ali (as) and Fatima (sa) between the curtain and the door..., etc.”4

3. Ali (as) is quoted as having said, “It is abominable for a man to spend the night at a house with neither a door nor a curtain.”5

4. The Prophet S has said, “Whenever any of you approaches his wife, he should close his door, put up its curtain and seek Allah’s covering...”6

5. The Prophet S was asked once about a man who divorced his wife thrice, then a man married her, so he closed his door and let the curtain down then divorced her without having touched her, will she be lawful for her first husband?” He said, “Not till she tastes her dower.” And there are other variations of this tradition.7

6. ‘A’isha has said, “The Messenger of Allah (S) opened a door between himself and the public” or “unveiled a curtain.”8

FOURTH: Regarding the incident involving al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah, using it as evidence is not right because of the following:

1. Al-Tabari and other historians state that the house of Abu Bakrah used to face that of al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah, and they are at watering places facing each other. A group of men assembled at the watering place of Abu Bakrah to chat. Wind blew, opening the door, so Abu Bakrah stood up in order to close it. He then saw al-Mughirah, and the wind had opened the door at his watering place. He was positioning himself between a woman’s legs. Abu Bakrah said to the men, “Stand up and take a look!” They stood up and looked. Then he said, “Bear witness to it..., etc.”9

2. We have already stated that the presence of a curtain does not mean that there should be no wooden knobs for a door, and there is no objection to al-Mughirah just lowering the curtain and leaving the door open so that Allah might expose him through the wind!

They did not Enter the House, so How did they Beat al-Zahra’ (sa)?!

Someone says that some narratives indicate that those who assailed the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) did not enter it; so, how can it be right for someone to say that they beat her and caused her to miscarry, etc.?!

Here is the answer:

FIRST: The trials and tribulations which al-Zahra’ (sa) had to undergo do not need an entry into her house. Al-Zahra’ (sa) could have been squeezed between the door and the wall, and the assailants could have hit her without entering the house. This is clearly what the texts discussing this issue indicate.

This is so if by entering he means what is obvious. But if he explained by saying that he meant “assailing,” not “entering,” then the culprit himself had said, “How I wish I never had to unveil Fatima’s door!” Numerous texts indicate that they forcefully entered the house, refuting such a claim.

SECOND: Why should this person confine himself to the narrative saying that they did not open the house while she herself never said that they did not enter, contending herself with silence and with mentioning some of what went on.

If we accept such a narrative, it is contradicted by numerous narratives enjoying a much better isnad and are more numerous. They all say that the assailants forcefully entered her house, violating its sanctity and her privacy.

THIRD: Beating al-Zahra’ (sa) and causing her to miscarry is not an ordinary matter. It is a momentous event which cannot be accepted by any Muslim whose conviction is true, and he will be vocal in protesting it and in reprimanding them, only in the absence of the fear of the sword or of the whip. It is surely not in the best interest of the rulers nor that of those who love them that the public should circulate such an event, nor to know its details. Hence, they permitted neither themselves nor others to transmit it or circulate it. Rather, we have seen how some people consider transmitting this issue as a crime whose transmitter is held accountable, and here we would like to transmit to you some proofs from the following:

1. “Do Not Quote me Saying it!

Ibn Abul-Hadid, the Mu’tazilite scholar, says that he read to his mentor, Abu Ja’far al-Naqib, the story of Zainab when she was terrorized by Habar ibn al-Aswad. Abu Ja’far said to him, “If the Messenger of Allah (S) had permitted the killing of Habar because he terrorized (his granddaughter) Zainab, so she miscarried, it is obvious that had he been alive, he would have permitted the killing of those who terrorized [her mother] Fatima (sa), so she miscarried.” He said to him, “Shall I quote you a statement which some folks have been saying, that is, that Fatima (sa) was terrorized, so she miscarried al-Muhsin?” He said, “Do not quote me saying it, nor should you quote me saying that it did not happen, for I remain in my stand due to the contradictions in its narratives.”10

So, Abu Ja’far al-Naqib quickly retracted his steps when the Mu’tazilite scholar faces him with such a sensitive question, although he had already and definitely passed his judgment in the very beginning. Perhaps the reason for retracting was that it would cause him problems which he wanted to avoid.

2. “Ali (as), Not I, Says So!”

Similar to this incident is another issue they mention which is equally sensitive and weighty. Another mentor of the Mu’tazilite scholar made the same retraction with him so that he would distance himself from having to confront problems he could do without.

The Mu’tazilite Shafi’i scholar has stated that his mentor quoted Ali (as) as saying that ‘A’isha was the one who ordered her father to lead the people for the prayers when the Prophet S was suffering from his sickness prior to his demise. He said, “I said to him (to my mentor), may Allah have mercy on him, ‘Do you mean to say that ‘A’isha appointed her father to lead the prayers while the Messenger of Allah S did not appoint him to do that?!’” He said, “I do not say that, but Ali (as) used to say it. My obligation differs from his. He was present there and I was not. I have to stick to the narratives transmitted to me saying that the Prophet S appointed Abu Bakr to lead the prayers, while Ali (as) was obligated to say what he knew..., etc.”11

3. He Dropped the Incident of Fatima (sa) Being Beaten!

They have said the following about the traditionist Ahmed ibn Muhammed ibn al-Surri ibn Yahya ibn Abu Darim: “He was a straightforward person most of his lifetime. During his last days, he used to be quoted most of the time narrating the infamies which he witnessed, and a man used to quote him as saying that ‘’Umar kicked Fatima (sa) till she miscarried al-Muhsin.”12

So, his being quoted saying so got him out of the path of straightforwardness which he upheld most of his life! This became a reason for his being attacked and chewed, and he eventually lost recognition.

4. Finding Fault With the Ruling System

They consider what Fatima (sa) had to suffer as the most serious fault which they could find against the ruling system. Al-Shahristani used to quote one of the greatest Mu’tazilite mentors as saying, “‘’Umar hit Fatima’s stomach on the day of swearing the oath of allegiance (to Abu Bakr) till she miscarried. He used to shout: ‘Burn her house and everyone inside it!’ Those inside it were Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as).”13 Al-Baghdadi [the historian] considered ‘’Umar’s admission that he hit Fatima (sa) and deprived her of her inheritance as one of the ruling system’s deviations (from the Shari’a ).

5. Distorting the Book Titled Al-Ma’arif

Because of the issue of miscarrying the fetus of al-Muhsin, we find them quite ready to distort books, too. They distorted the book titled Al-Ma’arif by Ibn Qutaybah as we are told by Ibn Shahr Ashub who died in 577 A.H./1181 A.D. Said he, “... And in Ibn Qutaybah’s book titled Al-Ma’arif, it is stated that Muhsin was aborted because of the stampede caused by Qunfath al-’Adawi.”14 Al-Kanji al-Shafi’i, who died in 685 A.H./1286 A.D., quotes Shaikh al-Mufid as saying, “He added telling the public that after the demise of the Prophet S, Fatima (sa) miscarried a male stillborn whom the Messenger of Allah S had named Muhsin. This is something which none from among the transmitters transmits except Ibn Qutaybah.”15

It seems that he meant that Ibn Qutaybah transmits in his book titled Al-Ma’arif, not in Al-Imama wal Siyasa, by the token Ibn Shahr Ashub says so as quoted above. But p. 92 of the present edition’s content of the book titled Al-Ma’arif, which was published in 1353 A.H./1934 A.D., contains the following: “As for Muhsin, son of Ali (as), he died when he was young...”

Thus, the distortion is carried on in all circulated editions; so, why do some people resort thus to distortion, and why do they truly betray the facts and the history [of Islam]?!

Qunfath’s Version Contradicts the Shaikh’s “Consensus”

Someone says, “Shaikh al-Tusi transmits the consensus of the Shi’a regarding the ruling system’s statement, that is, that ‘’Umar hit Fatima (sa) in the stomach till she miscarried, whereas the narratives, according to the evidences gathered by the Imamites and by others, say that it was Qunfath who did it.”

It is as if he wants to say, “These transmissions contradict one another; therefore, they should be dropped.”

Our answer is as follows:

FIRST: Shi’as have all agreed on the first, but they did not discount the possibility that Qunfath, too, did it. The narratives collected by Imamites and others, many of which will be quoted, prove that the foul deed did, indeed, take place. Al-Mughirah, too, took part in beating al-Zahra’ (sa) till he caused her to bleed as will be discussed in the part containing texts and legacies. There is no objection that all of them took part in doing something like that, thus causing the miscarriage. It is, then, accurate to attribute it to all of them, and to each of them individually, because they were all behind it. Such an attribution does not mean that each of them was a separate cause of the miscarriage.

SECOND: Texts have clearly shown, as you will see, that the assault on the house of Fatima (sa) was repeated, just as the ceremonies of swearing the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr were repeated, too.16 One such recurrence aimed at burning the house just as Abu Bakr was sitting on the pulpit to receive people’s oath of allegiance and seeing what was going on without opposing it or changing it, as al-Mufid, may Allah rest his soul in peace, proves in his book titled Al-Amali. Repeated assaults are documented in numerous narratives, sometimes quite openly. This is the conclusion which one reaches from comparing the narratives with one another where the particulars of the individuals and the norms of their conduct distinguished one assault from another.

Some narratives assert that Abu Bakr himself used to issue orders to attack. Prior to the assault, threats of burning were made, and firewood was gathered. Then the fire was partly ignited, then the door was broken open and the truthful lady, the purified al-Zahra’ (sa), was beaten by more than one assailant. She fell on the ground and that man (‘’Umar) kicked her with his foot, too. All of this will be detailed in the texts’ part to come, by the Will of Allah Almighty.

Some narratives regarding miscarrying al-Muhsin enjoy authentic isnad. Some other narratives, which prove the fact that the beating and the like took place, are also authentic. The same contender pointed out to the authenticity of the narrative by al-Tabari in Dala’il al-Imama. The narratives, collectively, are consecutively reported from the venues of the Household of Infallibility. If you add to them other texts, they will be more than consecutively reported. The fact that non-Shi’as have referred to this matter is regarded as noteworthy, knowing that they do not wish to exonerate the doers from what they all committed.

This issue is detailed by many of their most prominent scholars such as al-Juwayni, al-Kanji, al-Mas’udi, al-Nizam, Abu Ja’far al-Naqib, mentor of the Mu’tazilite scholar, Ahmed ibn Muhammed ibn al-Surri and others whose statements we will quote in a chapter set aside for them by the Will of Allah Almighty.

Responding to some people who opposed him by saying that there is a contradiction in the narratives, Ibn Hamzah al-Zaidi has stated that there were several assaults.

One narrative says that Ali (as) remained at home and refrained from swearing the oath of allegiance (to Abu Bakr), and he was joined by Talhah and al-Zubayr. They did not leave the house till ‘’Umar went there and wanted to burn them all as they were inside.

Another individual says that Abu Bakr went out to the Mosque to pray, ordering Khalid ibn al-Walid to pray beside him then to kill Ali (as) the moment he (Abu Bakr) was to recite the tasleem at the conclusion of his prayers.

A third says that Ali (as) was brought in chains and he swore fealty against his wish.

Ibn Hamzah answered his opponent saying, “All these incidents took place at various times, and this does not mean that they contradict each other, nor do they cancel one another.”17

This means that the attempt to burn the house took place at a time and during an assault separate from the one wherein Ali (as) was taken out by force to swear fealty.

No Need to Assault al-Zahra’ (sa) While Ali (as) is Present

Someone says: Let us suppose they did enter the house. Why should they assault al-Zahra’ (sa) in particular, beat her and leave Ali (as) alone? They were supposed to assault him in his room where he and other Banu Hashim were sitting, for the [area of the] house is not ten kilometers [square] but only ten meters!

Here is our answer:

FIRST: We have already indicated that someone says that all Banu Hashim were with Ali (as) inside the house; so, how could a small room measuring ten meters be spacious enough for all of them?!

SECOND: They entered the house after they had finished assaulting al-Zahra’ (sa) at the door, and she was no longer able to face and stop them.

THIRD: It is as if this individual thinks that the home of al-Zahra’ was made up of many rooms, or a house and at least one room; so, how did he prove it and what texts did he rely on to draw such a conclusion?

FOURTH: The reason why they attacked her (sa) was not because she was their target. Rather, they assaulted her because she tried to stop them from reaching Ali (as), setting herself as a barrier between them and him. Texts have made this quite clear, and that she tried to stop them from opening the door, or at least she met them at the door.

Here, we would like to quote a sample from both sects:

From among the texts which have clearly stated that she tried to stop them from reaching Ali (as), we would like to mention the following:

1. Al-Fayd al-Kashani has said, “Fatima (sa) intercepted them and tried not to let them reach her husband saying, ‘By Allah! I shall not let you drag my cousin oppressively!”18

2. Al-Majlisi has quoted Ali (as) as saying that when they took him out, Fatima (sa) intercepted them at the door, so Qunfath hit her with a whip on her wrist, causing a mark on her wrist looking like a bracelet because of Qunfath thus whipping her. He pushed her, breaking one of her side ribs, and she miscarried a fetus in her womb.”19

3. Ali (as) is quoted as having said that the reason why Qunfath escaped being penalized by ‘’Umar is that he was the one who hit Fatima (sa) with the whip when she tried to intercept them so that they might not reach him (Ali (as)). So, she died, peace of Allah with her, and the mark of the whip was still on her wrist looking like a bracelet.20

Among the texts which have clearly indicated that she tried to stop them from opening the door, we would like to mention the following:

1. Al-Balathiri and others have narrated that ‘’Umar went there accompanied by Qays, so Fatima (sa) met him at the door and said, “O son of al-Khattab! Are you really going to burn my door?!” He said, “Yes, and it is stronger than that which your father had brought.”21

2. The narrative by al-Mufaddal refers to Fatima (sa) coming out to face them, addressing them from behind the door till she referred to Qunfath the accursed stretching his hand to beat her when they forcefully broke open her house door. Then she mentions how ‘’Umar kicked the door with his foot till it hit her stomach..., etc.22

3. In the book of Sulaym ibn Qays, it is stated that, “... [‘’Umar] came out to the door behind which Fatima (sa) sat... ‘’Umar came, hit the door and said, ‘O son of Abu Talib! Open the door!’ whereupon Fatima (sa) said, ‘O ‘’Umar! What do we owe you?! Why don’t you leave us and our problems alone?!’ He said to her, ‘Open the door; otherwise, we shall burn it and burn you...’ Then he set the door ablaze. ‘’Umar pushed the door and was met by Fatima (sa) who cried out, ‘وا أبتاه! O father! ..., etc.”23

4. ‘’Umar himself is quoted as having said, “So I kicked the door, and she had stuck her belly on the door as a shield... I pushed the door and entered, so she faced me with a look which caused my eyesight to go into a trance...”24

5. ‘’Umar is also quoted as having said, “When we reached the door, Fatima (sa) saw them, closing the door in their faces. She did not think that any of them would enter her house without her permission. ‘’Umar kicked the door, breaking it open, and it was made of palm branches (fronds), so they entered.”25

6. She (sa) has said, “They brought the fire to burn the house and our own selves, so I stood at the door’s latch and pleaded to them in the Name of Allah..., etc.”26

7. ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab is also quoted as having said

“Fatima clutched her hands on the door trying to stop me from opening it. I sought to open it, but I found the challenge too great, so I hit both her hands with the whip, and it caused her pain... I kicked the door, and she had stuck her belly on the door to reinforce it... I forced the door open and entered. She faced me with a look which caused my vision to go into a trance, so I slapped her on her cheeks from outside her face’s veil, breaking her earring which scattered on the floor. Ali came out. When I felt his presence, I rushed to get out of the house and said to Khalid (ibn al-Walid) and to Qunfath and those in their company, ‘I surely have been spared a momentous event.’ I gathered a large number of men not to subdue Ali but to make my heart more daring. I went to him, and he was besieged at his house and took him out of it..., etc.”27

On the other hand, some texts point out to the fact that the assailants were trying to pressure and scare Fatima (sa) so that she might not intercept their way and keep them from reaching Ali (as) and those with him. They actually wanted her to help them dissuade those assembled at her house from their decision (not to swear the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr). Examples are:

1. When the assailants reached her house, ‘’Umar called out, “O Fatima daughter of the Messenger of Allah! Get those who have sought shelter at your house out so that they may swear the oath of allegiance and join the other Muslims who have already done so; otherwise, I, by Allah, shall set them all to fire.”28

2. In another text, he is quoted as having said, “O daughter of the Messenger of Allah! By Allah! Nobody is dearer to me than your father and your own self! By Allah! This does not stop me from setting the door of those who have assembled at your house ablaze!”29

Confusion and Contradiction in the Narratives

Someone expresses his bewilderment as he faces such “a great deal of confusion in the narratives,” as he puts it, then says, “The narratives referring to burning the house mentioned in the summary of Al-Shafi, Al-Ikhtisas, al-Mufid’s Amali, contradict each another: Some state the threats but not the actual burning, which are quite few, while others refer to the actual burning.”

In answer, we would like to say that there is really no confusion in these narratives, nor is there any contradiction for the following reasons:

1. The traditions referring to the threat to burn did not deny that it did not actually take place. In a previous answer, we stated that everyone transmits what his political objective dictates to him, or his sectarian bias, or whatever the circumstances permit him to transmit or be acquainted with, especially during that cruel political epoch wherein a narrator would be whipped on account of a narrative in favor of Ali (as) as many as one thousand lashes.30 Even naming a newborn “Ali” was sufficient to kill that newborn.31 In my book about the struggle of freedom during al-Mufid’s time, I listed many weighty matters in this regard, so there is no harm in referring to them.

To sum up, text transmission varies according to the objectives, circumstances, etc. What is transmitted, too, varies in quantity, warmth or coolness according to the circumstances, individuals, affiliations, etc.

One may transmit the threat to burn. Another transmits gathering firewood. A third transmits bringing a torch. A fourth transmits burning the door or the house. A fifth transmits breaking the door. A sixth transmits the forceful entry into the house, exposing it to strangers and violating its privacy. A seventh transmits squeezing al-Zahra’ (sa) between the door and the wall. An eighth transmits the miscarriage because of beating. A ninth transmits hitting her on her fetus, or on her side, or on her wrist till it looked like a bracelet, or hitting her on her fingers so that she would leave the door alone to enable them to open it. A tenth transmits breaking her rib, too.

On the other hand, one transmits that ‘’Umar hit her, while another transmits al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah doing so, whereas a third transmits Qunfath beating her..., etc.

So, there is no narrative which belies another, nor is there any confusion in them. Each narrator transmits a portion of what went on because he has a purpose relevant to it, or for any other reason, such as taking into consideration a certain political circumstance, or due to a sectarian or other biases. Shaikh Muhammed Hassan al-Muzaffar explained all of this when he said,

One of them, who is more knowledgeable than others and who wishes to narrate all facts, could not afford to leave this incident in its entirety, so he narrates some of its introductions in order not to distort it from all facets, and so that he does not under-estimate it, as they did with the swearing of allegiance (to Ali (as)) at the Ghadir and elsewhere.32

2. Those who recorded history and documented hadith used to award a special consideration to the political atmosphere. Rulers and others wanted to underestimate what they had committed against the Household of Infallibility and of the Prophetic Mission before the public. If they could deny the incident entirely, they would do so, and they would show that the assailants’ hearts were “full of love” for al-Zahra’ (sa). This is what we find when someone attempted to show the warmth of the relationship between al-Zahra’ (sa) and the assailants and deny any misunderstanding in this regard. Refer to what is said by Ibn Kathir, the Hanbali scholar, in his book Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya and in others. What we have heard from someone, regarding their “love” for her, may have been taken from some of these same folks.

It becomes quite obvious that transmitting the truth of what al-Zahra’ (sa) had to go through implies a very strong and irrevocable indictment which has its effects on understanding history and evaluating events. It affects those who covet the greatest post and status. Moreover, it has certain effects on the level of feelings and sentiments as well as emotional and religious affiliations of this party or that. Permission to transmit something like that and tolerate it was not the best option for many people.

3. The actual burning has been narrated through the venues of those who follow the path of Ahl al-Bayt (as) in various ways some of which are quite authentic and reliable; so, there is no need to underestimate these narratives by saying that the traditions about the threat to burn are quite a few and give the impression that others should be discarded.

Some texts which prove that the burning did take place have been stated in a forthcoming part of this book dedicated to transmitting the legacies and texts.

4. Some narrators are concerned about underestimating what took place. They wish to distance those whom they love from this embarrassing incident, even exonerating them from it, if possible. When these same narrators transmit how the burning did, in fact, take place, this makes us feel comfortable about the authenticity of the same when transmitted through the venues of those who follow the path of Ahl al-Bayt (as).

5. As regarding the book by Shaikh al-Mufid, may Allah Almighty have mercy on him, we have discussed in a previous chapter the methodology which he applied in Al-Irshad, i.e. that he was reluctant to enter into details of what went on at the saqifa, even stating so himself. His time was extremely sensitive as I detailed in my book about the struggle for freedom during al-Mufid’s time.

As regarding Al-Amali, it is a book with a limited objective and direction. It was not to discuss historical events in detail and in sequence. As for Al-Ikhtisas, the author mentioned in it important and essential details which the opponent himself denies or at least tries to cast some doubts about them.

Yet you have come to know that he, may Allah have mercy on him, detailed in Al-Mazar and Al-Muqanna’a her ziyarat which includes: “Peace with you, O Truthful Lady, O Martyr!” or “Peace with you, O Martyred Batul!

6. Finally, we say: If those who set out to burn the house wanted the fire to consume the house and everyone inside it, but this did not materialize for them, it is then accurate to say that they wanted to set it ablaze or were about to burn it, or something like that. So, these texts do not vary from those which say that they set it to fire, or the like.

Negation Requires Evidence

Someone says that he does not deny the issue of breaking her rib but he is not convinced.

Just as proving something requires evidence, denying something also requires an evidence. Then he states his reasons why he is not convinced.

We have stated all these reasons in this book, proving the invalidity of relying on them, yet we would like to add here other issues:

FIRST: Let us say that he is not convinced that they broke her rib, but we would like to ask him this question: “Are you convinced of all the other things which took place to al-Zahra’ (sa), such as her being beaten, her miscarriage, the threat to burn her house and everyone inside it who were: her children and husband, then setting the fire on with the intention to burn them all?”

If he is convinced of all of this, entertaining no doubts other than their breaking her rib, there is no harm in it because all other matters suffice to prove the indications that they did, indeed, break the rib of al-Zahra’ (sa), especially the texts stating that she (sa) died as a truthful martyr.

SECOND: There is no problem if someone is not convinced of a particular issue, but the problem is this: One who announces that he is not convinced of something exerts a serious effort to convince people that it does not exist, gathering what he considers as evidences from everywhere to prove such “non-existence” under the label of his being unconvinced of its existence.

Someone saw a hunter once slaughtering a bird. The hunter’s eyes were watering because he had an eye ailment. Someone said to another, “Look at this hunter and see how kind his heart is! He is crying for the same bird which he is slaughtering!” His companion said to him, “Do not look at his tears; rather, look at what his hands are doing.” So, how can someone convince us when he says that he does not deny that her rib was broken while bringing “a thousand and one proofs,” as he claims, for denying it and denying other issues?! This undermines the issue from its very foundations.

THIRD: A scholar’s mission is to solve the problems faced by people in their intellectual and educational lives, especially those relevant to his own field of specialization and to falling in the heart of his responsibilities. So, he has to make up his mind to either provide a proof for an “Aye” or a “Nay”33 or simply withhold his answer till he makes up his mind and comes to a decision. He has no right to “educate” the people with what he doubts, with the issues which he could not finish researching, or those which he is not quite sure about, or he did not work hard to reach such a conviction. Otherwise, how can we explain his own statement wherein he says, “I asked Sayyid Sharaf ad-Din in the early 1950s during my study of the subject,” then he says in 1414 A.H. (1993 A.D.), “I recently stumbled on a text in Bihar al-Anwar saying..., etc.” So, did his “study” continue for more than forty years till he was finally able to “stumble” on this text or that?! Can this be accurately termed as a “study” or a “research” while he did not consult except Bihar al-Anwar, and after so many years, and yet he “stumbles” on only one single orphan text despite the many, many texts of which Bihar al-Anwar is full as we will, Insha-Allah, demonstrate?!

If he “stumbled” on this text which he wants to show us as solving the problem, why did he not revert to doubting and to raising questions?

FOURTH: One who raises questions may be an ordinary uneducated person who neither graduated from a university nor attended a theological center, so he can be excused, and the knowledgeable scholar has to untie the knot for him and answer this question or questions. But what if the one raising such questions is the same scholar who answers people’s questions?! People understand from his abstention to answer their questions that he upholds the content of the question and all its requirements and outcomes.

Jumping to Conclusions: Have You Proven that Her Rib was Broken?!

We find someone, on being asked to provide his view in the subject of assaulting al-Zahra’ (sa) and breaking her rib, taking the initiative to ask the inquirer, “Have you proven that her rib was, indeed, broken?! If so, what is your proof?!”

We say the following in answer:

FIRST: It is not appropriate for someone who considers himself a man of knowledge, regarding himself responsible for providing guidance to the public, to confront an ordinary person with this question except if he intends to raise doubts in his mind in order to easily control his way of thinking and subject him to what he wants in the easiest way.

SECOND: The texts proving what al-Zahra’ (sa) went through are numerous, and the books written in the previous centuries are continuously reprinted, while manuscripts are discovered here and there. In all of these, we find more that supports and underscores this issue.

We do not want to insist that this man accept the narratives regarding how al-Zahra’ (sa) was wounded and her rib broken and how she (sa) was martyred through numerous and diverse ways, but we would like to provide the kind reader with samples of them here; so, let us say the following:

1. Al-Tibrisi has said, “Al-Zahra’, Fatima (sa), acted as a barrier between them and her husband at the house’s door, so Qunfath whipped her... Abu Bakr had sent a message to Qunfath to beat her, so he cornered her at the latch of her house’s door, pushed her and broke one of her side ribs, and she miscarried her fetus.”34

In the Introduction of his book, Al-Ihtijaj, al-Tibrisi states the following:

Most of the narratives are quoted here due to their isnad or the existence of consensus in their regard or agreement with what many people have thought, or due to fame in biography books between those who agree or who disagree about them except what I have quoted from Abu Muhammed, (Imam) al-Hassan al-’Askari (as).”35

2. Sayyid Tawus, may Allah have mercy on him, narrates the text of the ziyara wherein he says, “... the Lady who was deprived of her inheritance, whose rib was broken, whose husband was oppressed, whose [unborn] son was killed...”36

3. Al-Kulayni narrates from Muhammed ibn Yahya from al-’Amraki bn Ali from Ali ibn Ja’far from his brother from the father of al-Hassan (as) as saying, “Fatima (sa) is a truthful martyr, and the Prophets’ daughters do not menstruate.”37

4. Al-Saduq narrates from Ali ibn Ahmed ibn Musa ibn ‘Imran al-Nakh’i from al-Nawfali from al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abu Hamzah from his father from Sa’id ibn Jubayr from Ibn ‘Abbas saying that the Messenger of Allah (S) was once sitting when al-Hassan (as) came. He (S) said, “As for my daughter Fatima..., when I saw her, I recalled what she will have to endure after me. It is as though I see ignominy entering her house, her privacy violated, her right confiscated, her inheritance inaccessible, her side broken, her fetus miscarried..., etc.”38

The same tradition is narrated by al-Daylami39 and al-Juwayni40, too.

5. Sulaym ibn Qays al-Hilali has narrated saying, “Qunfath, the curse of Allah be on him, forced her to the door knob of her house and pushed her, breaking one of her side ribs. She miscarried her fetus and remained sick, bed-ridden, till she died, peace and blessings of Allah with her, as a martyr.”41

6. Ibn Shahr Ashub has cited Ibn Qutaybah as saying that she (sa) miscarried al-Muhsin because of the wound inflicted on her by Qunfath al-’Adawi.

7. Al-Sayyid al-Himyari, may Allah have mercy on him, has composed the following verses of poetry:

She was beaten and deprived of her rights

And after him was made to taste of wounds.

May Allah sever the hand that hit her,

And the hand of whoever is pleased thereby

And that of whoever followed the latter.

Al-Himyari’s poetry indicates how widespread the knowledge of this matter was during the time of Imam al-Sadiq (as), so much so that poets referred to it, denouncing it, condemning the perpetrators.

8. Imam al-Hassan (as) said that al-Mughirah hit al-Zahra’ (sa) till she bled.

9. We find the Shi’as during the time of al-Saduq, may Allah have mercy on him, insisting on reciting her ziyara which includes calling her “a truthful martyr.” This book will cite such texts and also texts proving that she (sa) was martyred.

SECOND: If the breaking of her rib is not proven, this does not mean that it never happened, and it is not appropriate to prohibit the recitation of the commemoration containing reference to it, especially since the historians have narrated it and cited its traditions.

THIRD: Should there be an authentic isnad for each and every historical issue?! How many issues have been thus proven? Does the confirmation of any historical incident hinge on the existence of an authentic isnad for it according to the criterion applied for hadith?! Why does the inquirer demand an authentic isnad for this issue in particular especially since he is the one who has said, “We do not authenticate isnad in proving issues; suffices us to ascertain that they did happen.” He actually is satisfied with the fact that there is no need to tell a lie to prove the authenticity and acceptance of a particular narrative even from non-Shi’a Imamite books, although he tries to cast doubts about the narratives of Ahl al-Bayt (as) by continuously stressing that there are false and fabricated narratives without pointing out to scholars’ efforts to distinguish what is false and acceptable and what is not.

To sum up, it is not possible, taking into consideration what we have stated above, to label this issue as a lie so long as evidences abound that they did, indeed, assault her, beat her and cause her to miscarry. Texts have clearly described her as a “martyr,” something which makes breaking her rib plausible and acceptable as a fact; so, what if it is narrated in both Shi’i and Sunni books, and even poets referred to it, especially ancient ones?

FOURTH: If we suppose there is no proof that they broke her rib, why should anyone take it as a pretext to cast doubt about beating al-Zahra’ (sa), her miscarriage, and the invasion of her privacy, facts which have already been proven, keeping in mind that this is the consensus of the Shi’a Imamites whose narratives in its regard abound and are narrated by a host of historians and traditionists from the rest of Islamic sects?

Or does the subjective research require concentration on a particular issue which someone regards as the weakest point, so he wants to use it as a tool to cast doubt about everything else, applying the style of issuing a judgment on the whole, discussing in general terms and dealing with ambiguities where people do not pay attention to the details? He will then have been able to undermine what have already been proven and fixed, things regarding which there is a consensus among the sect’s scholars and are consecutively narrated and detailed, even others reported them as well, those who were not happy at all to prove them because they bring shame to those whom they love and in whose footsteps they follow.

Miscarriage of al-Muhsin Due to a Natural Cause!

Someone even dares to say that miscarrying Muhsin may have happened due to a natural accident and was not the result of an assault! Here is our answer:

Numerous texts, actually consecutively reported ones, as well as the consensus of the Shi’as, is that al-Muhsin was miscarried because al-Zahra’ (sa) was assaulted as Shaikh al-Tusi, may Allah have mercy on him, says. He actually narrates it, and it is reported also by many others from among the followers and supporters of the assailants, those who are not happy to even remotely attribute it to those whom they love from among the assailants. Despite all of this, they do so. Why, then, should someone exonerate the assailants from this matter, and how do we permit ourselves to judge more than what the judge himself has decreed?!

Is there any scholarly justification for such insistence, especially since the person who used to advocate it says that denial requires evidence just as affirmation?! There is a definite proof for the excuse which stands on affirmation; so, should we reject it and insist on denying it without any evidence at all?!

What is noteworthy is that some other people went beyond that to deny that Fatima (sa) had a son named Muhsin...!

Some others kept silent and refrained from pointing to it, either to confirm or to deny, as if they want to give the impression, by thus remaining silent, that such a child with such a name never had any kinship to al-Zahra’ (sa)!

But others, once they have noticed that denying this matter is not possible, feeling incapable of admitting what those folks had committed against him, got rid of the whole issue by claiming that he “died young,” refraining from referring to his being miscarried. But they hinted at the same when they said that he “died young.”

A fourth group did, indeed, mention this child, and that he was miscarried, but they refrained from telling the truth of what actually took place.

There is a party that has declared the bitter truth and explained it, and we have quoted some of their statements in the part dedicated to texts, so refer to it.

It was not in the best interest of those who oppressed, harmed, beat, caused the miscarriage of the fetus carried by al-Zahra’ (sa) to publicize something like this about them because it would undermine their image, and it might even undermine their stands in the long run. They, therefore, had no choice except to hide the truth, forge history and force a cruel and bitter hegemony on the media.

They had to shut people’s mouths by any possible means. Nothing has reached us except what slipped from their clutches, carried to us by true commandos who traded their blood for the Pleasure of Allah, Glory is His, sacrificing everything precious, just as slipped to us from the clutches of spiteful arrogant people a great deal of good, rather an ocean over-brimming with virtues and stands and jihad of Ali (as). Even the Ghadir tradition, the tradition of the two weighty things, the tradition of Ahl al-Bayt (as) being compared to the ark of Noah, and the tradition of the status…, all this slipped from their clutches despite all the wounds and in spite of all the bleeding and suffering.

They slipped to us covered with heavy wounds, drowned in blood, overwhelmed by pains in order to deeply and truthfully deepen for us the truth of the divine care and concern abut this nation, its future generations and religion.

Every call fought by the rulers vanished and was buried except the call of the truth. This has continued, maintaining its originality and characteristics despite the passage of generations since the inception of this devastating war, although it challenges the rulers’ bases for ruling and legitimacy. Its creed, in as far as an Imam is concerned, is to deny such legitimacy, pointing a finger of accusation at the usurping rulers and at their oppression, at how they fought the teachings of Allah and His Messenger S.

The best evidence for all of this against the determination to justify, to forge and to oppress, and the best proof that the Almighty has been kind enough to safeguard the truth, is relevant to the status of Ali (as) and to how al-Zahra’ (sa) was oppressed, the lady who was presented by the Messenger of Allah S as the criterion for distinguishing right from wrong. This is what made her role, after his demise, effective and influential, decisive and strong. Through it, what was right became distinguished from what was wrong, what was distorted or forged was distinguished from what was sound and straightforward.

Did al-Zahra’ (sa) Cry Because of Impatience?!

Someone says that he cannot imagine al-Zahra’ (sa), the lady who receives Allah’s destiny with an open heart and mind, as being one from the intensity of whose weeping the people of Medina felt irritated42, as those who recite her commemorative mourning do, even if the deceased is on the level of the Messenger of Allah (S).

Our answer is:

We cannot imagine that mourning her father was the reason why the opponents were annoyed, nor was it the cause of their concern. What made them concerned, what annoyed them, was the result of the presence of al-Zahra’ (sa) at her father’s grave. Such a result is profound grief and dismay which would remind people of the tragedy to which she (sa) was exposed immediately following the demise of her father (S). This represented a state of continuous agitation in the hearts of good, believing and sincere Muslims, and it was an indictment of the line which never ceased doing anything at all to get what it wanted.

Her weeping over the person of the Messenger of Allah (S) was not the cause, although it personified the tragedy which engulfed Islam in its symbols as soon as he died, peace and blessings of Allah with him and his progeny.

Her weeping, then, was not on account of being impatient while facing the calamity and for the magnanimity of the loss of that great person, so one may say that all of this contradicts the acceptance of whatever Allah decrees, as the claimant insinuates, except if the same person considers surrendering to destiny and remaining silent about oppression as acceptance of destiny!

The “House of Grief” and People Annoyed by Her Weeping

Someone sees no need for the “house of grief” (bayt al-ahzan) so that al-Zahra’ (sa) could weep therein. He cannot imagine her mourning her father to the extent that she bothered the people of Medina, so they asked her to take to silence, implying that she used to cry very loudly in the alleys! And such crying and annoyance were not compatible with her status. Here is our answer:

FIRST: There is a narrative mentioned by al-Majlisi43, which he considers as “weak” because he did not transmit it, as he says, from an original reference on which he depends. He transmits it from Fidda (house maid of al-Zahra’ (sa)) saying that Fatima (sa) went out during the night on the second day after the death of her father (S). She wept, and people wept with her. When the people of Medina saw the extent of her grief, they requested Ali (as) to ask her to weep either during the night or during the day, so he set up for her the “house of sorrow بيت الأحزان” at al-Baqi’. Reference to other sources of this incident have already been stated.

It is quite obvious that Fidda’s narrative cannot be relied on as al-Maqdisi, may Allah have mercy on him, says, neither from the isnad standpoint nor from the context, as anyone who reviews it may conclude.

As regarding the “house of sorrow,” it is “... remaining till our time, and it is the place known as Fatima’s Mosque in the direction of the mausoleum of al-Hassan (as) and al-’Abbas. Ibn Jubayr refers to it saying, ‘Next to the ‘Abbasi dome lies the house of Fatima (sa) daughter of the Messenger of Allah S, and it is known as bayt al-huzn بيت الحزن, the house of greif, sorrow, mourning... It is said that she took to it and observed her grief since the demise of her father S.’”44

SECOND: Her nightly mourning was more annoying to people who dispersed during the day to go to work at their farms, to look after their flocks, to take care of their chores, so it would have been more appropriate for her to stay at the “house of sorrow” during the night rather than during the day.

THIRD: The fact is that the weeping of al-Zahra’ (sa) did not annoy the people of Medina. Rather, it annoyed the ruling clique which needed to be present at the Mosque of the Prophet S beside his holy pulpit which was only a few meters (counted on one hand), so the said clique prohibited her from so grieving.45

People used to go to that Mosque in particular and assemble thereat from dawn till a late hour of the night to pray and to stay informed of what events transpired.

The Mosque is the center of the city the population of which, relatively speaking, was at the time small, just a few thousands. Mecca was much larger than Medina, and it used to be called the “mother town” which was capable of raising four thousand warriors as happened during the Campaign of al-Ahzab (coalitions) wherein Mecca enlisted men to its full capacity46. The Ahzab campaign started on Thul-Qi’da 8, 5 A.H./March 31, 627 A.D. and involved every man capable of carrying arms, from teenagers to middle-aged men. As for Medina, the maximum number of troops it could raise was about or a lot less than a thousand47.

A census of the Muslim population was carried out in 6 A.H./628 A.D. when non-Muslims had no human bases of any significance, and the figure came as one thousand and five hundred or one thousand and six hundred.

In another narrative, the following is cited: “... We were between a thousand and six hundred to a thousand and seven hundred when the Messenger of Allah S said to them, ‘Write down for me the names of all those who have accepted Islam.’ Al-Damamini has said, ‘It is said that this took place during the Year of Hudaybiya (Treaty), i.e. 6 A.H. (628 A.D.).’”48

Let us suppose that all those whom they included in the census were men, and that they all were married and had children, how many would have been the total residents of Medina?

The people of Medina used to go to the Mosque to pray behind the Messenger of Allah S in the morning, at noon, and in the evening. Some of them came from outside Medina, walking for miles on foot, yet the Mosque absorbed their number, all of them. Then the Messenger of Allah S expanded its area in the latter phase of his holy life.

So, the Mosque was the center of this small town whose streets were no more than narrow alleys, and its houses were very close to each other. They are not spacious at all because this was a security requirement due to the domestic wars. People did not put their weapons down neither during the day nor during the night49.

The people of Medina had set up a ditch around a large area of their town for fear of the polytheists, during the war of the coalitions, would not be able to reach them, and it took them six days to dig despite its [modest] width and depth.

All of this disproves what Ibn Mardawayh had mentioned while discussing the marriage of Fatima (sa), i.e. that the Prophet S had invited all of them, and they all responded to his invitation “And they were more than four thousand men”50 for Medina at the time did not have even half as many men.

What also disproves this figure is another narrative which discusses the same issue. It states that those who had attended numbered three thousand and three hundred men who came in a total of three days51. Counting them as four thousand may include these men, too.

In a town of this size, when an ordinary person dies, it will undergo something like an emergency situation. Its residents will go to offer their condolences to the family of the deceased and will try to cheer them up and distance them from the environments of grief. If the deceased enjoys a special social status, more attention will be paid.

So, what would you say when the deceased is the greatest person created by Allah, the best of all created beings, the most honorable Prophet S, the one who took them out of the darkness and into the light? The town will be turned upside down. People will not tend to their businesses or farms. They will be living a state charged with emotion, apprehension and expectation.

The center of assembling and decision making and all other movements will then be the Mosque. From it will the troops set out to war. It is the place where problems are solved and emissaries received. It is the starting point of a trip and its final destination. The Mosque is the center of the government, the leadership, the applied juristic system. The Prophet’s pulpit is the place where the ruler sits, and it is only a few meters from the place where the Messenger of Allah S is buried.

Within the atmosphere of the demise of the Prophet S, the number of those who go to or return from the Mosque doubles. The first thing they start doing is to visit the grave of their Prophet S, greet him and greet those at his house, for he was buried inside Fatima’s house52. All doors (opening into the Mosque’s courtyard) had been closed except hers.

They will ask the truthful and purified lady how she is doing, knowing that she is the only daughter of the greatest of all prophets, and she is not an ordinary woman. Rather, she is the Head of the Women of Mankind from the early generations to the last. Allah is pleased when she is pleased and is angry when she is angered.

The atmosphere of grief which dominated that house and overwhelmed al-Zahra’ (sa), due to what the rulers and their supporters had committed against her immediately following the burial of her father S, the burial which was not attended by the assailants, nor did they care to prepare him for it, the man who had taken them out of the darkness and into the light, from death to life. Ali (as) had said to them, “You used to follow the worst of all creeds and live the most evil life, drinking dirty water and eating leather.”53

Instead of offering their condolences to her, their respect and regards, they confronted her not only with their sharp tongues but also with cruel and violent behavior. So, it was not in the interest of the ruling clique that people would see al-Zahra’ (sa) every day looking sad and depressed even if al-Zahra’ (sa) kept silent and did not cry or condemn those who oppressed her and violated her privacy.

Anyone who went to the Mosque and saw her depressed and in pain, enjoying no rest and feeling very upset, then he would go to sit at the caliph’s meeting place only a few meters from her, would remain aware of the pain and the tragedy from which she suffered and of what she had to undergo, and his conscience would in the end wake up.

So, her grief and bitterness would make those rulers sleepless, and it would confound them to a great and serious degree. Many would regret having neglected to honor her because her weeping, bitterness and grief would wake up the conscience, stir the feelings and cause agitation among the public. People have feelings and emotions, and all of this would weaken the authority of the rulers and their influence, especially when they rule the public in the name of her father and according to his teachings, as they allege.

If ‘’Umar ibn Sa’d wept when the human huri, Zainab, spoke to him after he had killed al-Husayn (as) a few moments earlier, what about those women whose hearts were not as cruel, as is the case of hearts like those of Harmalah and al-Shimr ibn Thul-Jawshan (who killed Imam al-Husayn (as)) and Ibn Sa’d, although they vary in their conviction according to their mentality, awareness and deeds?

Although they remained silent, for one reason or another, when the calamitous deed took place, they might have undergone some awareness and found an opportunity to express their true feelings and what went on in their minds. It was, therefore, necessary to get al-Zahra’ (sa) out of such a condition and distance her from people’s eyes. These people will increase in awareness and will regret a great deal more when things settle down and they revert to themselves, contemplate on what went on and remember what the Messenger of Allah S had told them in praise of al-Zahra’ (sa) and of Ali (as).

There is no need, then, for her to scream in the streets or to bother people like that. It is not far-fetched that they pushed some people to demand that al-Zahra’ (sa) leave her house, providing more than one pretext, then they took the house as their possession indefinitely.

Bayt al-Ahzan Harmed Rather than Benefitted them

But was this bayt al-ahzan in the best interest of those rulers?! Did it achieve some of what they wanted to or thought they would achieve?!

The clear and frank answer to these questions is NO! In fact, it brought them a much more calamity than they had expected. People did not find it easy to accept to get al-Zahra’ (sa) out of her house and prohibit her from expressing her grief and from openly declaring her being oppressed. This indeed is a greater oppression, more effective and serious, and a clearer evidence about the extent of the oppression from which she had to suffer.

What makes this picture clearer is that people would see that what she went through took place immediately as soon as her father S passed away. Instead of offering their condolences or consoling her, the only daughter of her father and the Head of all the Women of Mankind that she was, they exposed her to a greater and a more bitter calamity. All of this they did while regarding themselves as adherents to this religion, recognizing her father as their Prophet S… They were supposed to respect and sanctify him. Yet those folks went in their oppression as far as persecuting the closest of all people to him, namely his daughter, a woman of feelings, forbidding her from grieving for a father whom she just lost. All this they did so that she would not publicly expose how they oppressed her.

Prohibition of Grieving over Falsehood, not over Weeping

During the Uhud Campaign, Ibn Ishaq said, “The Messenger of Allah S passed by the homes of the Ansar on his way back to Medina and heard them mourning their dead. The eyes of the Messenger of Allah S were soon overflowing with tears. Then he said, ‘But Hamzah has none to mourn him...,’ whereon Sa’d ibn Mu’ath (or, some say, Assad ibn Hadar) ordered the women of Banu ‘Abd al-Ashhal to go and mourn Hamzah first then to mourn their own dead thereafter.

When he heard them thus mourning, and they were sitting at his Mosque’s door, he ordered them to go home, forbidding them from mourning there. The Ansar women went to him early the next morning and said, ‘It has come to our knowledge, O Messenger of Allah, that you prohibited (some women) from mourning.

We only weep over our dead and thus find some relief; so, please grant us permission to do so.’ He said, ‘If you do it, do not slap your cheeks, nor should you scratch your faces with your nails, nor shave your hair nor tear your clothes.’54 The mother of Sa’d ibn Mu’ath said, ‘No woman from among us ever mourned anyone without first mourning al-Hamzah till now.’”

In another text, the women wept when Ruqayya died, so ‘’Umar kept hitting them with his whip. He (S) took the whip from ‘’Umar’s hand and said, “Leave them alone, O ‘’Umar!” He (S) also said, “Do not wail like the wailing of Satan...” Then the narrator adds saying, “Fatima (sa) wept as she sat at the grave’s side (Ruqayya’s grave), so the Prophet S kept wiping her tears with the end of his garment.”55

Prohibition of Weeping Over the Dead

The Prophet S wept when Hamzah was martyred and said, “As for Hamzah, there are none to mourn him.” and he S wept when Ja’far (al-Tayyar) was martyred and said, “It is for a man like you that mourners should mourn.” He S also wept when his son Ibrahim died and said, “The eyes are tearful, and the heart is grieved, and we do not say except what pleases the Lord.” He also wept over ‘Othman ibn Maz’un, Sa’d ibn Mu’ath and Zaid ibn Harithah. The sahaba, too, wept. Jabir wept when his father died. Bashir ibn ‘Afra’ mourned his father, too. Such incidents abound in the books of hadith and history.56

All this proves that there is no prohibition of weeping but on demanding the tears to be shed and to the desire of the Prophet S that they should do just that.

Yet, in contrast, we find ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab prohibiting (women) from mourning the dead, beating them with his whip for weeping and doing whatever he liked to prohibit them.

‘’Umar cites a tradition of the Prophet S supposedly stating that the deceased is in pain when his family mourns him.57 We even find ‘’Umar beating Umm Farwah, sister of Abu Bakr, when she mourned her father,58 while we find him ordering people in person to weep over Khalid ibn al-Walid59… And ‘A’isha wept when Ibrahim60 (son of the Prophet (S)) died. Abu Hurayra wept over ‘Othman (ibn ‘Affan), al-Hajjaj over his son61, Sahab over ‘’Umar62, and they even use what all these did as arguments.

‘’Umar himself wept over al-Nu’man ibn Muqrin and over others63 and the Prophet S prohibited him from bothering those who mourned their dead64.

‘A’isha objected to ‘’Umar and to his son ‘Abdullah reporting such a “tradition” which he upheld, while she attributed it to ‘’Umar’s own forgetfulness, saying, “May Allah have mercy on ‘’Umar! By Allah! The Messenger of Allah S never said that Allah would torture any believer on account of his family mourning him. Rather, the Messenger of Allah S said that Allah will increase the penalty of the unbeliever through his family weeping over him.” Then she added saying, “Suffices you the Qur’an: ‘No bearer of sin bears the sin of another.’”65

In another narrative, she is quoted as having said, “The Messenger of Allah S passed by a Jewess being mourned. He said, ‘They are weeping over her and she is surely being tortured inside her grave.’”66

What ‘’Umar said is disputed also by Ibn ‘Abbas. A number of Imams from Ahl al-Bayt (as) rejected his “tradition,” too, and anyone who wishes to research it further is advised to consult the references.67

The Torah and the Prohibition of Weeping over the Dead

It seems to us that the prohibition of weeping over the dead is taken from the teachings of the People of the Book. ‘’Umar tried to implement such a prohibition during the lifetime of the Prophet S in particular, and he did not desist from doing so, as the Prophet S required him to do, except outwardly. When the Prophet S passed away, and there was nothing to fear, the stand became political, requiring reverting to what the People of the Book teach, hence prohibiting al-Zahra’ (sa) from mourning her father S as has been indicated. This came in sync with inclinations, with the theological as well as political objectives. What proves that it is taken from the teachings of the People of the Book is the following verse in the Torah:

בן! אני לוקח את רצונו של העיניים שלך ממך עם להיט אחד, ולכן, לא לילל, ולא לבכות, ולא נותן לך את העיניים לשפוך את דמעות. נאנח בשקט. אל תעשו האבל לשמוע על המתים

“Son! I am taking the desire of your eyes away from you with one hit; so, do not wail, and do not weep, and do not let your eyes pour down tears. Sigh silently. Do not make an audible mourning over the dead.”68

Politics! What do You Know About Politics?!

Here we would like to point out to a statement made by Imam Sharaf ad-Din, may Allah have mercy on him. He has said, “Here we would like to attract the attention of rational people to research the reason why al-Zahra’ (sa) was displaced from home only because she was mourning her father S, and why she had to go out, escorted by both her sons and some of her women, to al-Baqi’ in order to mourn the Messenger of Allah S in the shade of a lote tree there which, once cut down, was replaced by Ali (as) with a shed at al-Baqi’ to which she used to go to mourn him called bayt al-ahzan. A ziyara used to be observed to it by the past generations of this nation.”69

I say that it is quite possible that the tradition stating that “The deceased person is tortured by the cries of the living” was distorted from the incident involving weeping over the Jewess, to which reference has already been made above, for obvious political reasons. The ruling authority paid a particular attention to prohibiting Fatima (sa) from crying over her father S.

So it is obvious that such a prohibition continued till the ruling authority was settled. This is why ‘’Umar was not concerned about ‘A’isha being angry with him on its account. ‘A’isha even prohibited ‘’Umar from entering her house when Abu Bakr (her father, the first caliph) died, so he hit Umm Farwah, sister of Abu Bakr. He assaulted the house of ‘A’isha, hitting Abu Bakr’s sister. Before then, he used to pay a special attention to ‘A’isha and had a lot of respect for her. He held her in high esteem, and he was the one who very highly respected (her father) Abu Bakr with whom he used to seek refuge, showing utmost respect for his household.

Yes, ‘’Umar did all of that because people had not yet forgotten how the ruling authority prohibited Fatima (sa) from mourning her father S. They had not forgotten what she went through following his demise. Let us suppose that the weeping was only because of the death of her father. What a great stand it was, then, not to mention the environments of cruelty and crudeness, that a woman is prohibited from grieving for her father! What if this father is the Glorious Prophet S, the greatest, the most perfect and the very best human being who ever walked on the face of earth?

When the cause was no more, after many years had passed by since the death of the Head of the Women of the World (sa), and when people almost forgot this issue, the prohibition was lifted by ‘’Umar himself who wept over al-Nu’man ibn Muqrin who died in 21 A.H./642 A.D. and over another Shaikh. He permitted the weeping over Khalid ibn al-Walid who died in 21 or 22 A.H. (642 or 643 A.D.) as indicated above.

Prohibition from weeping over the dead varies in the way it was documented from one reference to another. Some say there was prohibition from scratching the face, tearing clothes, self-slapping, or wailing for falsehood. All these are different from the outbursts of natural human emotions. The first does, indeed, conflict with complete submission to Allah, the most Exalted, the Sublime, and surrendering to His will, whereas the other is a requirement of the human nature and a proof of the balance of such nature, and surely the distance between them both is quite vast.

  • 1. The same individual claims that the said professor is Dr. Suhayl Zakir.
  • 2. Refer to the following references: Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 20, 83, 86, 89 and Vol. 85, p. 94. Makarim al-Akhlaq, p. 95 (1392 A.H. edition). Al-Saduq, Al-Amali, p. 194 (1400 A.H., al-A`lami edition). Al-Irbali, Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 76. Nihaya al-Arab, Vol. 5, p. 264. Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 51, citing Ahmed. Al-Qanduzi, Yanabi` al-Mawadda (Al-A`lami edition), Vol. 2, p. 52. Nazm Durar al-Simtayn, p. 177. Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 5, p. 275. Mukhtasar Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 6, p. 108. Ihqaq al-Haqq (Appendices), Vol. 10, pp. 234, 291-293, and Vol. 19, pp. 106-07 from some of the references listed above and from numerous others.
  • 3. Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Vol. 5, p. 153.
  • 4. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 22, pp. 479-80.
  • 5. Qurb al-Isnad (published by Ahl al-Bayt (as) Foundation), p. 146. Al-Kafi, Vol. 6, p. 533. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 73, p. 157. Al-Wasa'il, Vol. 5, p. 325.
  • 6. Abu Dawud, Sunan, Vol. 1, pp. 234-35 (published by Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-`Arabi).
  • 7. Imam Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 2, p. 62. Refer also to al-Nisa’i, Sunan, Vol. 6, p. 149.
  • 8. Ibn Majah, Sunan, Vol. 1, p. 510.
  • 9. Al-Tabari, Tarikh Muluk (published by Dar Swaydan), Vol. 4, p. 70, in the events of the year 17 A.H. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, p. 640. Refer also to Futah al-Buldan, Vol. 3, p. 352. Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan, Vol. 8, p. 235. Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil fil Tarikh, Vol. 2, pp. 540-41. Wafiyyat al-A`yan, Vol. 2, p. 455. Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya, Vol. 7, p. 81. `Umdat al-Qari, Vol. 6, p. 340. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 12, pp. 234-37. Al-Jahiz, Al-Aghani (published by Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-`Arabi), Vol. 16, pp. 331-332. Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-`Ummal.
  • 10. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 14, p. 193. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 323. Ithbat al-Hudat, Vol. 2, pp. 360, 337-38.
  • 11. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 9, p. 198.
  • 12. Mizan al-I`tidal, Vol. 1, p. 139. Lisan al-Mizan, Vol. 1, p. 268. Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’, Vol. 15, p. 578.
  • 13. Al-Milal wal Nihal, Vol. 1, p. 57. Other references will Insha-Allah be cited in the texts’ section.
  • 14. Manaqib al Abu Talib, Vol. 3, p. 407 (published by Dar al-Adwa’). Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 233.
  • 15. Kifayat al-Talib, p. 413.
  • 16. Ibn Hamzah, Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, p. 188.
  • 17. Ibid.; Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, p. 202.
  • 18. `Ilm al-Yaqin fi Usul ad-Din, pp. 686-87, Chapter 20.
  • 19. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, p. 212. Fatima Bahjat al-Mustafa, p. 529, quoting Mir’at al-`Uqul.
  • 20. Sulaym ibn Qays’s book, p. 134.
  • 21. Refer for documentation of this [blasphemous] statement the following references: Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, pp. 389, 411 and what is mentioned in a footnote on p. 268. Ansab al-Ashraf, Vol. 1, p. 586. Sayyid al-Murtada, Al-Shafi, Vol. 3, p. 241. Al-`Iqd al-Farid, Vol. 4, pp. 259-60. Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-`Ummal, Vol. 3, p. 149. Al-Riyad al-Nadira, Vol. 1, p. 167. Al-Tara’if, p. 239. Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 1, p. 178. Nahj al-Haqq, p. 271. Nafahat al-Lahut, p. 79. Abul-Fida’, Tarikh, Vol. 1, p. 156 and other references which will be forthcoming.
  • 22. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 53, pp. 14, 17, 19.
  • 23. Ibid., Vol. 43, pp. 43, 197-98 and Vol. 28, p. 299. The book by Sulaym ibn Qays, p. 250 (published by al-A`lami).
  • 24. Ibid., Vol. 8, pp. 220-27, quoting Dala’il al-Imamate.
  • 25. Al-`Ayyashi, Tafsir, Vol. 2, p. 67. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 227. Al-Ikhtisas, pp. 185-86. Tafsir al-Burhan, Vol. 2, p. 93.
  • 26. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, p. 348, citing Irshad al-Qulub by al-Daylami.
  • 27. Ibid., Vol. 30, pp. 293-95.
  • 28. Al-Jamal, pp. 117-18 (new edition). Nahj al-Haqq, p. 271. Al-Imama wal Siyasa, Vol. 1, p. 12. Ibn Shuhnah, Tarikh (referred to in a footnote in Al-Kamil), Vol. 7, p. 164. Abul-Fida’, Tarikh, Vol. 1, p. 156. Al-`Iqd al-Farid, Vol. 4, p. 259. Al-Ya`qubi, Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 126.
  • 29. Muntakhab Kanz al-`Ummal (referred to in a footnote in Ahmed’s Musnad), Vol. 2, p. 174, from Ibn Abu Shaybah. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 2, p. 45 from al-Jawhari and al-Mughni to the judge `Abdullah, Part 20, Section 1, p. 335. Al-Murtada, Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, p. 110.
  • 30. Tarikh Baghdad, Vol. 13, pp. 387-88. Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’, Vol. 11, p. 135. Tahthib al-Tahthib, Vol. 10, p. 430.
  • 31. Refer to Al-Wafa bil Wafiyyat, Vol. 21, p. 104.
  • 32. Dala’il al-Sidq, Vol. 3, part 1, p. 53.
  • 33. This is so especially since he himself says, “Negating, too, requires evidence.”
  • 34. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, p. 212. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 5, p. 320.
  • 35. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Introduction, p. 4.
  • 36. Iqbal al-A`mal, p. 625. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 97, p. 200.
  • 37. Ibid.
  • 38. Al-Saduq, Al-Amali, pp. 100-01. Al-Daylami, Irshad al-Qulub, p. 295. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, pp. 37-39 and Vol. 43, pp. 172-73. Al-`Awalim, Vol. 11, p. 391 (the section dealing with al-Zahra’ (sa)). Other references will be cited as well.
  • 39. In his book Irshad al-Qulub, Vol. 2, p. 295.
  • 40. In his book Fara’id al-Simtayn, Vol. 2, p. 35.
  • 41. Refer to the book by Salam as edited by Muhammed Baqir al-Ansari, Vol. 2, p. 588.
  • 42. Refer to the people of Medina feeling annoyed by al-Zahra’ (sa) weeping (over the demise of her father, the Messenger of Allah (S)) in the following references: Al-Khisal, Vol. 1, p. 272. Al-Saduq, Amali, p. 121. Al-`Awalim, Vol. 11, p. 449 where the previous references are cited in some of its footnotes in addition to the following: al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 35, 155, 177 and Vol. 46, p. 35 and Vol. 11, pp. 204, 311 and Vol. 12, p. 264 and Vol. 82, p. 86. Irshad al-Qulub, p. 95. Al-`Ayyashi, Tafsir, Vol. 2, p. 188. Rawdat al-Wa`izin, p. 520. Makarim al-Akhlaq, p. 335. Manaqib al Abu Talib (printed at the `Ilmiyya Press), Vol. 3, p. 322. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 124.
  • 43. A reference to al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 174-180.
  • 44. Tawfiq Abu `Alam, Ahl al-Bayt, pp. 167-68. Refer also to Al-Wafa’, Vol. 3, p. 918. Refer to the footnote on p. 489 of `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, Ihqaq al-Haqq (Appendices), Vol. 10, p. 476, and Fatima al-Zahra’ (sa) fil Ahadith al-Qudsiyya, pp. 184-85.
  • 45. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, Part 3, p. 140.
  • 46. Refer to my book titled Al-Sihah min Sirat al-Nabiyy al-A`zam (S), Vol. 9.
  • 47. Ibid.
  • 48. Al-Bukhari, Sihah, Vol. 2, p. 116. Muslim, Sihah, Vol. 1, p. 91. Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 5, p. 384. Ibn Majah, Sunan, Vol. 2, p. 1337. Al-Taratib al-Idariyya, Vol. 2, pp. 251-52 and Vol. 1, pp. 220-23. Ibn Abu Shaybah, Al-Musannaf, Vol. 15, p. 69.
  • 49. I`lam al-Wara, p. 55. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 8-10.
  • 50. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, pp. 298, 340. Refer to Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 94, 114. Al-Tusi, Amali, Vol. 1, p. 39.
  • 51. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 345. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 21.
  • 52. Refer to my article in Dirasat wa Buhuth fil Tarikh wal Islam (studies and researches in history and Islamics), Vol. 1, p. 169 and the following pages.
  • 53. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Sermon 26.
  • 54. Al-Sira al-Halabiyya, Vol. 2, p. 254. Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 1, p. 444 quoting Al-Muntaqa. Refer to Ibn al-Athir, Vol. 2, p. 167. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 210. Al-`Iqd al-Farid, Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya, Vol. 4, p. 48. Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 2, pp. 40, 84, 92. Al-Isti`ab (in the biography of al-Hamzah). Abu Ya`li, Musnad, Vol. 6, pp. 272, 293-94 and its footnotes cite the following: p. 120, Vol. 6, of Mujma` al-Zawa’id, p. 10, Part 1, Vol. 3, of Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra. Ibn Majah, Sunan, Vol. 3, p. 94. In the book of the Prophet’s biography, and in the discussion of funerals, it is hadith number 1591. Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, Vol. 3, p. 195. Ibn Hisham, Sira, Vol. 1, p. 103. Al-Isaba, Vol. 4 (in the biography of Ruqayya).
  • 55. Ibn Shaybah, Tarikh al-Medina, Vol. 1, p. 103. Al-Isaba, Vol. 4, in the biography of Ruqayya.
  • 56. Refer to Al-Nass wal Ijtihad, pp. 230-34. Al-Amini, Al-Ghadir, Vol. 6, pp. 159-67. Dala’il al-Sidq, Vol. 3, Part 1, pp. 134-36 citing scores of reliable references. Al-Isti`ab (as referred to in a footnote in Al-Isaba) in the biography of Ja`far (al-Tayyar), Vol. 1, p. 211. Minhat al-Ma`bud, Vol. 1, p. 159. Kashf al-Astar, Vol. 1, pp. 381-83. Al-Isaba, Vol. 2, p. 464. Al-Majruhun, Vol. 2, p. 92. Al-Sira al-Halabiyya, Vol. 2, p. 89. Refer also to p. 251 as well. Wafa’ al-Wafa’, Vol. 3, pp. 894-95. Refer also to pp. 932-33. Hayat al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, p. 571. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 3, p. 396 and Vol. 2, p. 313.
  • 57. Refer to Al-`Iqd al-Farid, Vol. 4, p. 264 and other books.
  • 58. Refer to the above stated references and others and to Al-Ghadir and scores of other references as well as p. 158, Vol. 1, of Minhat al-Ma`bud and while discussing Isfahan on p. 61, Vol. 1, quoting Ibn Musa. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 3, pp. 209, 346, 362. Refer to the explanation of various traditions on p. 245.
  • 59. Al-Taratib al-Idariyya, Vol. 2, p. 375. Al-Isaba, Vol. 1, p. 415. Sifat al-Safwah, Vol. 1, p. 655. Usd al-Ghaba, Vol. 2, p. 96. Hayat al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, p. 465 quoting Al-Isaba. Al-Musannaf, Vol. 3, p. 559 in the footnotes of which al-Bukhari, Ibn Sa`d and Ibn Abu Shaybah are quoted. Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 2, p. 247. Fath al-Bari, Vol. 7, p. 79. Al-Fa’iq, Vol. 4, p. 19. Al-Qanduzi, Rabi` al-Abrar, Vol. 3, p. 330. Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p. 88. Ibn Manzur, Lisan al-`Arab, Vol. 8, p. 363.
  • 60. Minhat al-Ma`bud, Vol. 1, p. 159.
  • 61. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 3 (Dar Sadir’s edition), p. 81. Rabi` al-Abrar, Vol. 2, p. 586.
  • 62. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 3, p. 362. Minhat al-Ma`bud, Vol. 1, p. 159.
  • 63. Al-Amini, Al-Ghadir, Vol. 1, pp. 54, 155, 164. Refer to the biography of al-Nu`man ibn Muqrin in Al-Isti`ab. Refer also to pp. 328-29, Vol. 2, of Al-Riyad al-Nadira about how `’Umar wept over that bedouin till he wetted his beard!
  • 64. Refer to Al-Ghadir where the following references are cited: Ahmed’s Musnad, Vol. 1, pp. 235, 237 and Vol. 2, pp. 333, 408; al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, Vol. 3, pp. 190, 381, where both al-Dhahbi, in his Talkhis, and he label this tradition as authentic; Mujma` al-Zawa’id, Vol. 3, p. 17; Al-Isti`ab in the biography of `Othman ibn Maz`un; al-Tayalisi’s Musnad, p. 351; al-Bayhaqi’s Sunan, Vol. 4, p. 70; `Umdat al-Qari, Vol. 4, p. 87 citing al-Nisa’i, Ibn Majah; Ibn Majah, Sunan, Vol. 1, p. 481; al-Hindi, Kanz al-`Ummal, Vol. 1, p. 117; Ansab al-Ashraf, Vol. 1, p. 157. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 3, pp. 399, 429; Minhat al-Ma`bud, Vol. 1, p. 159.
  • 65. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 1, p. 146 (1039 A.H. edition). Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, Vol. 3, p. 381. A reference to al-Shafi`i disagreeing with this “tradition” is recorded on p. 266, Vol. 7, of Al-Umm. Jami` Bayan al-`Ilm, Vol. 2, p. 105. Minhat al-Ma`bud, Vol. 1, p. 158. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 3, p. 346. Al-Mazni, Mukhtasar as referred to on p. 187, Vol. 1, of Al-Umm. Al-Amini, Al-Ghadir, Vol. 6, p. 163 from the above cited references. Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 1, pp. 342-44. Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 1, p. 41. Al-Nisa’i, Sunan, Vol. 4, pp. 17-18. Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan, Vol. 4, pp. 72-73. Ibn Dawud, Sunan, Vol. 2, p. 59. Ibn Malik, Al-Muatta’, Vol. 1, p. 96.
  • 66. Al-Bukhari, Sihah, Vol. 1, p. 147.
  • 67. Refer to Al-Ghadir, Dala’il al-Sidq, Al-Nass wal Ijtihad and others.
  • 68. Ezekiel, 24:16-18.
  • 69. Al-Musawi, Al-Nass wal Ijtihad, p. 234.

Part 9: “I Know Not About The Nail...”

The Nail

The following paragraph appears in a book attributed to “Shibl al-Dawla” Muqatil ibn ‘Atiyyah known as “Conference of Baghdad’s Scholars,”

When Fatima (sa) came from behind the door in order to send ‘’Umar and his party back, ‘’Umar squeezed her hard between the wall and the door, causing her to miscarry, and a nail was planted in her chest. Fatima (sa) then screamed, “O Father! O Messenger of Allah!”1

The philosopher-researcher Grand Ayatollah Shaikh Muhammed Husayn al-Isfahani, may Allah sanctify his resting place, composed the following verses of poetry:

No, I cannot tell the tale

Of the report of the nail.

So ask her very chest:

And leave out the rest;

It is the storing chest

Of every secret.

We cannot either confirm or deny this matter although we are discussing the attribution of the book titled Mu’tamar ‘Ulama’ Baghdad (Conference of Baghdad’s Scholars) to “Shibl al-Dawla,” and we think it is possible that someone who came after him wrote it. But this does not mean that its textual contents, be they historical or otherwise, are inaccurate.

The author of this book (referred to above) may have derived his information from sources with which we are not familiar. Our discussion of the accuracy of attributing a book to him does not mean that the book’s contents are subject to debates and doubts. It has a good deal of accurate information definitely supported by confirmed and authentic narratives. Yet we have to distinguish between what is lean and what is fat, what is accurate and what is not, according to the criteria of scholarly research and its fundamentals. Here we would like to state our bases for doubting the book being his; so, let us say the following:

The Book in the Balance

The author of the book detailing the conference of Baghdad’s scholars has stated that his book, or booklet, is the summary of a theological debate which he says took place between ten senior Sunni and Shi’i scholars in Baghdad who responded to the invitation of the Seljuk Sultan Malik-Shah and his vizier, Nizam al-Malik; both men attended and participated in it.

In this debate, which lasted for three days, it is proven that Shi’ism is right, so Sultan Malik-Shah embraced Shi’a Islam and so did his vizier, Nizam al-Malik, as well as a number of army commanders and prominent government officials.

The question that forces itself here is: Is this debate a fact or fiction?! It awaits an accurate and frank answer.

If we are permitted to voice our opinion, we would like to say that we tend to espouse the second option, that is, that it is fiction. We rely on many matters to issue such a judgment, though each of them by itself cannot be a definite evidence. But collectively, they grant us the courage to register our exclusion which reaches the degree of feeling confident that it is fiction the author of which wanted to promote his own sect and coin sectarian proofs which rely on famous historical facts recorded in the Muslims’ books as well as narratives the authenticity and accuracy of their isnad are recognized. He coins them in an exciting and captivating manner which stimulates the reader’s interest and possesses his feelings.

The issues on which we rely to derive this view are the following:

Method of Exposition

The first that attracts the reacher’s attention to this book or booklet is its method of exposition. Many of its parts employ expressions which were not in circulation during that period. We would like here to mention some of them while referencing the numbers of the pages of the book which was printed in 1415 A.H./1994 A.D. at Dar al-Irshad al-Islami (House of Islamic Guidance) of Beirut, Lebanon, and is edited by Shaikh Muhammed Jamal Hammad. So let us say the following:

The word “conference” is used in the book’s title and on pages 17, 25-28 and 37.

“He was not a blindly fanatical man.” __ p. 17.

“He was an open-minded young man.” __ p. 17.

“Books and encyclopedias were written about it.” __ p. 25.

“... and we see through the talks and discussions...” __ p. 26. Also refer to pp. 32, 34.

“... and that seeking the truth is everyone’s quest.” __ p. 46.

“... this incivil action...” __ p. 96.

“... some evil narrators and those who sold their conscience...” __ p. 98.

“... and he regarded his belief as exemplary...” __ p. 101.

“ ... He imagined them as being good believing people...” __ p. 111.

“Sayyid al-’Alawi tore the curtain of silence.” __ p. 109.

“But the qualifications of Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) were few.” __ p. 116.

“In fact, the qualifications of the caliphate and Imamate were available in full in Ali (as).” __ p. 116-17.

“And I spend most of my time hunting and [busy] with administrative affairs.” __ p. 153.

“And they kept weaving the plots against the king and Nizam al-Malik, making him responsible for this matter, since he was its mastermind, so much so till the evil hands stretched out to snatch him away.” __ pp. 154-55.

“And it had negative results.” “And it produced reverse negative results.” __ p. 127.

“Is not mut’a their only solution for ridding themselves of reckless sexual energy and in order to protect themselves against debauchery and men’s delinquency?! Is not mut’a better than adultery, homosexuality or masturbation?” __ p. 124.

Weak Expressions

The book contains a host of weak expressions such as:

“... a blindly fanatical man” __ p. 17.

“... were fully available in Ali (as)” __ p. 116.

“... and he used to love Ahl al-Bayt (as) very, very much.” __ p. 17.

“Second: Its narrators and isnad are inaccurate.” __ p. 76.

“Some of those present ridiculed and slandered him.” __ p. 18.

“He was young, whereas Abu Bakr was advanced in age.” __ p. 113.

“It was I who attended the meeting and the debate.” __ 156.

“The religion of Shi’ism is the truth, there is no doubt about it.” __ p. 156.

Grammatical Errors

Arabic grammatical errors can be detected (by those familiar with Arabic grammar) in many places [in the said book]. Refer to these page numbers: 61, 93, 115, 151 and 149.

Other grammatical errors occur on these pages as well: 144-45.

Correction

Another oversight in the book occurs in the Arabic text of verse 10 of Chapter 90 [of the Holy Qur’an].

Malik-Shah: The Knowledge-Loving Ignorant Man

On p. 17, he has described the Seljuk king Malik-Shah as “a young man, open-minded, loves knowledge and scholars.”

Although he loves knowledge and scholarship, he apparently did not benefit from such love. He, as the book under discussion portrays him, was the most ignorant of all people about the simplest matters and the most axiomatic Islamic and historical matters, as if he lived in an island then entered just recently in the Muslims’ lands. He even does not know about the existence of followers of a sect called “Shi’a” who, as the book states on pages 25-26, comprise half the population of the Muslims whom he ruled. He does not even know the meaning of the word “Shi’i” in addition to other historical and non-historical issues.

We do not know why his father, Sultan Alp Arsalan, neglected to educate him and prepare him to assume his post, and why he did not gather the most learned, renown and experienced scholars and specialists to teach him. Kings and caliphs used to take special care to teach and educate their sons, especially those whom they delegated to succeed them in their posts to run the affairs of the land and its inhabitants.

Recklessness and Indiscretion

He has also stated on p. 25 that the Seljuk king Malik-Shah almost decided to kill all Shi’as unless they accepted to turn Sunnis although his vizier told him that they amounted to almost half the Muslim population. On p. 27, the vizier told him that killing half the Muslims was not possible.

Is there any recklessness and indiscretion worse than that? How can he still be described as straightforward and just, sophisticated and wise?!

The King Assassinates his Vizier

The same book says that Nizam al-Malik was assassinated by instigation of the Sunnis. Then they themselves assassinated the Seljuk Sultan Malik-Shah as well.

History records that Nizam al-Malik was assassinated by a Daylami (Persian) slave adhering to the Batinide sect. Ibn al-Athir narrates a story which points out to Malik-Shah himself as the person who arranged to have Nizam al-Malik killed. As to Malik-Shah, they say that he fell sick and died.2

The King Trusted only his Vizier

Although the attendants were among the most prominent Sunni scholars of Baghdad, we find the king still asking his vizier about everything, and the latter kept answering him by saying that thus did the scholars of exegesis, or historians, or narrators…, etc. say. So why did he not trust those senior scholars and refuse to accept what they transmitted and circulated?

Who Were the Attendants?

What puzzles us more is this: Although Baghdad, during that time, was full of famous scholars, be they Shi’i or Sunni, the same book does not provide us with anything about those twenty scholars who participated in that debate whom he describes as among the most prominent scholars of Baghdad from both sects.

Yes, there are four names who, the author claims, are scholars; they are: al-Husayn ibn Ali, nicknamed “al-’Alawi,” Ahmed ‘Othman, Sayyid Jamal ad-Din and Shaikh Hassan al-Qasimi. We could not get any information about these names, nor about their scholarly degrees nor roles and influences on the land and its inhabitants. Why were the famous scholars of Baghdad, Sunnis or Shi’a, absent from that sensitive and fateful debate or, say, why no names of any of those “famous” scholars were mentioned?

Other Unjustifiable Contradictions

The book states that the vizier, Nizam a-Malik, and so is al-’Abbasi, who debated on behalf of the Sunnis, and also the scholars who were with him, remained silent and refrained from answering a question about the attempts by Talhah and al-Zubayr to get ‘Othman (ibn ‘Affan) killed.

The author commented on that saying, “What could they say? The truth?! Does Satan permit admission of the truth?! Does the evil insinuating self agree to surrender to the truth and to the reality?! Do you think that admitting the truth is easy and simple?!

“No! It is very difficult because it requires crushing the fanaticism of the days of ignorance, acting contrarily to inclinations. People follow their desires and falsehood except the believers, and surely few are these!” __ p. 109.

We invite the kind reader to consider the following:

A: The author himself has described Nizam al-Malik in the beginning of the book as “... a man of wisdom and distinction, a man of asceticism, one who renounced the world, a strongly willed man who loved righteousness and the righteous, always seeking the truth.” __ p. 17.

B: Nizam al-Malik, the vizier, had answered all the reporting questions of the king, although many of them were more embarrassing to him than this quite ordinary question. Some such questions were relevant to the first caliphs, Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar, in particular.

C: Nizam al-Malik returned to admit to the king that the ‘Alawide’s conclusions were accurate. When he asked him why he kept silent at the beginning, he said, “I hate to cast doubt about the sahaba of the Messenger of Allah S.” __ p. 11.

He himself had answered in the affirmative when the ‘Alawide cast doubts about ‘’Umar’s conviction, and ‘’Umar to him was a lot greater than Talhah and ‘Othman; so, refer to p. 100.

Caliphate or Imamate?

It is noteworthy that this same ‘Alawide, while talking about Abu Bakr, ‘’Umar and ‘Othman, confused the concepts of Imamate with those of caliphate. So he talks about caliphate as if he is talking about Imamate. Refer to what he states on p. 111 where he says, “Not all Muslims accepted them as the caliphs. Only the Sunnis did.”

This sentence means that the discussion was about Imamate, not caliphate, because their caliphate and government is a historical event which no Shi’a nor Sunnis person can deny. But the discussion and argument revolved around the question “Was that government legitimate or not?” just as the discussion and debate revolved around the Imamate of Ali (as) where the government is one of its facets. So; the usurpation of the government is a transgression on some of the aspects of Ali’s Imamate.

Unjustifiable Contradictions

Sometimes we see him falling into contradictions for which there are no justifications. He did that in two areas:

FIRST: Hypocrisy of those who “elected” ‘Othman

We find him on p. 106 describing those who sided with ‘Othman in the shura and who swore the oath of allegiance to him. On the same page, he mentions what indicates that they are not hypocrites but pious believers. Says he, “They abandoned ‘Othman when they witnessed his oppression and annihilation of the sahaba of the Messenger of Allah S and how he used to consult, regarding the affairs of the Muslims, with people such [Jews] as Ka’b al-Ahbar, and how he distributed the Muslims’ wealth to the descendants of Marwan. So, these three individuals started enticing the Muslims to kill ‘Othman.”

He means by these three individuals Talhah, Sa’d ibn Abu Waqqas and ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Awf. We wish he had added the reasons why they did so. Those reasons were: They did not find with ‘Othman the fulfillment of what they had preconditioned to him, that is, that they would always share in his decision-making process. He preferred his relatives over everyone else. Everyone knows that Talhah fought Ali (as) because he did not respond to his ambitious demands. Sa’d ibn Abu Waqqas took a similar stand towards Ali (as) for the same reason.

SECOND: Who “Elected” ‘Othman?!

On p. 106, we find his statement: “‘Othman did not get to rule except through a recommendation from ‘’Umar and the election of only three hypocrites who were: Talhah, Sa’d ibn Abu Waqqas and ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Awf.” Yet he is in doubt about these three, too, saying on p. 61, “He was elected by three, or by two of them.” ‘’Umar did not recommend ‘Othman to be his successor as the caliph, the writer claims.

Also, his statement saying that he (‘Othman) came to rule through the recommendation of ‘’Umar and the election of three (other men) is neither harmonious nor balanced except if he wants to say that ‘’Umar over-rode the shura so as to make the “electing” of ‘Othman inevitable, considering doing that as recommending him to be the caliph.

Statement Lacking Historical Precision

There are many statements in the book which lack historical precision; here are some of them:

1. He, on p. 48, says that Mu’awiyah kept cursing the Commander of the Faithful (as) for forty years and that such cursing was prolonged to seventy years.

We say that Mu’awiyah publicly continued to curse Ali (as) for about 23 years, 17 years less than the number stated by the author. As for the second point, they kept cursing Ali (as) for more than eighty years; so, refer to history books.

2. On p. 150, he says, “Abu Hanifah, Malik ibn Anas, al-Shafi’i and Ahmed ibn Hanbal were not alive during the lifetime of the Prophet S but came about two hundred years after him.”

Abu Hanifah was born in 80 A.H./699 A.D. and died in 150 A.H./767.

Malik was born in 93 A.H./712 A.D. and died in 179 A.H./795.

Al-Shafi’i was born in 150 A.H./767 and died in 204 A.H./819 A.D.

Ahmed ibn Hanbal was born in 164 A.H./780 A.D. and died in 233 A.H./847.

3. On p. 82, he says, “‘’Umar prohibited Abu Hurayra from transmitting hadith because of his lies about the Messenger of Allah S but the scholars accept his (Abu Hurayra’s) false ahadith.”

It is well known that the policy of the second caliph dictated the prohibition of transmitting the hadith of the Messenger of Allah S, and Abu Hurayra was beaten because of that since he, as he himself admitted, transmitted more ahadith than anyone else, not because he told lies about the Messenger of Allah S, as the writer claims.

4. Compiling the Qur’an: On p. 48, the text of the book reads: “One of your innovations, you Sunnis, is that you do not recognize the Qur’an. The proof is that you claim that the Qur’an was compiled by ‘Othman; so, was the Messenger of Allah S ignorant of what ‘Othman was doing?!”

He continues his attempt to disprove the compilation of the Qur’an by ‘Othman and to prove that it was compiled during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah S.

We say:

A. It is obvious that the story of ‘Othman compiling the Qur’an does not mean lack of recognition of the Qur’an. To use the first argument against the second is out of place.

B. ‘Othman did not compile the Qur’an. He unified all people to follow one text of the Qur’an only when Huthayfah ibn al-Yeman expressed to him his fear of variations in its text among the people. The Commander of the Faithful (as) supported Huthayfah’s fears; that is, he, too, wished all people should follow only one and the same text and, according to some narrators, the Imam said, “Had I been placed in charge, I would have done the same.”3

Perhaps the writer means that the Qur’an was put together during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah S, but both the first and second caliphs refused the Mushaf of the Messenger of Allah S because it contained the revelation, interpretation and reasons for such revelations as well as exegesis and other such texts which may have embarrassed many of those who were not pleased with the rulers being thus embarrassed, nor by disseminating facts relevant to them personally. They themselves collected the verses of the Qur’an in one single Mushaf, dropping the exegesis, interpretation and reasons of revelations, as is well known.

Sometimes, it is the Method of Deduction

Most conclusions reached in the book are good and accurate, but there are some statements in it where the deduction is not sound at all. They could have been strong and sound had hey been replaced by elements that make them more precise and effective.

The statements which caught our attention are the following:

1. Cursing and Condemning

A combination of cursing and condemning exists in the book which claims it is permissible to curse the sahabi who deviates from the right path. But he uses proofs justifying condemning, not cursing; so, refer to pp. 47-48.

It is obvious that Ali (as), during the Battle of Siffeen, prohibited the cursing of Mu’awiyah and his followers, asking people instead of cursing to describe their abominable deeds. Also, Imam al-Sadiq (as) ordered his followers not to curse and not to be a cursing people so that it would be said, “May Allah have mercy on Ja’far! He disciplined his followers, having done so very well.”

As for condemning, which means supplicating to Allah to distance a certain person from His mercy, it is something else. Allah Almighty has condemned, in His Book, many groups. He, Glory is His, also expressed His pleasure with the believers who condemn certain groups of people, saying, “These it is whom Allah shall condemn, and those who condemn shall condemn them (too)” (Qur’an, 2:159). Perhaps the reason is that condemning implies dissociation from and indictment of the deviation which they chose and of any aggressive conduct or a criminal act they committed. It does not aim at personally belittling them, as is the case with cursing.

2. The Prophet’s Doubt of His Own Prophetic Mission!

He also says on p. 91: “The Sunnis say that the Messenger of Allah S was in doubt about his own Prophetic Mission.” He supports his statement by what they have narrated that the Prophet S said, “Every time Gabriel was slow in visiting me, I thought that he descended on the son of al-Khattab.”

The writer could have added that the Qur’anic text proves that he is the Seal of all Prophets, and the hadith clearly states that there will be no prophet after him, so the argument will thus be complete. Without it, he may be rebutted by saying that there is no harm in the presence of two prophets at the same time as was the case with Moses and Aaron, peace with both of them, and other prophets.

3. Sunnis and the “Distortion” of the Qur’an

On pp. 51-52 as well as 92, “As for the Sunnis, they say that there is addition to and deletion from the Qur’an.”

He also says on pp. 72, 76,

What is well known about you, Sunnis, is that you claim that the Qur’an is distorted.” Al-’Abbasi said, “This is clearly a lie.” The ‘Alawide said, “Have you not narrated in your books that verses about the crane idols were revealed to the Messenger of Allah S then they were abrogated and deleted from the Qur’an?

Here, we would like to say, for the record, the following:

A. Members of the Islamic nation are unanimously in agreement with each other that there is no addition to (nor any deletion from) the Holy Qur’an.

B. Attributing the claim of addition to or deletion from the Qur’an to the Sunnis, or to those famous men among them, under the label of “a group among them,” is also not precise at all.

Had the writer said that there are some narratives reported by Sunnis in their Six Sihah books and other respected references which, had the Sunnis upheld their contexts, would have concluded that there is distortion in the Qur’an which is attested to by definite proofs and glorious evidences that there is no such thing at all…, his statement would have been accurate and solid.

C. The narrative talking about praising the idols in the shape of crane birds is rejected and refuted by many Sunni scholars although it seems that al-Bukhari does not refuse to accept it.

D. The story of crane idols does not say that the expression “The cranes! How sublime! Their intercession is earnestly anticipated” is a Qur’anic verse, nor does it claim that it used to be part of the Qur’an then was abrogated and deleted from it!

But this false narrative claims that Satan was the one who made the Prophet S pronounce it, then Gabriel went to him to acquaint him with the truth in its regard.

4. “He frowned and turned his back away”

Regarding verse 1 of Chapter 80 (‘Abas), he says on p. 97, “Authentic traditions transmitted by the Family of the Prophet S, in whose homes the Qur’an was revealed, indicate that this Chapter was revealed about ‘Othman ibn ‘Affan.”

This statement is not precisely accurate. The narrative is mentioned by al-Qummi in his Tafsir, and it is mentioned by al-Tibrisi in Mujma’ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an. There are no traditions (thus, plural, more than one); rather, al-Tibrisi’s narrative transmitted from Imam al-Sadiq (as) does not even mention ‘Othman by name. Instead, it says, “It was revealed about a man from Banu Umayyah.”

Describing this narrative as authentic, by saying that its isnad seems to be accurate, may be regarded as a loose expression. Let us keep in mind that the lack of an accurate isnad in the common way does not mean that the context of the narrative is not true. No matter what, this subject was researched by our Brother, ‘allama Shaikh Ridwan Shararah in a separate book titled Abasa wa Tawalla; Fiman Nazalat? (The Chapter starting with “He frowned and turned his back away”: Regarding whom was it revealed?); so, reference should be made to it.

5. Convictions of the Three Caliphs

On pp. 98-99, the book claims that “The Shi’as believe that they (the three caliphs) were not inwardly believers in their heart although they pretended, with their tongue and superficially, that they believed in Islam.”

Regarding this statement and others, we have many objections some of which are here recorded:

A. This “belief” is not recorded by the Shi’a, as a sect, in their books which deal with beliefs, nor did they contemplate it while discussing one’s creed and the crystallization of its particularities.

B. The Prophet S marrying their daughters is based on these daughters’ conviction, and it is not linked to their conviction or to the lack of it, or to that of each daughter’s father. There is no harm in a Muslim, including the Prophet S, marrying the daughter of someone who does not strongly believe in Islam. So, what would you say about someone who pretends to be adhering to Islam and to be convinced of it?!

C. As regarding ‘Othman being the “son-in-law” of the Prophet S, this is not proven at all because I have shown how ‘Othman married the Prophet’s step-daughters, not his biological daughters.”4

6. How do You Prove the Betrayal of Abu Bakr?

The author of the book provides a “proof” for Abu Bakr’s betrayal of the Prophet S from:

FIRST: the Qur’anic verse saying, “They do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them” (Qur’an, 4:65).

SECOND: The Prophet S cursed all those who did not enlist in Usamah’s army, and Abu Bakr was one of them. Refer to p. 99.

This “proof” does not hit the mark because this sacred verse is not relevant to their betrayal of the Prophet S. Yes, it does mean that those who did not accept the Prophet’s judgment are not true believers except if they pretend to accept it, then, when they get together, they cast doubt about such a judgment.

Also, the Prophet S cursing those who did not enlist does not prove the betrayal of those who did not enlist. Rather, it proves that such an individual is guilty of mutiny and of disobeying the Prophet’s order. It also proves that anyone who is cursed by the Prophet S is not a believer.

Perhaps the writer wants to say that when they refused to abide by the Prophet’s decision, thus disobeying his order, they did not do so openly. Rather, they did it in a cunning way wherein there is circumventing, evasion and trickery, pretending what was the opposite of their real intentions. They pretended that they were believers, obedient to the Prophet S, concerned about him during his sickness, which was all not true at all.

7.’Umar Doubting Prophetic Mission

He concludes on p. 100 that ‘’Umar [ibn al-Khattab] was always doubtful of the Prophet’s prophetic mission, providing evidence for that by quoting him as saying the following during the incident of the Hudaybiya (treaty): “I have never doubted the Pophethood of Muhammed more than I doubted it on the day of the Hudaybiya.”

We say that this statement of ‘’Umar does not prove that he was always doubtful of the Mission of our Prophet Muhammed S. Rather, it proves that he was quite doubtful of the Prophetic Mission, and that this happened to him many times, but that his doubt on the day of the Hudaybiya was the strongest and the deepest.

8. “My Nation’s Consensus will never be Wrong” and ‘Othman’s Murder

On p. 103, he cites the Prophet S as saying, “My nation’s consensus shall never be wrong” as evidence to the soundness of people killing ‘Othman ibn ‘Affan, using the same as evidence of the latter’s disbelief (in Islam).

It needs no argument that people’s consensus to kill someone who committed a crime for which the punishment is execution does not mean that everyone agreed to strip him of his attribute as a believer in Islam. Belief is something, while committing crimes punishable by death is something else. They may agree with each other, or they may not. The sacred hadith indicates that one may be worthy of punishment but does not prove that it was the consensus of everyone that he was not a believer. His disbelief may be proven through other proofs which have to be tangible and taken into consideration. Add to this the fact that Ali (as) and many others with him did not take part in killing ‘Othman5. This is a well known fact, although Ali (as) was neither pleased nor displeased with ‘Othman being killed as he himself is quoted as having said.

9. Tradition of العشرة المبشرة the Ten Men Given the Glad Tiding of Going to Paradise

The ‘Alawide decided that the hadith about the ten men who were (supposedly) brought the glad tiding of going to Paradise is false, basing his judgment on many proofs such as:

Talhah hurt the Prophet’s feelings when he said that he would marry his wife (‘A’isha, a cousin of Talhah) after his demise, so the following verse was revealed: “It does not behoove you to annoy the Messenger of Allah, nor should you marry his wives after him ever; surely this is grievous in the sight of Allah” (Qur’an, 33:53).

Another occurs on p. 107 where he says that Talhah and al-Zubayr conspired to get ‘Othman killed, and that the Messenger of Allah S had said, “The killer and the one killed are both in hell.”

We support his claim that the said verse was revealed with regard to Talhah, and that the latter did hurt the feelings of the Prophet S. We also rebut what some people claim, that is, that Talhah repented thereafter and did good deeds, then the hadith of the ten men given the glad tidings of going to Paradise came to be, so he was given such a glad tiding. To say that this “hadith” proved that Talhah repented is impossible. Also, his supposedly going to Paradise contrasts his disobedience of the Imam of his time, namely Ali (as), after that. Anyone who disobeys the Imam of his time goes to hell. It also contradicts his reneging from the oath of allegiance which he had sworn to the Commander of the Faithful (as).

Yes, although we support it, we say that to use the hadith relevant to the killer and the one killed going to hell is not applicable in every place. It does not apply to Talhah declaring mutiny against the Imam of his time whose Imamate was announced by the Messenger of Allah S.

As regarding his disobedience of ‘Othman, one may claim that it is justifiable since ‘Othman’s caliphate was dependent on the “correctness” of the caliphate of ‘’Umar, and ‘’Umar’s caliphate was dependent for its “correctness” on that of Abu Bakr. The latter was not legitimate because it came against the final Divine Decision which decreed that both Imamate and caliphate were relegated to Ali (as) and to nobody else. So, his disobedience of ‘Othman, when the latter introduced so many new things in Islam, follows a verdict, whereas his mutiny against Ali (as), who was nominated through texts as the Imam and the caliph, follows another.

10. Mut’a for the Sake of Getting Money

We are very surprised at a statement which he makes on p. 124. He says, “Do not they through mut’a receive an amount of money to spend on themselves and on their orphaned children?”

Such a statement may give the wrong impression that the Shari’a legislated mut’a as a source of income and to trade in one’s honor. This is neither reasonable nor acceptable. The dower in mut’a is just like it is in permanent marriage. Mut’a has its noble objectives and subjective justifications, as is the case with permanent marriage. It involves a solution, permitted by the Shari’a , a healthy one, too, for problems faced by humans; so, refer to my book about temporary marriage in Islam.

11. “Let me Resign, for I am not Your Best!”

Then we find him saying the following on p. 119: “He [Ali (as)] was independent of others, whereas others depended on him. Did not Abu Bakr say, ‘Let me resign, for I am not good enough for you so long as Ali (as) is among you’?”

What attracts our attention is the following:

FIRST: The circulated and well known text says, “Let me resign, for I am not the best of you so long as Ali (as) is among you” which carries a different meaning than the phrase “not good enough for you.”

SECOND: Abu Bakr’s statement “Let me resign..., etc.” has nothing to do with Ali (as) being independent or not. The most knowledgeable scholar may not be the very best among the public because what is the best is one thing, while dependence or independence is another.

  • 1. Conference of Baghdad’s Scholars, p. 135.
  • 2. Refer to Al-Kamil fil Tarikh, Vo. 10, pp. 204-05, 210.
  • 3. Refer to my book regarding important facts about the Holy Qur’an.
  • 4. Refer to my book titled Banat al-Nabi am Raba’ibih? (Daughters of the Prophet or his step-daughters?).
  • 5. If you research the incident of the attack on and the killing of `Othman in which protesters against his policies who came from various Islamic lands, even as far as North Africa, and how he was killed, you will come to know, just as I did, that Ali (as) sent both his son, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as), to defend `Othman when the latter’s mansion was besieged and when his life was in danger. Al-Hassan (as) was wounded in his forehead as he defended `Othman. Despite all of this, `Othman’s wife, Na’ila daughter of al-Qarafisah, urged Mu`awiyah and his supporters, such as Talhah and al-Zubayr, to accuse Ali (as) of being responsibile for `Othman’s murder. Na’ila was supported by `A’isha who raised an army to fight Ali (as) in the Battle of the Camel which took place in Basra in 36 A.H./656 A.D. and in which thousands of Muslims from both armies were killed. This was the first time a Muslim killed another Muslim, a prelude to what is now taking place throughout our Islamic world at the hands of the Wahhabi, Salafi and Takfiri terrorists. –Tr.

Texts And Legacies

These Chapters

Now it is time to introduce some texts included in many books of history and hadith. Such books contain many texts proving that the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) was, indeed, attacked, her privacy was invaded and she was beaten and hurt.

Apparently, this attack was repeated just as their attacks against the house of the Prophetic Mission were repeated, resulting in her miscarriage and her earning the honor of martyrdom. I find the following points to be worthy of being emphasized:

1. This case cannot be fully detailed but that we should restrict ourselves to what no fair-minded person can doubt. Otherwise, the written books are counted by the thousands, and we cannot quote them all here.

2. Even those who undertook the task of cleaning the legacy from impurities which they saw therein did not consider this event as one of those “impurities.” For example, the detail-oriented ‘allama Muhsin al-Amin, for example, who undertook the polishing of the text of Majalis al-’Aza’, relying on authentic references, as he puts it, including the book by Sulaym ibn Qays…, has mentioned these events, verified their authenticity and composed poetic verses about them. Listen to him saying the following:

“When I wrote Al-Majalis al-Saniyya, I purged them of all impurities, Praise be to Allah, distinguishing the peel from the pith, what is wrong from what is right.”1

He also said, “When I wrote Lawa’ij al-Ashjan, I incorporated in it the recitation of the epic of martyrdom (of Imam al-Husayn (as)), and the text recited by those who conducted such majalis was incorporated in Al-Majalis al-Saniyya. The ahadith, therefore, were sound, and the impurities were taken out.”2

But what al-Zahra’ (sa) had to put up with is available mostly in books meeting the same criteria which he preconditioned for his own books for the collection of such majalis and for “polishing” them. This means that he endorses such criteria and considers them non-negotiable.

3. We have included in the part dedicated to the texts many chapters which have to be put together; so, take notice of the following:

A. One Chapter contains about forty narratives among which many are authentic and reliable, all detailing what trials and tribulations al-Zahra’ (sa) had to endure following the demise of her father S.

B. Another Chapter contains poetry verses. Many of them are included there.

C. We also cited many texts in a third Chapter discussing al-Muhsin.

D. In addition to the above, there is a Chapter dealing with the sectarian debates regarding this matter during centuries.

E. Another Chapter, titled “The Event in the Words of Narrators and Historians,” contains scores of texts emphasizing the harm suffered by al-Zahra’ (sa) following the demise of her father S.

If you put all of these Chapters together, you will get a large number of texts which cannot all be false or fabricated, and this is the meaning of tawatur, that is, consecutive reporting. Were we to convince ourselves of their falsehood, we will never be able to be convinced of any theological or historical fact. Or, say, we would find ourselves incapable of being convinced of many of them.

4. It may be noticed that there is some similarity between some texts. This suggests that there is no need to repeat the same text. Yet, we repeated it in order to attract the attention to the existence of a variation or a particularity in the narrative, or in the narrator. This has taken place in just a few places the number of which does not exceed the fingers on one hand; so, take note.

5. We mentioned a very small number of texts cited by late authors because we found them containing some particularities which we could not research and verify by comparing them with what early authors had recorded; so, take note of this, too.

6. Finally, if someone relies sometimes, for issuing his verdicts, on one single narrative, be it commended, verified or regarded as weak, one where there is no need to lie, requiring all people in all lands to act on it, is it reasonable that he rejects or doubts the fixing of the text of such a huge number of texts where the sources are continuously emphasizing its context, confirming one’s conviction that it did take place?!

No matter what, we can add the following Chapters to what we have already presented, apologizing to the kind reader about being satisfied with this much. Anyone can find more of what is useful. Try it, and you will find the proof.

Let us now proceed to our undertaking. From Allah do we derive help, and on Him do we rely.

OPPRESSING AL-ZAHRA’ (sa)

IN CENTURIES OF ARABIC POETRY

Poetry is a Reliable Historical Chronicle

We are of the view that poets have thoroughly covered the oppression through which al-Zahra’ (sa) underwent, the persecution, the beating and the miscarriage since the first generations and till our time. They let their poetry target those who participated in all of that or did not stop it. Some of them were contemporary to the Imams (as), or their time was close to that of the Imams’.

This is regarded as a reliable and strong historical record. Its strength underscores the fact that its contexts were true as it was transmitted by traditionists and historians. Here we would like to cite a bouquet of such poetry in successive centuries and till our time:

1. Sayyid al-Himyari3 (d. 173 A.H./789 A.D.)

Sayyid al-Himyari, may Allah have mercy on him, was contemporary to Imams al-Sadiq and al-Kazim (as) and he says the following:

Beaten, she was, and of her rights deprived,

And was made to taste after his demise of wounds.

God sever the hands that her did they hit,

And of that who agreed thereto and followed suit.

God may never forgive him nor

Spare him of the horror of leaving the grave.4

2. Al-Barqi (d. 245 A.H./859 A.D.)

Al-Barqi, namely ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ammar, has said,

They gathered the firewood at the house,

And those who ignited it kept taunting,

While none were at the house except

The Purified Lady, the Truthful one,

And the Prophet’s two grandsons.5

3. Al-Nu’man, the Judge (d. 363 A.H./974 A.D.)

Judge al-Nu’man, an Isma’ili, composed a poem about what happened following the demise of the Messenger of Allah S in one inclusive poem wherein he says,

Both swore fealty to him and said:

The best, you are, of everyone in state!

Among them were people of those at Badr slain,

And at others, people of confined grudge, plain.

They swore fealty, the heads of their folks,

So people swore, too, on that day

Except a few who recognized the way

Of their Prophet, so they kept away.

To Ali, their Imam, they went;

Said he: Your effort is already spent!

They said: No, We shall do it for sure!

So he said: Set out now and your heads shave

So people will know you then come in a wave

To me so we may fight, God will make a way

For us to judge, and we will see what He does say.

They failed when they saw him determined,

So those who went to him counted only seven,

While fealty was sworn by all the rest

Who thought swearing it was the best.

I did call them by their very names.

He said: I shall not fight you for sure

For few you are and cannot meet the rest

So they sat to see what he would do

With them and what order to issue.

‘’Umar came to them with a group

Seeing the man they installed was not obeyed

Till they reached the door of Fatima

The Batul lady who boycotted them.

She intercepted between him and them

Hoping they would not reach her man

But he broke the door, the first such insan,

And they forced their way through her veil

As she did cry, ask for help and wail.

They hit her, so she did miscarry

Al-Zubayr heard the call and went in a hurry

But stumbled, his sword was taken

And was surely by them broken

So they caught al-Zubayr and he

In their hands a captive came to be.

The wasi came out with the rest of the men

Seeing their defenses were totally in vain.

Them did they surely overpower

Bringing them to ‘Ateeq in an hour..

He goes on to say:

What a sigh in my heart

Like fire I feel in my mind.

Their killing al-Zahra’ Fatima

Ignited in my insides the fire

For it is known among the people

She died after having miscarried

She ordered to be at night buried

And her grave’s marks obliterated

Now nobody knows where she is buried.

So that only her cousin would be there

And his family, and in distress she did disappear.

Her Lord greets her, with her nations she was displeased.

They swore fealty to him against their wish, so pay heed,

As taqiyya. Alas! God for His servants did allow

Not to be forced to make for the ruler an untrue vow.

Till he says,

It is narrated for sure

That he said when he came:

Swear it! Said he: I shall not!

He said: Then I shall have you killed!

May Allah testify that he was weak

When he swore fealty to the usurper

Fearing being killed, and others swore too

For fear of those who were there, they knew.

If they made the Trusted One so weak

Before him Aaron was treated the same

By the nation of Moses when they willed

To otherwise have him killed

Treading the same steps indeed

The steps the wasis had to tread

Just as the sent Messenger said.

4. Mihyar al-Daylani (d. 428 A.H./1037 A.D.)

The brilliant poet, Mihyar al-Daylami, may Allah have mercy on his soul, has said the following lines in a poem he wrote:

How come it was not severed

The hand that stretched to harm you?

That of the son of one inferior to you?

They were elated when they insulted you,

Being wrongful to your own father.

5. Ali ibn al-Muqarrab (d. 629 A.H./1232 A.D.)

Prince Ali ibn Muqarrab, of al-Ahsa’ (Saudi Arabia), one of the wise and well known men of letters, has said:

I wonder which one of them shall I mourn

And for whom shall my tears pour down?

To the wasi when, at his mosque, he was crowned

By the sword before bowing down?

Or to the Batul, Fatima, who was deprived

Of her inheritance, rightfully hers according to all

And according to one who to her said:

You sought wrong, so desist

Your father loudly declared before many:

“We, prophets, leave for our sons nothing to inherit.

“What we leave is for each and all.”

So be pleased with what your father said.

She said: “Give me what my father left me

The best of all people, the one with intercession.”

But they regarded their testimony as void

And the text of the Book did not convince them.

She remained oppressed, persecuted, when her claim

Was rejected, when her ribs were crushed.

Or should I mourn the one who had to drink

From their Ju’da the cup of disguised poison?6

6. Al-Khali’i (d. 750 A.H./1349 A.D.)

Shaikh Ali ibn ‘Abd al-’Aziz al-Khali’i al-Hilli said the following among other verses in a poem:

O Lord of the one who was disputed about

What her father left her of inheritance and who

Was sought by those of grudge and hatred

And who made one drink the cup of grief

To a father because of her son

Like the son of Marjana, the accursed one

Who made me of it drink

And who before even called a liar

Someone by the Lord from sins purified

And is there another son of a Prophet

For whom fire was lit

As those who did circle and spurn

My home did they indeed burn?7

7. ‘Ala' ad-Din al-Hilli (killed in 786 A.H./1384 A.D.)

The virtuous scholar and accomplished man of letters, ‘Ala' ad-Din son of Shaikh Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Hilli al-Shafhani, a contemporary of the First Martyr, who, may Allah have mercy on him, explained some of his poets, said,

They unanimously agreed on it, with their whims,

Ignorance and hope, to burn the house of al-Zahra’

Fatima! What an awful momentous thing to do!

A house wherein five whose sixth is Gabriel

Without a just cause was set ablaze,

And the Murtada from his home was forcibly taken...8

8. Mughamis al-Hilli (d. in the late 900s A.H./15th Century A.D.)

Shaikh Mughammis al-Hilli said the following in one of his poems:

The Purified One, Fatima, her inheritance was seized

By the worst of people as her tears were shed

After having miscarried because of a blow,

So she passed away, what was hers confiscated.9

9. Muflih al-Saymari (d. 900 A.H./1495 A.D.)

The famous ‘allama, the great faqih and respected man of letters, Shaikh Muflih al-Saymari, said the following in one of his poems:

Shackled in the straps of his own sword they took Ali

And ‘Ammar before his rib crushed and was assaulted,

And they raided the home of the daughter of the Chosen One

And of their own Imam as one kept calling:

In her house burn a fire!

Of inheritance of the Prophet was she deprived

And, moreover, she was whipped and slapped.10

10. Al-Hurr al-’Amili (d. 1104 A.H./1693 A.D.)

The public speaker and ‘allama, faqih Shaikh al-Hurr al-’Amili, author of the modern encyclopedia known as Wasa'il al-Shi’a, wrote a poem wherein he says,

Her children are five: Hassan and Husayn

And Zainab, older than Umm Kultham

And Muhsin was miscarried when

‘’Umar forcibly opened their door

As it became known to all.

So she died after the Prophet

Willingly went to her Lord satisfied

With what He for her had been decreed.

Such brings pain to the heart

And every other calamity is surely less in pain

What grief, humiliation, persecution and oppression

And savagery became clear to everyone.

Then he explains how she died saying,

Its cause, it was said, natural death but

It was also said that it was caused of the pain

Inflicted from a blow dealt to her by that man

When she instantly miscarried her fetus

For whom she kept weeping and wailing.11

11. Al-Salih al-Fattani al-’Amili

Shaikh Muhammed Mahdi al-Fattani al-Nabati al-’Amili, a scholar, poet, imam of fiqh, hadith and tafsir, has said,

O Master! O Messenger of Allah! Stand and see

What happened to your very family:

More that what you did tell:

They took away caliphate from Ali,

And what you said many did deny.

They led him to so-and-so to swear fealty,

Against his wish, oppressors taking him forcefully.

For that, he was with the sword his Shabir became

A martyr, and by poison his Shubbar died.

As if he was not the like of the Prophet

Nor was he, by his Lord, purified.

And Fatima is there, her sanctity did they violate,

By one who caused her rib at the door to break.

Your Husayn, without a cause, slain,

His body cut to parts, with blood stained

Dusted, lying on the ground is your Husayn.12

12. Sayyid Hayder al-Hilli (d. 1304 A.H./1887 A.D.)

The great poet and man of letters and one of the most prominent poets of Iraq of his time, namely Sayyid Hayder al-Hilli, has said the following in one of his poems:

No, by your pardon, the folks did no pardon implement,

Nor, by your clemency, were the folks at all clement:

What your mother carried they did cause to miscarry,

Your grandfather’s son with arrow to death did they carry.13

13. Sayyid Baqir al-Hindi (d. 1329 A.H./1911 A.D.)

The great scholar and prominent poet, Sayyid Baqir son of Sayyid Muhammed al-Hindi, has said,

You don’t know with fire they burned the door,

Thus they hoped to put out, with fire, the noor.

You don’t know what the nail had to do

With Fatima’s chest, if you only knew

In what condition her broken rib was

What miscarriage, why red were her eyes,

Why her ear-rings on the ground did scatter,

Unveiled was she when her house they did enter,

As Ali looked on, the man of manliness

The honorable, the fearless.

The Lion of Allah did they harass,

Like a camel did they lead him in duress.

The Batul behind them stumbled

On the tail of her robe which they pulled

With moaning that in the hearts did it ignite

The fir in anxiety melted the stones of height.

She called on them: Let my cousin Ali alone or I

To the Hearing One, the Seeing, shall I cry.

They paid her no heed,

By them she was scared indeed,

So they took Ali as a captive away,

Tied, like a captive; they had their day...

He goes on till he says the following:

Ali sees and hears, and the sword is sharp

And Ali’s might is not to be taken lightly

But his Brother’s will restricted what he could

Which was more than one really would,

So patience, O one entrusted with the affair

One whose judgment is wise and fair

One with a calamity that is on and on

One that melts one whose heart is stone.

How many calamities my narration of them to prolong

Wherein purity was stripped in time not so long?

How, eyes being quite red, can thee control,

O Son of Taha, a sweet slumber at all?

So weep and sigh, since her foes

Did not let her weep and wail her woes.

As if I can see him saying, as he does weep,

With little solace but with tears high and deep:

May I after her never take for my relief

A home of happiness after her “house of grief.”

So when, O son of Fatima, will you bring to life in a way

Tyrants and oppressors even before the Judgment Day?14

14. ‘Allama al-Qazwini (d. 1335 A.H./1917 A.D.)

The virtuous ‘allama, Sayyid Muhammed son of Sayyid Mahdi al-Qazwini al-Hilli al-Najafi, has said,

Salim said something, said I: O Salman!

Did they really enter without permission?!

Said he: Yes, by the Glory of the Great One

While al-Zahra’ had no veil at all.

But she behind the door sought refuge,

Observing the rules of veil that are huge.

When they saw her, they did squeeze

Her, almost killing her, may my life

Be her ransom. Said she; O Fidda!

Support me, for surely have they

Killed my fetus this very day.

She miscarried, the Daughter of

Guidance, O sorrow, O pain!

Miscarried her son,

The one called Muhsin.15

15. Hafiz Ibrahim (d. 1351 A.H./1932)

(Egyptian) Hafiz Ibrahim, Poet of the Nile, whose poem is quoted above on p. 161, has said,

A statement to Ali said by ‘’Umar,

How great the one who heard,

How respectful the one who said!

“To burn your home shall I

“Leave none in it if you

“Do not swear fealty,” though

“The Daughter of the Chosen one is inside.”

Only Abu Hafs could thus say

To ‘Adnan’s knight and protector.16

Commenting on the above-cited verses, Grand Ayatollah ‘allama al-Muzaffar, may Allah have mercy on his soul, has said, “This poet mistakenly thought that the said statement was indicative of the courage of ‘’Umar who demonstrated no courage at all during (all) famous battles, nor did he ever record any feats of valor during the many wars waged by the Prophet S! This was only due to a trust entrusted to him [Ali (as)] by the Prophet S who admonished him to be patient. Had he (Ali (as)) confronted ‘’Umar, the latter would surely have fled away.”17

16. Al-Isfahani, the Critic (d. 1361 A.H./1942 A.D.)

The great philosopher and religious authority and mentor/critic, al-Isfahani, said the following in a poetic urjuza in his diwan known as Al-Anwar al-Qudsiyya:

Her calamity, the opening to all calamities,

Was what she went through at the door,

For the talk about that door is surely grievous

Due to what the hands of betrayal committed.

Did the foes really assault

The House of Guidance,

The landing place of Revelation,

The center of all bliss?

Was the fire they did ignite

At her house’s door

And the Sign of Nur

Overwhelms it with light?

Her door is the door of the Prophet

Of mercy, the Prophet of salvation

Of this and every nation.

Nay! Her door is the door of

The most High, the most Exalted.

As though Allah’s Countenance was manifested.

With that fire they gained nothing but shame

After which there will be that of the Fire of Hell.

How ignorant some people are!

The fire burns not the Nur of Allah!

The most Exalted, the most Sublime!

But the breaking of the rib has none to repair

Except the sword of one of might and power.

What wrenched those sacred ribs was a calamity

None like it in all eternity.

From the spring of blood that gushed out of her chest

Can one tell what she suffered, through what she went.

They transgressed all limits when they

On the cheek slapped her, may

The hand of oppression God paralyze.

And still remains the redness of her eyes

Of the eyes of knowledge can only be remedied

By white swords when the banner is spread.

And the whips have a sound of dreariness

Heard by Time, lacking any happiness.

Remains, like a bracelet, the mark

On the wrist of al-Zahra’ that was so dark

The very strongest of any argument.

From the blackness of her arm the firmament

Was blackened, O Arm of Allah! O Imam al-Murtada!

How the sword’s scabbard was on her side planted

Bringing to memory all what to her happened.

I know not the story of the nail,

So ask the Custodian of all secrets.

In the womb of glory things that

Cause the inside to bleed.

Can they really hide

What is known and wide?

What about the door, the wall, the blood?

True witnesses which none can hide.

The criminal committed against her son

His crime the like of which is none.

So mountains were crushed

On hearing her wailing, though hushed.

Is this how the Prophet’s Daughter should be treated

With such cruelty should she be meted?

Running after power, sins do they heap!

Should one a grieved, saddened woman keep,

For fear of slander, forbidding her to weep?

By Allah! She ought to shed tears of blood

As long as the earth remains and the world

For having lost the dear one, her great father

For her oppression and for insulting her protector.

Should the inheritance of the Truthful One

Become free for all but her legacy none?

From the very best of creation?

How could one call her statement a lie

For it will be one’s answer to the implication

Of the meaning of the verse of Purification...?

Should the faith be learned from a bedouin

Leaving aside the one referred to in the Book?

Thus they confiscated what she did own

Committing the extreme calamity like none.

Woe on them! They asked for a proof

Contrary to the clearly defined Sunnah!

And their rejection of those who did testify

Is the greatest testimony to what we clarify.

Filling the gaps was not coincidental

Nay! They closed hers and the Murtada’s door.

They turned away from the truth and sins score,

The did close its door, as though their intention

Was feeling secure against its retribution.

Should part of the Greatly Purified one

Be buried at night, her grave unknown to man?

She was not buried at night and secretly

Except because she was with the oppressors angry.

Nobody heard that she could ever thus be

In esteem unrecognized, her grave unknown to you and me.

Woe unto them from the Wrath of the Great One

For having oppressed the flower of the Chosen One.18

17. Kashifal-Ghita’ (d. 1373)19

The renown scholar, authority and mentor Muhammed Husayn Kashifal-Ghita’, may Allah have mercy on him, said the following in one of his poems:

At the Taff did a wounded hero fall as did one

Behind the door fall named al-Muhsin,

And in every tent

A fire was set

From the very flame

That did burn in shame

The door of the house where did reside

The daughter of the Prophet sent to guide.20

There are other renowned poets whom we cannot cite here hoping this much should suffice to make our point clear, and we seek help from none but Allah.

2. Beating Women

What he, may Allah have mercy on him, considered as a justification for discrediting an Arab man beating a woman as not eligible for justification at all for the following reasons:

FIRST: The statement of the Commander of the Faithful (as) about shaming a man who beats a woman does not mean it was impossible for them to do it in the presence of a stronger motive which would prompt them to do the most heinous crime and discard the greatest sanctities. This is so especially when such a motive is lust for power and authority, when the government, once well established, could wipe out such shame by the awe it enforces and by the wealth and power it would enjoy. Necks would bow down to it either out of fear or greed. Then the challenger finds himself overwhelmed by the post of succession to the Prophetic Mission, by its awe and sanctity, by respect for the creed, for conviction among the general public.

On the other hand, it was a shame to kill newborn females or kill a son or a brother for worldly gains. Al-Khayzaran killed her son out of lust for authority, as they claim, and al-Ma’mun killed his brother (al-Amin), and they are well known for their statement that “authority is sterile; it has no womb.”21

Had there been adherence to abstention from doing what is ugly, they would not have said to the Prophet S, and he heard what they said, “The Prophet is hallucinating.” This happened although the religious obligation is stronger than that of customs and traditions. Pronouncing a statement like this about the Prophet brings them eternal shame, and it is much greater than hitting a woman or invading her home or letting her listen to very rude and insolent words.

To sum up, if one fears shame, he has to fear it in all his affairs and circumstances, not fearing it here rather than there. For one to fear shame here and not there, as in daring to say something like the above to the Messenger of Allah S, is not clear, nor is it acceptable. Rather, when we see him having “courage” to accept shame in certain situations makes us hesitate to brand as lies what is attributed to him in another situation. So, how is it when this is proven with decisive proofs and clear evidences? Can this person who casts doubts afford to deny their threats against al-Zahra’ (sa) to set her house to fire while she and her children were all inside it? Is this not a shame for those who make such threats? Is it possible that slapping her on the cheek is the only shame while nothing is?!

SECOND: This individual, who seeks support from what Kashif al-Ghita’ says, is the same one who places big question marks on the authenticity of texts recorded in Nahjul Balagha and in other books if they point out to any weakness in woman’s personality. This text, the one which he cites as testimony for such a weakness, says, “... They are weak in body, in spirit, and in mind.” Yet he himself has doubted the particularity of this same text more than once! So, how can he cite a proof here for something which he somewhere else denies altogether?!

THIRD: During the battle of Kerbala’, the daughters of the Messenger of Allah S were beaten with whips when dark grudge blinded their minds and visions, distracting them from considering its shameful consequences in this life and their being exposed to the Wrath of the Almighty in the life to come.

There are many historical proofs which testify that in the presence of an impetus stronger than keeping shame away, they do not for a moment hesitate to accept such a shame. We would like to mention some of these proofs as follows:

1. A father used to bury his female newborn in the ground for fear she would eat his food; Allah Almighty has said, “And when the female infant buried alive is asked for what sin she was killed” (Qur’an, 81:8-9).

2. The same person states that Ibn Ziyad, may Allah curse him, was about to kill Lady Zainab when she reminded him of things which outraged him. ‘Amr ibn Hareeth interfered, stopping him by saying to him, “She is only a woman; can she be held accountable for what she said? She cannot be blamed when she thus prattles.”22

3. This same person, who seeks from the statement by Kashif al-Ghita’ support for his own claim, states that Zainab (sa) was whipped, and so were the daughters who were born to the one who received the wahi23, peace with them all; so, refer to his books and speeches.

4. Sumayya, mother of ‘Ammar ibn Yasir, was killed while being tortured in Mecca by the “Pharaoh of Quraish,” namely Abu Jahl, may Allah curse him, becoming the first lady martyr in Islamic history.24

5. ‘’Umar (ibn al-Khattab) used to torture a bondmaid from Banu Mu’ammal. He used to keep beating her till he felt tired of it. It is then that he would say to her, “I apologize to you for stopping beating you; I only stopped because I felt bored.”25 Umm Sharik, may Allah have mercy on her, was tortured, too; so, why did someone’s fear of shame stop him from committing such shameful acts?

6. Books of history and tradition tell us that when ‘Othman ibn Math’un died, women wept, so ‘’Umar (ibn al-Khattab) kept whipping them. The Messenger of Allah S took the whip away from ‘’Umar’s hands as he (as) said to him, “Wait, O ‘’Umar! Let them weep..., etc.”26

7. ‘’Umar (ibn al-Khattab) beat the women who mourned the death of Abu Bakr, so much so that the Mu’tazilite scholar said, “The first to be beaten by ‘’Umar was Umm Farwah daughter of Abu Quhafah [sister of Othman ibn ‘Affan]. Abu Bakr died, so women mourned him, and among them was his sister, Umm Farwah. ‘’Umar prohibited them repeatedly, yet they kept doing it, so he took Umm Farwah from among them and kept hitting her with his baton. The other women dispersed as they fled away.”27 Others have documented this incident, so let those who would like to research it do just that.28

8. When Khalid ibn al-Walid died, women assembled at the house of Maymuna to mourn him. [Then caliph] ‘’Umar came and beat them with his baton. The veil of one of them fell on the ground, so they said, “O commander of the faithful! Her veil!” He said, “Leave her, for she has no sanctity.”29

9. The Prophet S permitted anyone to kill Hubar ibn al-Aswad because of what he had committed against Zainab [Prophet’s step-daughter] as is well known.

FOURTH: Why does the conscience of these folks not recognize that ‘’Umar was the one who hit al-Zahra’ (sa), justifying it by attaching shame to him, while their conscience accepts to attach the same to Qunfath instead?! Just as ‘’Umar was an Arab who was apprehensive of a stigma, so was Qunfath al-’Adawi [of the Banu ‘Udayy tribe]! Just as ‘’Umar belonged to the tribe of Banu ‘Udayy, so was Qunfath. Why apply a principle to one and not to the other?!

But al-Tasatturi30, the critic, has sated that Qunfath belonged to Taim tribe, that he was not ‘Adawi, and that the meaning of the text is that he was loyal to Bana ‘Udayy because he was their slave... Whether he belonged to Banu ‘Udayy or to Bana Taim, if Arabs regarded beating a woman as a foul act, any Arab should denounce such an act and reject it, whether this person committed it or that. If a slave committed such an act to an Arab woman, an Arab man would confront him, according to their concepts, with a greater sensitivity and denunciation.

FIFTH: Ali (as) is quoted as having said that they did not confiscate Qunfath’s property, as they would have done to any of their slaves had such a slave committed an act like that because they appreciated how he hit al-Zahra’31

Their appreciation of his having hit a woman, namely al-Zahra’ (sa), the Head of the Women of Mankind, is an additional shame attached to them. It indicts them and shatters the veil of their hidden intentions. It proves that they were not concerned about such shame nor about enraging Allah and His Messenger S on account of al-Zahra’ (sa) being angered if they found a stronger impetus, particularly the achievement of power that would enable them to virtually rule the entire Islamic world and become the successors of the Prophet S, a post which has its sanctity and significance as well as people’s respect.

This also invalidates the claim of one who says that they used to hold Fatima (sa) in very high esteem, that they respected her and sought to please her, etc.

As regarding their attempt to appease her, we will prove that it was nothing but a political ploy, a failed and an unacceptable one.

  • 1. A`yan al-Shi`a, Vol. 10, p. 173.
  • 2. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 343.
  • 3. His full name is Isma`il ibn Muhammed ibn Yazid ibn Rabi`ah ibn Mufrigh al-Himyari, “Abu Hashim” and also “Abu `ãmir”. He was born during the Umayyad’s time, and he blasted them in his poetry. I must add that the author, may the Almighty reward him, seems to have spent little effort providing us with brief biographies of the individuals to whom he refers throughout his two-volume book, perhaps thinking that we already know them. – Tr.
  • 4. Al-Sirat al-Mustaqim, Vol. 3, p. 13.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Adab al-Taff, Vol. 4, p. 32 from Ithbat al-Hudat.
  • 7. Al-Turayhi, Al-Muntakhab, p. 161.
  • 8. Al-Amini, Al-Ghdir, Vol. 6, p. 391.
  • 9. Al-Turayhi, Al-Muntakhab, p. 293.
  • 10. Ibid., p. 137.
  • 11. Urjaja fi Tawarikh al-Nabi wal ‘A’imma, pp. 13-14 (a manuscript a the library of the Center of Islamic Studies). Refer to the biographies of renown women on pp. 316-17, Vol. 2.
  • 12. Adab al-Taff, Vol. 5, pp. 329-30 from p. 323, Vol. 2, of Al-Majma` al-Ra’iq (manuscript at the Library of Imam al-Sadiq (as), Kazimiyya, Iraq).
  • 13. Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 26. Sayyid Hayder al-Hilli, Diwan.
  • 14. Riyad al-Madh wal Ratha’, pp. 197-98.
  • 15. Ibid., p. 6.
  • 16. Hafiz Ibrahim, Diwan, Vol. 1, p. 75 (published by Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyya, Egypt).
  • 17. Dala’il al-Sidq, Vol. 3, p. 54.
  • 18. Al-Anwar al-Qudsiyya, pp. 42-44.
  • 19. The late Muhammed-Husayn ãl Kashif al-Ghita was born in al-Najaf al-Ashraf in 1294 A.H./1876 A.D. and died in 1373 A.H./1954 A.D. – Tr.
  • 20. Al-Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husayn (as), p. 3
  • 21. Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil fil Tarikh, Vol. 6, pp. 99-100. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 8, p. 205.
  • 22. Jannat al-Ma’wa, p. 82. `Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husayn, p. 424 (English translation by Yasin T. al-Jibouri).
  • 23. Al-Insan wal Hayat, p. 271.
  • 24. Refer to Al-Isti`ab (as referred to in a footnote in Al-Isaba), Vol. 4, pp. 330-31, 333 and Al-Isaba, Vol. 4, pp. 334-35. Ibn Kathir, Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya, Vol. 1, p. 495. Usd al-Ghaba, Vol. 5, p. 481. Al-Ya`qubi, Vol. 2, p. 28.
  • 25. Ibn Hisham, Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya, Vol. 1, p. 341. Al-Sira al-Halabiyya, Vol. 1, p. 300. Ibn Kathir, Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya, Vol. 1, p. 493. Al-Mahbar, p. 184.
  • 26. Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Vol. 1, pp. 237, 335. Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, Vol. 3, p. 190, labeling it as “authentic.” In his Talkhis, al-Dhahbi says in a footnote that its isnad is accurate. Al-Tayalisi, Musnad, p. 351. Mujma` al-Zawa’id, Vol. 3, p. 17.
  • 27. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 1, p. 181.
  • 28. Al-Amini, Al-Ghadir, Vol. 6, p. 161, quoting Kanz al-`Ummal, Vol. 8, p. 119 and Al-Isaba, Vol. 3, p. 606.
  • 29. Al-Amini, Al-Ghadir, Vol. 6, p. 162, quoting Vol 8, p. 118, of Kanz al-`Ummal.
  • 30. Refer to Qamus al-Rijal, Vol. 7, pp. 393-94.
  • 31. Jannat al-Ma’wa, p. 84. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, pp. 302-03. Sulaym ibn Qays, Vol. 2, pp. 674-75. Al-`Awalim, Vol. 11, p. 413.

Texts And Legacies From The Fourteen Infallible Ones

Traditions Regarding How al-Zahra’ (sa) was Persecuted

There are numerous traditions cited by the Infallible Ones clearly outlining how al-Zahra’ (sa) was persecuted. They deal with how her house was assaulted with the intention to burn it, how the burning did actually take place, how she was hit, how she miscarried, and many other details of what she went through during the said assault. These narrations are consecutively reported (mutawatir) even if we do not add to them what others narrated and what the historians and others recorded in their books as facts. The latter is also quite numerous, even consecutively reported, as we have already pointed out.

We would like here to cite a large number of texts narrated by the Infallible Ones (as) in particular so that this matter becomes quite clear; so, let us set out to explore the following narratives and sacred legacies, and surely Allah is the One Who grants success.

Two Narratives Before the Reader

In al-Tusi’s Amali, the author states the following:

Relying on his isnad, from his mentor, from his father, may Allah be pleased with him, he is quoted as having said, “We were told by Muhammed ibn Muhammed as saying that ‘Abu ‘Abdullah, Muhammed ibn ‘Imran, informed me saying that al-Zayyat said that Ahmed ibn Muhammed al-Jawhari said that al-Hassan ibn ‘Alal al-’Anzi said that ‘Abd al-Karam ibn Muhammed said that Muhammed ibn Ali said that Muhammed ibn Munqir cites Ziyad ibn al-Munthir saying that Shurahbil quotes Umm al-Fadl daughter of al-’Abbas said: When the Messenger of Allah S was under the weight of the sickness whereby he passed away, he once woke up, and we were weeping. He said: What causes you to weep? We said: O Messenger of Allah! We weep not to gain anything but to our departure from us; we weep for the cessation of the report from Heaven, and we weep over the nation after you. He said: You surely will be the oppressed and the downtrodden after me.”1

What Sacred Texts Narrate

1. Abu Bakr al-Shirazi, with regards to what is revealed in the Qur’an with reference to the Commander of the Faithful (as), quotes Muqatil quoting ‘Ata’ regarding the verse saying, “Verily, We granted Moses the Book” saying that the Torah used to have the following: “O Moses! I have chosen you and chosen a vizier for you who is your brother (Aaron) by your father and mother just as I chose for Muhammed Eleya who is his brother, vizier, wasi and successor. Congratulations to both of you for having such brothers, and congratulations to them for having you for brothers: Eleya, father of two grandsons, al-Hassan and al-Husayn and of a third one, al-Muhsin, one of his offspring, just as I created for your brother, Aaron, Shabar, Shubayr and Mushabbar.”2

Note:

We started with both of these narratives despite our knowledge that the first is general to the degree that there is no room to count it among the narratives which we are in the process of presenting to you. The second is not narrated by the Infallible Ones (as).

FIRST: We would like to point out to the existence of many texts containing this same meaning, i.e. the persecution of the Household of the Prophet S and their being oppressed.

SECOND: We would like to prepare the reader to enter and be acquainted with the environments of transgression, humiliation, oppression and treating the family of the Prophet S as weaklings.

THIRD: This second tradition is narrated in some of Allah’s revealed Books. For this reason, we included it on the list of such traditions. It also testifies to the oppression to which al-Muhsin was exposed and which some people try to deny.

What is Narrated From the Messenger of Allah (S)

2. Sulaym ibn Qays has quoted ‘Abdullah ibn al-’Abbas, when Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah [al-Ansari] was sitting next to him, as saying that the Prophet S said to Ali (as) at the conclusion of a lengthy sermon, “Quraish will revolt against all of you, and they will be unanimous in oppressing you. So, if you find supporters, you should fight them back. But if you do not find supporters, hold your hand away and do not shed your blood. Martyrdom is behind you, and may Allah condemn your killer.” Then the Prophet S faced his daughter (sa) and said, “You will be the first to join me from among my Ahl al-Bayt, and you are the Head of the Women of Paradise. You will face oppression and malice, so much so that you will be hit, and one of your ribs will be broken; may Allah condemn your killer...”3

3. Ibrahim ibn Muhammed al-Juwayni al-Shafi’i, relying on the isnad of Ali bin Ahmed ibn Musa al-Daqqaq from Muhammed ibn Abu ‘Abdullah al-Kufi from Musa ibn ‘Imran al-Nakh’i from al-Nawfali from al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abu Hamzah from his father from Sa’id ibn Jubayr from Ibn ‘Abbas, has narrated saying that the Messenger of Allah S was once sitting when al-Hassan (as) came. Seeing him, the Prophet (S) wept.

Then he said, “Come to me, come to me, O son!” Then al-Husayn (as) came followed by Fatima (sa). After that the Commander of the Faithful (as) came. His companions asked him, and he answered them. Among what he said to them was: “As for my daughter Fatima (sa), she is the Head of the Women of Mankind... When I saw her, I remembered what she will have to endure after me. It is as if humiliation entered her house, violating her privacy, confiscating her rights, depriving her of her inheritance, breaking her side, causing her to miscarry as she will call our: ‘O Muhammed!’ but there will be none to respond to her.

She will seek help, but she will not be helped. She will remain after me grieved, depressed, tearful... Then she will see herself humiliated after being, during her father’s lifetime, honored and dignified... She will be the first to rejoin me from among my Ahl al-Bayt. She will come to me sad, depressed, usurped, murdered. It will then be said by the Messenger of Allah S, ‘O Lord! Condemn whoever condemned her! Punish whoever confiscated what belonged to her! Humiliate whoever humiliated her! And keep in Your Fire whoever hit her on her side till she miscarried her son!’ The angels will at that time say, ‘Ameen!’”4

Shaikh al-Islam, ‘allama al-Majlisi, wile citing this narrative, says, “This is narrated by al-Saduq in his Amali depending on a reliable isnad from Ibn ‘Abbas.”

4. ‘Allama al-Majlisi has said: “I have found something handwritten by Shaikh Muhammed ibn Ali al-Jib’i, grandfather of Shaikh al-Baha’i, transmitted via the handwriting of the martyr, may Allah raise his status, who cites the Musbah of Shaikh Abu Mansur, may Allah make his resting-place good, saying that it has been narrated that the Prophet S entered once the house of Fatima (sa) who prepared for him some food comprised of dates, a round loaf of bread and some oil. They all sat down to eat, he, Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as). Once they have finished eating, the Messenger of Allah S prostrated.

Then he smiled. Then he wept. Then he sat. The one who had the most courage to speak was Ali (as) who said, ‘O Messenger of Allah S! We have seen you today doing what we have never seen you doing before!’ He S said, “When I ate with you, I was pleased and felt happy for your safety and your assembling together, so I prostrated to Allah to thank Him.

It was then that Gabriel (as) descended and asked me, ‘Have you prostrated for being happy with your family?’ ‘Yes,’ I said. He said, ‘shall I inform you of what will happen to them after you?’ I said, ‘Yes, O my Brother, Gabriel! Do so.’ He said, ‘As for your daughter, she will be the first to rejoin you after being oppressed, what belongs to her will be taken away from her, and she will be deprived of her inheritance, and her husband will be dealt with unjustly. Her rib will be broken.

As regarding your cousin, he will be dealt with unjustly, he will be deprived of his right (to the caliphate), and he will be killed. As for al-Hassan (as), he will be dealt with unjustly; he will be deprived of his right and will be poisoned. As for al-Husayn (as), he will be dealt with unjustly; he will be deprived of his right, his progeny will be killed, and his body will be crushed under the horses’ hoofs.

His belongings will be plundered; his women and offspring will be taken captive; he will be buried shrouded by his blood, and strangers will bury him.’ I, therefore, wept and asked him, ‘Will anyone visit his grave?’ He said, ‘Strangers will visit it.’ I asked him, ‘What rewards will be received by those who visit it?’ He said, ‘For each of them will be written down in his/her book of deeds the rewards of performing the pilgrimage a thousand times and the ‘umra a thousand times, all in your own company,’ so I smiled.”5

5. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab asked Huthayfan ibn al-Yaman about a statement made by the Prophet S regarding a dissension that would treat people as the raging waves treat a ship in the sea. Huthayfah said, “It is a dissension between which and yourself there is a closed door.” ‘’Umar said, “Will the door, O Huthayfah, be opened or will it be broken?” Huthayfah said, “It will be broken.” ‘’Umar said, “If the door is broken, then it ought not to be closed till the Day of Judgment.”6

Then they attributed to Huthayfah the statement that what is meant by the broken door is the assassination of ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab and by the gate of dissension is ‘Othman taking charge.7

We say the following:

Had Huthayfah really said so, such ijtihad is not precise because the “shura” which ‘’Umar invented was the one that brought ‘Othman to power, albeit whether ‘’Umar was to be killed or to die naturally. He invented it after someone stabbed him in the stomach.

Installing ‘Othman as the caliph was not the cause of the dissension which still remains till our time and will continue till the Judgment Day. Rather, it was the issue of Imamate which was usurped through the violence that manifested itself by the assault on Fatima’s house, by breaking her door and taking Ali (as) out by force to swear the oath of allegiance against his will. It is well known that the most serious dissension among the nation is the one regarding the issue of Imamate. No sword was ever taken out of its scabbard based on a theological basis like the one taken out against the Imamate in every time and clime, as al-Shahristani and others have stated.

What is Narrated from Imam Ali (as)

6. Sulaym ibn Qays has narrated saying that ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab once fined all his governors half of their salaries, exempting Qunfath al-’Adawi from having to pay such a fine, and he was one of those governors. He even returned to him what he had taken away from him, the sum of twenty thousand dirhams.

Nor did he deduct the tilth, nor half the tilth. Aban said that Salim has said, “I met Ali (as) and asked him about what he thought regarding what ‘’Umar had done. He said, ‘Do you know why he (‘’Umar) exempted Qunfath and did not fine him or deduct anything from his salary?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Because he is the one who hit Fatima, peace and blessings of Allah with her, with the whip when she came to act as a barrier between me and them. So she died, peace and blessings of Allah with her, and there was still a mark on her wrist like a bracelet.’”8

7. Aban has said that Salim said, “I went to a study circle at the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah S. The non-Hashemites were Salman, Abu Dharr, al-Miqdad, Muhammed ibn Abu Bakr, ‘’Umar ibn Abu Salamah and Qays ibn Sa’d ibn ‘Abadah. Al-’Abbas said to Ali (as), ‘I wonder what stopped ‘’Umar from fining Qunfath as he did to all his other governors.’ Ali (as) looked around him, then his eyes were filled with tears. He then said, ‘He did so in appreciation of his hitting Fatima (sa) with the whip, so she died and her wrist bore the mark of the hit like a bracelet.’”9

8. Salim quotes Ibn ‘Abbas as saying, “I visited Ali (as) at Thi Qar. He took out a tablet and said to me, ‘O son of ‘Abbas! This is a tablet written according to what the Messenger of Allah (S) dictated to me, and it is in my own handwriting.’ I said, ‘O Commander of the Faithful! Please read it for me.’ He read it, and it contained a narrative of the events from the demise of the Messenger of Allah S to the martyrdom of al-Husayn (as), detailing how he would be killed, the name of his killer, the names of his supporters, and who would be martyred in his company. He wept profusely, causing me to weep, too. Among what he read to me was what would happen to him (to Ali (as)), how Fatima (sa) would be martyred, how al-Hassan (as) would be betrayed by the nation then be martyred, etc.”10

9. Ali (as) is quoted, at the time when he buried al-Zahra’ (sa), as saying, “... And your daughter shall inform you of how the nation assisted each other in oppressing her, so inquire of her and ask her about the conditions, for there are many agonies filling her chest for which she found no outlet...”11

His speech, peace with him, above, although free of frankly stating what took place to al-Zahra’ (sa), is indicative of the fact that there were many injustices that remained inside her chest, peace with her, for which she found no outlet. Among such injustices are: the confiscation of Fadak, the confiscation of her inheritance, the usurpation of the caliphate that belonged to her husband, because these issues she did publicly and clearly announce, using them as proofs indicting the oppressors, delivering a great sermon while explaining them.

10. Refer to what is mentioned by the mentor al-Kaf’ami, who died in 905 A.H./1499 A.D., in his book titled Al-Misbah which he compiled from about two hundred and forty references. He states that he compiled it “... from books the authenticity of which is reliable and upholding which is mandated, and this cannot be altered by the evil efforts of time or by the endeavor of those with twisted minds.”

Books, like the sun, whose light

Is written above the most high of height.12

He, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded a supplication transmitted by Ibn ‘Abbas which Ali (as) used to recite in his qunut. In a footnote, he described it as, “a great supplication, one of a lofty status.” About this supplication, Ali (as) says, “One who recites it is like one who shot a million13 arrows in defense of the Prophet S during the battles of Badr and of Hunain.”

Among the text of that supplication is the following with reference to the Household of the Prophet S: “... And they both killed his children, vacated his pulpit from his wasi and the heir of his knowledge, reneging from their fealty to his Imamate... and a womb which they cut open, and a fetus which they caused to miscarry, and a rib which they crushed, and a covenant which they tore to pieces..., etc.”14

In a comment which he made about it and which he included in a footnote of his book, Misbah, and which is cited by ‘allama al-Majlisi, “The mentor/scholar As’ad ibn ‘Abd al-Qahir said the following in his book titled Rashh al-Bala’: ‘When he referred to their demolition of the House of the Prophetic Mission, he was referring to the harm inflicted by the first (caliph) and the second against Ali and Fatima (as), their desire to burn Ali’s house, how they led him away like a wounded camel, how they squeezed Fatima at her door till she miscarried al-Muhsin... She ordered to be buried at night and that neither the first nor the second [caliph] should be present at her funeral.’”15

He also referred to the rib that was crushed, the covenant that was torn to pieces, to what they committed against Fatima (sa), how they tore her property’s title (of the Fadak real estate) to pieces, and how her rib was crushed.16

11. Muhammed ibn al-Hassan ibn Ahmed ibn al-Walid cites Ahmed ibn Idris, Muhammed ibn Yahya al-’Attar, who all quote Muhammed ibn Ahmed ibn Abu Hamzah al-Bata’ini quoting Ibn ‘Umayrah quoting Muhammed ibn ‘Utbah quoting Muhammed ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman quoting his father quoting Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) as saying, “While I, Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) were all in the company of the Messenger of Allah (S), he turned to us and wept. I asked him, ‘What is that for, O Messenger of Allah S?!’ He said, ‘I weep for you and how you will be hit on the head with the sword, and I weep for Fatima (sa) and how she will be slapped on the cheek.”17

Al-Majlisi describes this narrative as reliable; so refer to his work.18

12. Ahmed ibn al-Khasab, citing Ja’far ibn Muhammed al-Mufaddal quoting Muhammed ibn Sinan al-Zahiri quoting ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Asam quoting Madah ibn Harun ibn Sa’d saying, “I heard the father of al-Tufayl, namely ‘amir ibn Wa’ilah citing the Commander of the Faithful (as) saying to ‘’Umar, among other things, the following:

“It is the fire that you ignited at the door of my house in order to burn me and burn Fatima (sa), daughter of the Messenger of Allah S, and burn my sons, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) and also burn my daughters Zainab and Umm Kulthum..., etc.”19

13. What proves violence against Ali (as) and that he was forced to swear fealty is a letter which Mu’awiyah wrote him as well as his answer to it. Mu’awiyah said to him that he was too slow to swear fealty to the “caliphs,” so he was taken to swear it against his wish as a run-away camel is taken.20

Among what he said to him was, “You envied Abu Bakr, swerved from his path, wished his attempt would fail, kept sitting at home and attracted a group of people to you till they lagged behind rather than swear fealty to him.” He went on to say, “None of these men except that you sought the upper hand over him and were sluggish to swear fealty to him till you were taken to him by force like a frightened camel.”21

The Commander of the Faithful (as) answered him with a letter wherein he said, “And you said that I was led like a frightened camel in order to swear fealty. By Allah! You intended to speak ill of me but you praised me, and to expose me but exposed your own self. There is no harm in a Muslim being oppressed so long as he does not entertain any doubts about his religion..., etc.”22

This narrative proves that they entered his house and took him out by force, underscoring the fact that they did not have any respect for the privacy of al-Zahra’ (sa) who tried to keep them away from him as much as she could as indicated in many narratives although this particular narrative did not disclose how they were directly involved in harming al-Zahra’ (sa).

14. Al-Daylami has stated that al-Zahra’ (sa) detailed what she had to go through. Among what she said was the following:

“... Then they sent to our house Qunfath accompanied by ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab and Khalid ibn al-Walid in order to get my cousin Ali (as) to the saqifa of Bani Sa’idah for their lost-cause fealty, but he would not go out to meet them, being busy carrying out the will of the Messenger of Allah S and with his wives, with compiling the Qur’an and with the repayment of eighty thousand dirhams which he Shad instructed him to pay on his behalf: the price of [military] equipment and payment of debt [incurred against the Prophet S].

They collected plenty of firewood at our door. Then they brought a torch to set it ablaze and to burn us. I stood at the door’s knob and pleaded to them in the Name of Allah to leave us alone and to come to our aid. ‘’Umar took the whip from the hand of Qunfath, slave of Abu Bakr, and hit me with it on the wrist. The whip twisted itself around my wrist, leaving a mark like a bracelet on it. He kicked the door with his foot. Ali (as) shut it back, and I was pregnant. I fell on my face as the fire kept burning, parching my face. He [‘’Umar] slapped me with his hand, causing my ear-ring to fall on the ground into bits and pieces. Labor overtook me, so I miscarried al-Muhsin who was killed without having committed any crime. Is this a nation that blesses me?! Allah and His Messenger disowned them and I, too, disowned them.”

The Commander of the Faithful (as) carried out her will. He did not inform anyone about her demise. At al-Baqi’, he dug up forty graves during the night in one of which he buried Fatima (sa).

Then the Muslims, having come to know about the death and burial of Fatima (sa), went to the Commander of the Faithful (as) to offer their condolences. They said, “O Brother of the Messenger of Allah S! Order us to prepare her for burial and to dig up her grave.” He said, “She has already been buried, joining her father S.” They said, “We belong to Allah, and to Him shall we return. How can the daughter of our Prophet Muhammed S, his only offspring, die and we do not perform her funeral prayers?! This is truly very serious!” He said, “Suffices you what you have committed against Allah, the Messenger of Allah S and his Progeny.

By Allah! I would not violate her will which she entrusted to me, that is, that none of you should perform her funeral prayers, and there is no blame on one who carries out someone’s will.” Those folks shook the dust off their clothes and said, “We have to perform the funeral prayers for the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S).” They immediately went to al-Baqi’ and found forty graves freshly dug up. They could not tell which one of them was hers. People exchanged blame and accusations and said, “You did not witness the demise of the daughter of your Prophet, nor did you perform the funeral prayers for her, and now you do not even know where her grave is so you may visit it!”

Abu Bakr said, “Let a number of trustworthy Muslims dig up these graves till you find her grave so that we may perform her funeral prayers and visit it.”

The Commander of the Faithful (as) heard about it, so he went out of his house angrily. His face was red with anger, his eyes burning, his cheeks puffed up, and he was carrying on his hand his yellow outer garment which he never put on except on an ill-fated day. He was using his sword, Thul-Fiqar, like a walking stick till he reached al-Baqi’. Prior to his arrival, report reached people that he was going there. A warner said to them, “Here is Ali (as) coming as you can see swearing by Allah that no brick of these graves will be moved from its place except that he will let his sword do its business against the unlucky ones from among this nation.” People fled away in hordes.23

15. Among the verses of poetry which were narrated by traditionists and historians and which were composed by al-Zahra’ (sa) eulogizing the greatest of all Prophets (as) are the following:

Why should one who sniffs the earth

Where Ahmed is buried that he shall not

As long as he lives sniff musk at all?

Calamities were poured over me had they

Been poured on the light of day,

They would have turned it into night.

So today I am submitting to humiliation

Shunning the oppression,

Defending myself against the oppressor

Even with my own outer garment.24

Had the calamities to which she refers in these lines been one relevant to the demise of her father, she would not have used the plural, nor has she resorted to submitting to humiliation or to defending herself with her outer garment. Another verse of poetry refers to her defending herself against her oppressor with her own mantle, referring to the oppression which was not confined to usurping her inheritance, and to Fadak, for these do not need to defend against the oppressor with her outer mantle, but she went out and demanded restitution, providing arguments.

Add to all the above the fact that one who used her outer mantle to defend against oppression is one who exerts a physical endeavor which she, peace with her, had to exert. She did not confine herself to delivering a speech and to provide arguments supporting her claims.

What Imam al-Hassan al-Mujtaba (as) Narrates

16. It is narrated from al-Sha’bi, Abu Mikhnaf, Yazid ibn Habib al-Misri the tradition of Imam al-Hassan al-Mujtaba (as) in which he argued with ‘Amr ibn al-’As, al-Walid ibn ‘Uqbah, ‘Amr ibn ‘Othman and ‘Utbah ibn Abu Sufyan in the presence of Mu’awiyah, and it is quite a lengthy tradition. In it, the Imam (as) says to al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah, “You are the one who hit Fatima (sa) daughter of the Messenger of Allah S, causing her to bleed and she miscarried, thus humiliating the Messenger of Allah S, disobeying his order and violating his sanctity since the Messenger of Allah S had said to her, ‘O Fatima! You are the Head of all the women of Paradise.’”25

The great ‘allama and mentor Shaikh al-Tibrisi, in his Introduction to his book Al-Ihtijaj, has said, “Most of what we cite of any report we quote it according to its own isnad either because there is a consensus in its regard, or it agrees with what other thinkers have pointed out, or it is famous in biography books of those who disagree as well as those who agree with us except the speech of the father of Muhammed, namely (Imam) al-Hassan al-’Askari (as), which I have cited, for nothing is more famous than it, although it contains the same as we have already introduced. For this reason, I mentioned its isnad at the beginning of each report of the same...”26

The researching ‘allama and mentor, al-Tehrani, has said the following in Al-Thari’a الذريعة, “This statement of his is quite clear in that everything he has cited in this regard is famous as agreed on by those who disagree as well as by those who agree with us. It is one of the highly regarded books on which scholars such as ‘allama al-Majlisi and the traditionist al-Hurr al-’Amili and their peers depend.”27

What is Narrated by al-Sajjad (as)

17. Muhammed ibn Jarir ibn Rustam al-Tabari has recorded the following: “We have been informed by Makhal ibn Ibrahim al-Nahdi who says that Matar ibn Arqam has said that Abu Hamzah al-Thumali has said that Ali ibn al-Husayn (as) has said the following:

When he (S) passed away, and when Abu Bakr received the oath of allegiacne, Ali (as) lagged behind, so ‘’Umar said to Abu Bakr, “Are you not going to send someone to this lagging man to come and swear the oath of allegiance to you?” He (Abu Bakr) said, “Qunfath! Go to Ali and tell him that the successor of the Messenger of Allah S tells you to come and swear the oath of allegiacne.” Ali (as) raised his voice saying, “Praise to Allah! How quickly you have told lies about the Messenger of Allah S!” He returned and informed Abu Bakr of it. ‘’Umar again said, “Are you not going to send someone to this lagging man to come and swear the oath of allegiance to you?” He (Abu Bakr) said to Qunfath, “Go to Ali and tell him that the commander of the faithful tells you to come and swear the oath of allegiance.” Qunfath went there and knocked at the door. He said, “Who is it?” He said, “It is I, Qunfath.” He said, “What brought you here?” He said, “The commander of the faithful tells you to go and swear fealty.” Ali (as) raised his voice as he said, “Glory to Allah! He claims what is not his!” Qunfath returned and told Abu Bakr everything. ‘’Umar stood up and said, “Let us go to this man to bring him here.” A group of men went with him.

They knocked at the door. When Ali (as) heard their voices, he said nothing. A woman spoke and inquired who they were. They said, “Tell Ali to come out and swear fealty.” Fatima (sa) raised her voice as she said, “O Messenger of Allah S! What have we suffered at the hands of Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar after you?!” When the men heard her voice and words, many of them wept.

Then they went away. ‘’Umar remained, accompanied by a number of men. They took Ali (as) out and led him to Abu Bakr till they seated him in front of the latter. Abu Bakr said to him, “Swear fealty (to me).” Ali (as) said, “What if I don’t?” Abu Bakr said, “Then, by Allah, the One and only God, your neck shall be struck with the sword.” Ali (as) said, “You do that to me although I am a servant of Allah S and the Brother of His Messenger?!” Abu Bakr said, “Swear it.” Ali (as) said, “What if I don’t?!” Abu Bakr said, “Then, by Allah, the One and only God, your neck shall be struck with the sword.” Ali (as) turned to the grave (of the Messenger of Allah (S)) and said, “O Brother! The people deem me weak, and they almost killed me.” He swore fealty then left.28

What Either al-Baqir or al-Sadiq (as) has Narrated

18. ‘Allama al-’Ayyashi, may Allah have mercy on him, has cited one of these Imams (as) narrating a lengthy tradition at the end of which he said,

Abu Bakr sent him a message to go there to swear the oath of allegiance to him. Ali (as) said, “I shall not come out till I finish compiling the Qur’an.” He sent for him again. He said, “I shall not come out till I am through.” Abu Bakr sent for him a third time a cousin of his called Qunfath. Fatima (sa) daughter of the Messenger of Allah S went out to act as a barrier between the men and Ali (as). Qunfath hit her, returning without Ali (as). It was feared that he would amass a group of opponents. Abu Bakr ordered firewood to be brought and placed around Ali’s house. Then ‘’Umar set out with a torch in his hand and wanted to burn Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as). When Ali (as) saw all of that, he was forced to come out to swear fealty against his wish.29

19. Muhammed ibn Yahya quotes Muhammed ibn al-Husayn quoting Muhammed ibn Isma’il quoting Salih ibn ‘Uqbah quoting ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammed al-Ju’fi quoting Abu Ja’far and Abu ‘Abdullah (as) as saying, “When they did what they did, Fatima (sa) seized ‘’Umar by the collar, pulled him and said, ‘O son of al-Khattab! Had I not feared that some innocent people would be hurt, I would have submitted a plea to Allah to which He will respond swiftly.’”30

The mentor of the Muslims, Shaikh al-Majlisi, has said the following while explaining the beginning of the quotation of the Imam cited above, “He means their forceful entry into Fatima’s house.”31

What is Narrated from Imam al-Baqir (as)

20. Ibrahim ibn Ahmed al-Tabari, relying on Ali ibn ‘’Umar ibn Hassan ibn Ali al-Siyari who cites Muhammed ibn Zakariyya al-Ghulabi citing Ja’far ibn Muhammed ibn ‘Imarah citing his father citing Jabir al-Ju’fi citing Abu Ja’far Muhammed ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn (as) citing his father citing his grandfather citing Muhammed ibn ‘Ammar ibn Yasir  in a tradition saying the following:

... She was pregnant with al-Hassan (as). Having given birth to him, she conceived forty days thereafter with al-Husayn (as), then she was blessed with Zainab and Umm Kulthum. Then she was big with al-Muhsin. When the Messenger of Allah S passed away, and when the folks did what they did on that day, forcefully entering her house and taking her cousin, the Commander of the Faithful (as), out by force. After the harm dealt to her by that man (‘’Umar), she miscarried her son. That was the original cause of her sickness then subsequently death, peace and blessings of Allah with her.32

21. Muhammed ibn Jarir ibn Rustam al-Tabari stated that Ali (as) lagged behind when Abu Bakr received the people’s oath of allegiance, so they went to his house and intended to set it to fire. They wanted to burn him and Fatima (sa), so al-Zubayr came out with his sword unsheathed, and they broke his sword. Muhammed ibn Harun has narrated from Aban ibn ‘Othman saying that Sa’d ibn Qudamah cites Za’ida saying that Abu Bakr invited Ali (as) to swear the oath of allegiance to him, but he refused. Then the narrator details how Ali (as) argued with them and goes on to say, “I asked Za’idah ibn Qudamah, ‘Who did you hear this from?’ He said, ‘I heard it from Abu Ja’far Muhammed ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn (as).’”33

22. Abu al-Jarud is cited quoting Abu Ja’far being asked about when al-Qa’im (as) will come out (of his occultation). He provided a lengthy answer wherein he referred to “the firewood which they collected in order to burn Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as). And this is the firewood which we keep inheriting...”34

What Imam al-Sadiq (as) is Quoted Narrating

23. Muhammed ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Ja’far al-Himyari quotes his father quoting Ali ibn Muhammed ibn Salim quoting Muhammed ibn Khalid quoting ‘Abdullah ibn Hammad al-Basri quoting ‘Abdullah ibn Ali ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Asam quoting Hammad ibn ‘Othman quoting Abu ‘Abdullah (as) saying,

When the Prophet S was taken for the night journey, it was said to him that Allah would test him in three instances. So the angel kept counting them till he said, “As for your daughter Fatima (sa), she will be oppressed and deprived and her right will be confiscated, the inheritance which you will leave her. And she will be hit while she is pregnant; insults and humiliation will affect her, then she will miscarry what is in her womb and be beaten, and she will die from such beating... The first to raise a complaint against his killer (on the Day of Judgment) will be Muhsin son of Ali (as), then Qunfath and his fellow (Abu Bakr) will be brought...”35

24. Abul-Hassan ibn Shathan quotes his father quoting Muham-med ibn al-Hassan ibn al-Walid quoting Muhammed ibn al-Husayn ibn al-Saffar quoting Muhammed ibn Ziyad from Mufaddal ibn ‘’Umar from Yunus ibn Ya’qub from al-Sadiq (as) saying the following in a lengthy tradition: “O Yunus! My grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (S), said, ‘Cursed is whoever oppresses my daughter Fatima (sa) and confiscates what belongs to her and kills her.’”36

25. The author of Al-Kafi cites some of our folks citing Ahmed ibn Muhammed from al-Qasim from his grandfather from Abu Busayr from Abu ‘Abdullah (as) quoting his forefathers saying, “The Commander of the Faithful (as) has said, ‘When the ones you miscarry meet you on the Day of Judgment, they will ask their parents why they did not give them names. The Messenger of Allah (S) had named Muhsin before his birth.”37 This narrative is also included among the 400 ahadith. Refer also to al-Saduq’s book titled Al-Khisal.

Regarding the isnad of this tradition, al-Majlisi has said that it is reliable.38

26. Ibrahim ibn Sa’d al-Thaqafi has said, “Ahmed ibn ‘Amr al-Bijli has told me that we have been told by Ahmed ibn Habib al-’Amiri who quotes Hamran ibn A’yan quoting Abu ‘Abdullah Ja’far ibn Muhammed S as saying, ‘By Allah! Ali (as) did not swear the oath of allegiance (to Abu Bakr) except after the smoke had entered his house.’”39

27. Al-Husayn ibn Hamdan quotes Muhammed ibn Isma’il and Ali ibn ‘Abdullah al-Husayni citing Abu Shu’ayb and Muhammed ibn Nasir quoting ‘’Umar ibn al-Furat quoting Muhammed ibn al-Mufaddal ibn ‘’Umar as saying,

I asked my master, al-Sadiq (as), “Is there a particular time for the reappearance of the Awaited One, al-Mahdi (as), which people know?” He (as) said, “Far, it is, from Allah to time his reappearance to one known by our Shi’as...” The narrative continues till it refers to how Salman al-Farisi was beaten, how the fire was set at the house door of the Commander of the Faithul and Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) in order to burn them, how the hand of the Truthful Lady, Fatima (sa), was whipped, how her stomach was kicked, and how she miscarried al-Muhsin..., the story of Abu Bakr and how he sent out Khalid ibn al-Walid, Qunfath (his slave) and ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab, how the latter gathered people to get the Commander of the Faithful (as) out of his house in order to swear fealty to Abu Bakr at the saqifa of Bani Sa’idah... ‘’Umar said, “Come out, Ali, and join what the Muslims have all done; otherwise, we shall kill you.” Fidda, maid of Fatima (sa), said to them, “The Commander of the Faithful (as) is busy, and it will be a good deed if you are true to your own selves and be fair to him” (and how ‘’Umar taunted her in response). They gathered plenty of firewood at the door in order to burn the house of the Commander of the Faithful (as) as well as Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as), as well as Zainab, Umm Kulthum and Fidda. They set the door to fire. Fatima (sa) went out to address them from behind the door. She said to them, ‘Woe unto you, O ‘’Umar! How dare you thus offend Allah and the Messenger of Allah S?! Do you want to put an end to his (Prophet’s) offspring in this world, exile him and put out the noor of Allah? Yet Allah shall complete His noor.’ ‘’Umar rebuked Fatima (sa). He said to her, “Fatima! Enough of that! Neither Muhammed is present nor are the angels bringing orders from Allah to do or not to do! Ali is like any other Muslim. You have the option either to get him out to swear fealty to Abu Bakr, or I shall burn you all.” Crying, Fatima (sa) supplicated thus: “Lord! I complain to You about how I miss Your Prophet, Messenger and chosen one, how Your nation has turned its back on us, and how they have confiscated what belongs to us and which You thus stated in the Book You revealed to the Prophet You sent!” ‘’Umar said to her, “Abandon, O Fatima, the foolishness of women, for Allah will not let both Prophetic Mission and caliphate be yours.” As he spoke these words, fire had already consumed the door’s wood. Qunfath the accursed stretched his damned hand in order to open the door (from inside). ‘’Umar hit Fatima’s hand with his whip. The whip left a mark on her wrist like a black bracelet. He kicked the door with his foot, and the door hit Fatima’s stomach. She was six months big with al-Muhsin whom she miscarried...

‘’Umar attacked, and so did Qunfath and Khalid ibn al-Walid. ‘’Umar slapped Fatima (sa) on her cheek, breaking her ear-ring under her veil, and she was crying loudly as she said, “O father! O Messenger of Allah! Your daughter Fatima is treated as a liar, is hit, and her fetus is killed in her womb!” The Commander of the Faithful (as) came out of the house with red eyes, wearing nothing on his head. He put his outer mantle on Fatima (sa), hugged her and said, “O daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S)! You already know that your father was sent as a mercy to the whole world...” Then he turned to ‘’Umar and said, “O son of al-Khattab! Woe unto you from this day of yours and from the day thereafter and the ones that follow! Get out (of my house) before I unsheathe my sword and annihilate the bygone of the nation!” ‘’Umar went out and so did Khalid ibn al-Walid, Qunfath, and Abd al-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr. They were outside when the Commander of the Faithful (as) called on Fidda to tend to her mistress who was undergoing the pain of miscarriage... Fatima (sa) miscarried al-Muhsin, so Ali (as) said, “He is joining his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (S), to whom he will lodge a complaint. And al-Muhsin will come out (on the Judgment Day) carried by (his maternal grandmother) Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid and (his paternal grandmother) Fatima daughter of Assad, mother of the Commander of the Faithful (as), and they shall be wailing. His mother shall say, ‘This is the Day about which you were warned.’”

Al-Mufaddal asked the Imam (as), “Master! What do you say about the verse that says, ‘When the female infant buried alive is asked for what sin she was killed’ (Qur’an, 81:8-9)?” The Imam (as) said, “O Mufaddal! The infant buried alive, by Allah, is Muhsin, because he is one of us. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.” Al-Mufaddal said, “Master! Then what?” Imam al-Sadiq (as) said, “Fatima (sa) daughter of the Messenger of Allah S will stand and say, ‘Lord! Carry out Your promise to me and regarding myself against whoever oppressed me, confiscated what belonged to me, hit me and killed all my sons!’”40

28. In another tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (as) said to al-Mufaddal, “There is no tragedy like ours at Kerbala’ despite what happened one day at the saqifa and how the fire was set at the door of the Commander of the Faithful (as), thus endangering him, al-Hassan, al-Husayn, Fatima, Zainab and Umm Kulthum (as) as well as Fidda. And the killing of Muhsin, when someone kicked his mother in the stomach, is greater, more tragic and more bitter because it is the origin of the Day of Torment.”41

29. The head of the Shi’a, namely Shaikh al-Mufid, has said the following in his book titled Al-Ikhtisas where he cites Ahmed ibn Muhammed ibn ‘Isa quoting his father, and also from al-’Abbas ibn Ma’ruf from ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mughirah saying that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Asam cited ‘Abdullah ibn Bakr al-Arjani as saying, “I accompanied Abu ‘Abdullah (as) on his way from Mecca to Medina...,” then he narrated a lengthy discourse wherein he quoted Abu ‘Abdullah (as) as saying, “... killer of the Commander of the Faithful (as), killer of Fatima (sa), killer of al-Muhsin, killer of al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as)..., etc.”

This is narrated in Kamil al-Ziyarat from another isnad from ‘Abdullah ibn al-Asam from ‘Abdullah ibn Bakr al-Arjani. In it, the Imam (as) is quoted as saying, “... and the killer of Fatima (sa) and Muhsin..., etc.,” so you may refer to it.42

30. Ali ibn Ibrahim quotes his father quoting Sulayman al-Daylami quoting Abu Busayr quoting Abu ‘Abdullah (as) as saying, “On the Day of Judgment, Prophet Muhammed S shall be called on, and he will be clad in a rosy outfit... Then it will be called from the depths of the ‘Arsh by the Lord of Glory and the Sublime Horizon, ‘How good your father, O Muhammed, is, who is Ibrahim, and how good your brother is, who is Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), and how good your grandsons are, and they are al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as), and how good your fetus is, and he is Muhsin, and how good the rightly guided Imams (as) are..., etc.”43

31. Abu Muhammed, citing ‘Abdullah ibn Sinan from Abu ‘Abdullah (as) says the following:

When the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away, Abu Bakr took his seat on his pulpit. He sent for the [business] agent of Fatima (sa) and expelled him... Abu Bakr then wrote her a property title, returning Fadak to her possession. But ‘’Umar met her and asked her, “O Daughter of Muhammed! What is this sheet in your hand?” She said, “A property title which Abu Bakr wrote me, returning Fadak to my possession.” He said, “Give it to me.” She refused, so he kicked her with his foot in the stomach, and she was pregnant with a son named al-Muhsin whom she instantly miscarried. ‘’Umar then slapped her on her cheek, causing her ear-ring to break into bits and pieces. Then he took the property title and tore it to pieces. Fatima (sa) went away. For seventy-five days from the time ‘’Umar kicked her, she remained sick, then she passed away. On her death-bed, she called Ali (as) to her presence and said to him, “You may either guarantee to carry out what I shall say to you or I shall ask al-Zubayr [to do so].” Ali (as) said, “I guarantee to carry out your will, O Daughter of Muhammed!” She said to him, “I ask you in the right of the Messenger of Allah S that if I die, both men (‘’Umar and Abu Bakr) should not be present near me, nor should they attend my funeral prayers.” He said, “You will have what you desire.” When she passed away, he buried her at night. In the morning, the people of Medina, including Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar, wanted to attend her funeral. Ali (as) went out and was met by both men. They asked him, “What have you done to the daughter of Muhammed S regarding preparing her for her burial, O father of al-Hassan?” Ali (as) said, “By Allah, I have already buried her.” They said, “What caused you to bury her without informing us that she had died?” He (as) said, “She had ordered me to do just that.” ‘’Umar said, “By Allah! I am about to dig up her grave and perform the funeral prayers for her.” Ali (as) said, “By Allah! As long as my heart is still resting inside my rib cage, and as long as I can hold (my sword) Thul-Fiqar in my hand, you shall never be able to dig her body out, and you know best what I can do!” Abu Bakr said (to ‘’Umar), “Go, for he is more worthy of her than we are.” People then dispersed.44

32. Muhammed ibn Harran al-Tal’akbari cites his father as saying that “Abu Ali,” Muhammed ibn Humam ibn Suhail, has said that Ahmed ibn Muhammed al-Barqi has cited Ahmed ibn Muhammed al-Ash’ari al-Qummi citing ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abu Najran citing ‘Abdullah ibn Sinan citing Ibn Maskan citing Abu Busayr quoting Abu ‘Abdullah (as) saying the following:

Fatima (sa) was born on the 20th of Jumada al-ãkhira, when the Prophet S was forty-five years old... The reason for her death is that Qunfath, slave of the man (Abu Bakr), poked her with the sword’s scabbard as ordered by his master, so she miscarried Muhsin. She fell seriously sick because of the incident, and she did not any of those who harmed her enter her house. Two men (Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar) from among the companions of the Prophet S requested the Commander of the Faithful (as) to intercede on their behalf with her. He requested her, and she agreed. When they entered, they asked her, “O daughter of the Messenger of Allah S! How do you feel?” She said, “Well, all Praise is due to Allah.” Then she said to them, “Did you not hear the Prophet S say, ‘Fatima (sa) is part of me; whoever harms her harms me, and whoever harms me harms Allah’?” They answered in the affirmative. She said, “By Allah! You both have harmed me.” They went out while she was still angry with them.45

The isnad of this narrative is authentic.

33. Shaikh al-Tusi has said that Imam al-Sadiq (as) is quoted as saying that when the Commander of the Faithful (as) was taken forcefully out of his house, Fatima (sa) went out behind him. All women from Banu Hashim went out with her and they all were near the grave (of the Prophet (S) which was inside the room nearby). Fatima (sa) said to them, “Leave my cousin alone for, by Allah, if you do not leave him alone..., etc.”46

This narrative, too, proves that they entered his house by force and took him out by force although Fatima (sa) was there, demonstrating a total lack of respect for her and for her privacy.

34. Judge ‘Abd al-Jabbar, who died in 415 A.H./1024 A.D. and who was contemporary to Shaikh al-Mufid (d. 413 A.H./1022 A.D.), may Allah have mercy on him, has said that the Shi’a put forth claims on a narrative by Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammed [al-Sadiq] (as) and others which says that ‘’Umar (ibn al-Khattab) hit Fatima (sa) with his whip.47

We do not know if he is referring to the narratives which we have been citing or to others, so we set his quoted statement aside for this reason.

What is Narrated from Imam al-Kazim (as)

‘Allama al-Majlisi, may Allah Almighty have mercy on him, has transmitted from Kitab al-Tara’f fi Ma’rifat Mathahib al-Tawa’if الطرائف في معرفة مذاهب الطوائف by the great ‘allama Sayyid Ibn Tawus48, from Kitab al-Wasiyya by Shaikh ‘Isa ibn al-Mustafad al-Darar from Musa ibn Ja’far from his father saying that when the Messenger of Allah S was about to leave this world for the next, he said, “O men of the Ansar! Parting is opportune... The door of Fatima (sa) is my door, her house is mine; so, whoever violates its sanctity violates the sanctity of Allah’s barrier.” ‘Isa goes on to say that the father of al-Hassan (as) wept for a long time. He discontinued his narrative then said, “By Allah! Allah’s barrier was violated! By Allah! Allah’s barrier was violated! By Allah! Allah’s barrier was violated, O nation blessed by Allah!”49

36. Harun ibn Musa is quoted by Ahmed ibn Muhammed ibn ‘Ammar al-’Ijli al-Kufi quoting ‘Isa al-Darar quoting Imam al-Kazim (as) saying, “I asked my father, ‘What happened after the departure of the angels from the Messenger of Allah S?’ He said, ‘He called to his presence Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) and told all others to leave them alone... He then said to Ali (as), ‘Be informed, O Ali, that I am pleased with whomsoever my daughter Fatima is pleased with, and so is my Lord and His angels. O Ali! Woe unto whoever oppresses her! Woe unto whoever confiscates what belongs to her! Woe unto whoever violates her sanctity! Woe unto whoever burns her door! Woe unto whoever harms her friend! Woe unto whoever exposes her to hardship or antagonizes her! Lord! I am clear of all of them, and they are clear of me.’ Then the Messenger of Allah S named them, hugged Fatima, Ali, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) and said, ‘Lord! I am peace with them and with whoever follows them, and I hope they will all enter Paradise. And I am a foe and war against anyone who antagonizes them, who oppresses them, who goes ahead of them or lags behind them and behind their followers (Shi’as), and I hope all these will enter the Fire! O Fatima! I shall never be pleased except when you are pleased! No, by Allah! I shall never be pleased except when you are pleased! I shall never be pleased except when you are pleased!’”50

37. Muhammed ibn Yahya quotes al-’Amraki quoting Ali quoting Ali ibn Ja’far quoting his brother quoting the father of al-Hassan (as) as saying, “Fatima (sa) is a truthful lady and a martyr, and daughters of prophets do not menstruate.”51

Both al-Majlisi I and II, who are among the greatest of our scholars, have commented about the above-quoted tradition saying that it is authentic.52

38. The great ‘allama and ascetic worshipper, Sayyid Ibn Tawus, through his isnad from Imam al-Kazim (as) who quotes his father (as) as saying, “The Messenger of Allah S said, ‘O Ali! What are you going to do when certain people plot against you after me and push themselves over you, and (so-and-so) will call on you to swear fealty, then you will be covered with your garment and led like a fleeting camel, humiliated and despised, grieved and depressed, and thereafter humiliation will descend...?’”53

What is Narrated From Imam al-Rida (as)

39. The great ‘allama and ascetic worshipper, Sayyid Ibn Tawus, may Allah have mercy on him, has transmitted a supplication by our master, Imam al-Rida (as), to be recited during sajdat al-shukr (prostration of thanksgiving) which he narrates through isnad to Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah in a book detailing the rewards of supplication. He cites Abu Ja’far quoting Muhammed S ibn Isma’il ibn Bazee’ quoting Imam al-Rida (as) and also Bakar ibn Salih from Sulayman ibn Ja’far from al-Rida (as). Both men say that they visited him once as he was performing the thanksgiving prostration. He prolonged his prostration then raised his head. They said to him, “You surely have prolonged your prostration!” He said, “Anyone who supplicates to Allah reciting this plea will be regarded as though he had shot arrows during the battle of Badr in the company of the Messenger of Allah S.” They asked him if they should write it down. He said, “Write down that once you are prostrating during sajdat al-shukr, you should say..., etc.” He cited the supplication which contains the following: “... and they both ridiculed Your Messenger and killed the son of Your Prophet S..., etc.”54

What is Narrated from Imam al-Jawad (as)

40. Citing his father, Muhammed ibn Harun ibn Musa transmits from Muhammed ibn al-Hassan ibn Ahmed ibn al-Walid, from Ahmed ibn Abu ‘Abdullah al-Barqi from Zakariyya ibn Adam saying,

I was in the company of al-Rida (as) when Abu Ja’far, peace with him, was brought in. He was not yet forty years old. He hit the ground with his hand then raised his head to the sky and contemplated for a long time. Al-Rida (as) said to him, ‘May I be your sacrifice! About what have you prolonged your contemplation?!’ He said, ‘About what was done to my mother Fatima (sa)..., by Allah..., etc.’ Then he, peace with him, stated how those who did so would be punished.”55

We say that this narrative, though not detailing what took place, also considers her, peace with her, as having been exposed to a great injustice.

What is Narrated from Imam al-’Askari (as)

41. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, in his work titled Zawa’id al-Fawa’id, citing Kitab al-Mukhtasar by Shaikh Hassan ibn Sulayman, a copy handwritten by Ali ibn Muzahir al-Wasiti, through a continuous chain of isnad that ends with Muhammed ibn al-’Ala’ al-Hamadani al-Wasiti. Then he cites it from Kitab al-Mukhtasar at the conclusion of which he says that he copied it from an edition handwritten by Muhammed ibn Ali ibn Tay. In it, it is stated that Ibn Abul-’Ala’ al-Hamadani and Yahya ibn Muhammed ibn Haweej disputed with each other regarding ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab, so they sought the arbitration of Ahmed ibn Ishaq al-Qummi, a friend of Imam al-Hassan al-’Askari (as). He narrated to them from what he had learned from Imam al-’Askari (as) who cites his father (as) saying that Huthayfah narrated a lengthy tradition about the Prophet S wherein he informed Huthayfan ibn al-Yaman a number of events that would take place after his demise. Huthayfah, seeing how what he had heard came true, said, “... And the Qur’an was distorted, and the house where revelation used to descend was burnt... and the face of the Lady of Virtue was slapped...”56

  • 1. Al-Tusi, Amali, Vol. 1, p. 122. Refer to p. 191 of this edition published by Al-Wafa’ Establishment of Beirut, Lebanon. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 8, p. 278. Ansab al-Ashraf, Vol. 1, p. 551. Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 6, p. 339. Al-Khasa’is al-Kubra, Vol. 2, p. 135. Al-Mufid, Amali, p. 215. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 40.
  • 2. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 38, p. 145, citing Al-Manaqib.
  • 3. Cited from the book of Sulaym ibn Qays (al-Hilali) (edited by al-Ansari), Vol. 2, p. 907.
  • 4. Fara’id al-Simtayn, Vol. 2, pp. 34-35. Al-Saduq, Amali, pp. 99-101. Ithbat al-Hudat, Vol. 1, pp. 280-81. Irshad al-Qulub, p. 295. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, pp. 37, 39 and Vol. 43, pp. 172-73. Al-`Awalim, Vol. 11, pp. 391-92 in the footnote of which a citation of p. 48 of Ghayat al-Maram, p. 48 and p. 109 of Al-Muhtadir. Al-Majlisi, Jala' al-`Uyun, Vol. 2, pp. 186-88.
  • 5. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 98, p. 44.
  • 6. Ibn Salam al-Abazi, Bid’ al-Islam wa Shara'i` ad-Din, p. 107. Al-Bukhari, Sihah, Vol. 1, pp. 67, 164, 212 (1309 A.H. edition). Ibn Majah, Sunan, Vol. 2, p. 1306. Al-Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, Vol. 6, p. 386.
  • 7. Refer to the references listed in the previous footnote.
  • 8. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, pp. 302-03 and the book of Sulaym ibn Qays, Vol. 2, pp. 674-75. Al-`Awalim, Vol. 11, p. 413.
  • 9. Refer to the references listed in the previous footnote.
  • 10. Refer to the book of Sulaym ibn Qays as edited by al-Ansari, Vol. 2, p. 915. Ibn Shathan, Al-Fada’il, p. 141. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 73.
  • 11. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 459. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 5, p. 329. Nahjul-Balagha (Sermon No. 202).
  • 12. Al-Kaf`ami, Misbah, p. 4.
  • 13. The word “million” does not exist in classical Arabic. Instead, Arabs say “a thousand thousands.” __ Tr.
  • 14. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 82, p. 261. Al-Kaf`ami, Misbah, p. 553. Al-Balad al-Amin, pp. 551-52. `Ilm al-Yaqin, p. 701.
  • 15. Refer to the footnotes of p. 553 of Al-Misbah by al-Kaf`ami, to pp. 551-52 of Al-Balad al-Amin and to p. 701 of `Ilm al-Yaqin.
  • 16. Refer to p. 555 of the previous reference and to p. 261, Vol. 82, of Bihar al-Anwar.
  • 17. Shaikh al-Saduq, Amali, p. 118. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 51; also refer to Vol. 44, p. 149. Ithbat al-Hudat, Vol. 1, p. 281. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 397. Jala' al-`Uyun, Vol. 1, p. 189. `Abd ar-Razzaq al-Muqarram, Wafat al-Siddiqa al-Zahra’ (sa), p. 60. Ibn Shahr Ashub, Al-Manaqib, Vol. 2, p. 209 (published by Intisharat `Alamah, Qum).
  • 18. Jala' al-`Uyun, Vol. 1, p. 189.
  • 19. Al-Hidaya al-Kubra, p. 163.
  • 20. Ibn A`tham, Al-Futuh, Vol. 3, p. 474.
  • 21. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 15, p. 186. Al-Tasatturi, Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 2, pp. 368-69.
  • 22. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 28. Refer also to Nahj al-Sa`da and p. 369, Vol. 2, of Ihqaq al-Haqq.
  • 23. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, pp. 348-50, citing Irshad al-Qulub by al-Daylami.
  • 24. References of this poetry are numerous among the Muslims’ books, so we find it sufficient to point out to p. 299, Vol. 1, of Al-Manaqib by Ibn Shahr Ashub.
  • 25. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, p. 414. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 197. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 5, p. 321. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 64.
  • 26. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, p. 4.
  • 27. Al-Thari`a, Vol. 1, p. 282.
  • 28. Al-Mustarshid fi Imamate Ali ibn Abu Talib, pp. 65-66.
  • 29. Al-`Ayyashi, Tafsir, Vol. 2, pp. 307-08. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 231. Al-Burhan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, Vol. 2, p. 434.
  • 30. Al-`Ayyashi, Tafsir, Vol. 2, pp. 307-08. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 231. Al-Burhan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, Vol. 2, p. 434.
  • 31. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 460.
  • 32. Dala’il al-Imama, pp. 26-27. Refer to Al-`Awalim, Vol. 11, p. 504.
  • 33. Al-Mustarshid fi Imamat Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), pp. 64-65.
  • 34. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 242.
  • 35. Kamil al-Ziyarat, pp. 232-35. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, pp. 62-64. Refer also to Vol. 53, p. 23 of the same. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 398. Al-Majlisi, Jala' al-`Uyun, Vol. 1, pp. 184-86.
  • 36. Kanz al-Fawa’id, Vol. 1, pp. 149-50. Rawdat al-Jannat, Vol. 6, p. 182.
  • 37. Al-Kafi, Vol. 6, p. 18. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 411. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 195 and Vol. 101, p. 128 and Vol. 10, p. 112. Al-Khisal, Vol. 2, p. 434. `Ilal al-Shara'i`, Vol. 2, p. 464. Jala' al-`Uyun, Vol. 1, p. 222.
  • 38. Jala' al-`Uyun, Vol. 1, p. 222.
  • 39. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, pp. 269, 390, 411. On its footnote, it is stated that it cites al-Thaqafi’s book Al-Gharat.
  • 40. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 53, pp. 14, 18, 19, 23. Al-`Awalim, Vol. 11, pp. 441-43. Al-Khasibi, Al-Hidaya al-Kubra, pp. 392, 407-08, 417. Hilyat al-Abrar, Vol. 2, p. 652. Refer also to Fatima al-Zahra’ Bahjat Qalb al-Mustafa, Vol. 2, p. 532 from Nawa’ib al-Duhur by Sayyid al-Meerjahani, p. 192.
  • 41. Fatima al-Zahra’ Bahjat Qalb al-Mustafa, Vol. 2, p. 532, quoting Nawa’ib al-Duhur by Sayyid al-Meerjahani, p. 194. Al-Khasibi, Al-Hidaya al-Kubra, p. 417 (Beirut edition).
  • 42. Shaikh al-Mufid, Al-Ikhtisas, pp. 343-44. Kamil al-Ziyarat, pp. 326-27. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 8, p. 213. Refer also to Basa’ir al-Darajat.
  • 43. Al-Qummi, Tafsir, Vol. 1, p. 128. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 7, pp. 328-29 and Vol. 23, pp. 130-31 and Vol. 12, pp. 6-7. Nar al-Thaqalayn, Vol. 1, p. 348. Al-Burhan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, Vol. 1, pp. 328-29.
  • 44. Al-Mufid, Al-Ikhtisas, pp. 184-85. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 29, p. 192. Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram, Wafat al-Siddaqa al-Zahra’, p. 78.
  • 45. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 45. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 170. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, pp. 411, 504.
  • 46. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, p. 222. Al-Mustarshid fi Imamat Ali ibn Abu Talib , p. 67.
  • 47. Judge `Abd al-Jabbar, Al-Mughni, Vol. 20, p. 335. Sayyid al-Murtada, Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, pp. 110-19. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 16, p. 271.
  • 48. Following is a list of some of the works of Ibn Tawus:

    1- الإقبال Al-Iqbal ؛ 2- التحصين Al-Tahseen؛ 3- الأمان من أخطار الأسفار Al-Aman min Akhtar al-Asfar ؛ 4- فلاح السائل Falah al-Sa’il ؛ 5- الدروع الواقية Al-Duroo` al-Waqiya 6-جمال الأسبوع Jamal al-Usboo`؛ 7- المجتنى من دعاء المجتبىAl-Mujtana min Du`a al-Mujtaba؛ 8- فتح الأبوابFath al-Abwab ؛9- اليقينAl-Yaqin ؛ 10- الطرائف في معرفة مذاهب الطوائف Al-Tara’if fi Ma`rifat Mathahib al-Tawa’if ؛ 11- اللهوف في قتلى الطفوف Al-Luhuf fi Qatla al-Tufuf ؛ 12- الملاحم والفتن Al-Malahim wal Fitan ؛ 13- بناء المقالة الفاطمية Bina’ al-Maqala al-Fatimiyya ؛14-سعد السعودSa`d al-Sa`ud ؛
    15-فرج المهموم Faraj al-Mahmum ؛ 16- فرحة الغري Farhat al-Ghari ؛
    17-قبس من غياث سلطان الورى Qabas min Ghiyath Sultan al-Wara ؛
    18-كشف المحجة لثمرة المهجة Kashf al-Mahajja li Thamarat al-Muhja .
    –Tr.

  • 49. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 22, pp. 476-77. In its footnote, it cites pp. 18-21 of Al-Tara’if by Ibn Tawus.
  • 50. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 22, pp. 484-85. In its footnote, p. 72 of Khasa’is al-A’imma is cited and so is p. 400, Vol. 11, of `Awalim al-`Ulum as well as pp. 92-34 of Al-Tara’if and also Musbah al-Anwar.
  • 51. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 458. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 260. Al-Khawajoo’i, Al-Rasa’il al-‘I`tiqadiyya, pp. 301-02.
  • 52. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 5, p. 315. Rawdat al-Muttaqin, Vol. 5, p. 342.
  • 53. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 458. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 260. Al-Khawajoo’i, Al-Rasa’il al-I‘tiqadiyya, pp. 301-02.
  • 54. Muhaj al-Da`awat, pp. 257-58. Shaikh al-Kaf`ami, Al-Misbah, pp. 553-54. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, p. 393 and Vol. 83, p. 223. Al-`Ataridi, Musnad al-Imam al-Rida , Vol. 2, p. 65.
  • 55. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 50, p. 59, citing Dala’il al-Imama by al-Tabari.
  • 56. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 95, pp. 351, 353-54 and Vol. 31, p. 126. Shaikh Hassan ibn Sulayman, Al-Muhtadir, pp. 44-55 (as referred to in a footnote in Bihar al-Anwar). Also in the same footnote, it is stated that al-Tabari had narrated it in Dala’il al-Imama in the Part relevant to the Commander of the Faithful  and is narrated by Shaikh Hashim ibn Muhammed (one of the sixth century A.H. scholars) in Misbah al-Anwar and by al-Jaza’iri in Al-Anwar al-Nu`maniyya through a different chain of isnad; so, you may refer to it.

Oppressing Al-Zahra’: Centuries-Old Sectarian Arguments

Testimonials

The issue of assaulting al-Zahra’ (sa) with beating, attacking her house, the attempt to burn it, the actual burning of it, her miscarriage, and other issues have all been included in the spheres of sectarian arguments since the very first [Hijri] century and till our time.

We would like to cite samples of arguments by orators and others in this regard from prominent personalities of this sect against their opponents across successive centuries so that it may become clear that such diction was not invented by those who recite commemorative ceremonies in order to extract people’s tears with truthful and untruthful words, as someone terms it, leaving the option to research them to whoever wishes to do so.

So, let us say that on Allah do we depend, and from Him do we derive our will power, strength and success.

1. ‘Abd al-Jabbar, the Judge (d. 415 A.H.)

Judge ‘Abd al-Jabbar, one of the most prominent Mu’tazilites, has said the following in his attempt to rebut the Shi’a, “... And among the charges they mention is the claim that Fatima (sa), on account of her anger with Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar, willed that they both should not perform her funeral prayers, and that they both should not know where she was buried. So she was buried at night. In a narrative transmitted by Ja’far ibn Muhammed and others, they claim that ‘’Umar hit Fatima (sa) with a whip and struck al-Zubayr with the sword. They also say that ‘’Umar went to her house as Ali (as), al-Zubayr and a group of those who boycotted the swearing of fealty to Abu Bakr assembled there. He said to her, ‘I find none after your father whom I love most but you. Yet by Allah! Since these folks have assembled at your house, they shall all be burnt.’ She, therefore, prohibited people from assembling, and they did not go back to her till they swore fealty to Abu Bakr..., in addition to such far-fetched narratives. The answer to these narratives is that we do not believe them.”1

He also said, “As regarding what they mentioned abut ‘’Umar in reference to such burning, had it been true, it would not be demeaning to ‘’Umar because he was right in threatening those who refused to swear the oath of allegiance.”2

2. Sayyid al-Murtada, the Flag of Guidance (d. 436 A.H./1014 A.D.)

Sayyid al-Murtada, the flag of guidance (‘alam al-huda), rebutting what the afore-mentioned Judge had said, states the following:

We have made it quite clear that the narrative regarding such burning has been narrated by non-Shi’as who cannot be charged... The excuse which he used regarding this burning, if true, is quite interesting! How can anyone seek an excuse for someone who wanted to burn the house of the Commander of the Faithful (as) and of Fatima (sa)?!”3

Rebutting ‘Abd al-Jabbar’s rejection of Fatima (sa) being hit and her house attacked and her being threatened with burning, and in response to his saying, “We neither believe it, nor do we think it is possible at all,” Sayyid al-Murtada says, “You did not base your rejection on any proof or possibility whatsoever so you would defend your viewpoint. Rejecting what is narrated without producing any evidence whatsoever is totally disregarded.”4

When ‘Abd al-Jabbar claimed that to say that Fatima (sa) was hit reminds one of the narratives regarding the hulal, Sayyid al-Murtada responded to him by asking him: “Do you not know that this sect is referred to by those who believe in the hulul, and that reason proves the error of what they claim?! Do you say that reason concludes that it is impossible that Fatima (sa) was hit?! If you say that they both are the same, then prove how reason considers it impossible, just as you explain how impossible it is to believe in the hulul, and you will then nail down your argument. Surely it is well known that you cannot do it!”5

He also said, “There is no difference between a threat for the reason which he mentioned and hitting Fatima (sa) for the same reason, for burning houses is surely a greater offense than whipping someone. There is no sense in the author expressing his anger at such whipping and his calling the transmitter of the incident a liar.”6

3. Shaikh al-Tusi (d. 460 A.H./1068 A.D.)

The sect’s mentor, Shaikh Muhammed ibn al-Hassan al-Tusi, may Allah have mercy on him, has said,

One of their offenses, which were held in contempt, was beating Fatima (sa). It is narrated that she was whipped, and it is well known without any contention among the Shi’as is that ‘’Umar (ibn al-Khattab) hit her on the stomach, so she miscarried Muhsin. Such a narrative is quite famous among them. Add to this their attempt to burn her house when some people sought shelter in it, refusing to swear the oath of allegiance to him (to Abu Bakr).

Nobody denies this narrative at all because we have proven how such a narrative is transmitted by the Sunnis via al-Balathiri and others, and the narratives transmitted by the Shi’as are numerous, and there are no contradictions in them.

Nobody has the right to say that if this were true, it would not be a serious charge because a leader has the right to threaten those who refuse to swear fealty to him; he is unlike other Muslims. This is not true because there is no excuse whatsoever for anyone to burn the house of Fatima (sa), of the Commander of the Faithful (as) and of al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as)... Can a heinous act such as this be really justified?!

Rather, one will be acting contrarily to the consensus of the Muslims had such consensus been confirmed and proven. It is accurate and fixed when the Commander of the Faithful (as) and those who refused to swear the oath of allegiance (to Abu Bakr) from among those who sought shelter at Fatima’s house entering into it and not getting out of it.

What “consensus” is this while the Commander of the Faithful (as) refused to endorse it, let alone others who refused to swear the oath of allegiance to him? Anyone, such as al-Juba’i and others who say so clearly, demonstrates his animosity and fanaticism because the burning incident took place prior to the (forced) swearing of allegiance by the Commander of the Faithful (as) and the group of men who were then at his house (who were likewise forced to swear it). They claimed such “consensus” after such swearing, that is, when those who refused to swear did indeed swear it (though against their will). What we have rejected is surely contemptible.7

Shaikh al-Tusi has also said the following:

Al-Balathiri, quoting al-Mada’ini from Maslamah ibn Muharib from Sulayman al-Tamimi from Abu ‘Awn, says: “Abu Bakr sent (‘’Umar) to Ali (as) requiring him to swear the oath of allegiance to him, but he refused, and also refused with him a number of others. Fatima (sa) met ‘’Umar at the door and said to him, ‘O son of al-Khattab! Are you really going to burn my house door?!’ He said, ‘Yes.8 And this is stronger than what your father had brought (!).’ Ali went and swore it.”

This same incident is narrated by Shi’as from many venues. It is interesting that it is also narrated by the mentors of Sunni narrators of hadith, but they used to narrate what would protect them. They may be alert to some of what they narrate, so they stop narrating it. Yet what “choice” can one have when he sees his house door set to fire so that he would be forced to swear fealty?9

4. Abul-Salah al-Halabi (d. 474 A.H.)

The great faqih and gifted orator, Shaikh Abul-Salah al-Halabi, may Allah have mercy on him, has said the following:

They harmed Ali (as) because he did not go along with what they wanted him to do, and they were rough when they spoke to him and went too far in their threats to him. They brought firewood to burn his house and assault it with men without his permission. They brought him tied-up, thus forcing his wife, daughters, women and kinsfolk from Banu Hashim and others to go out of their homes. They surrounded him with their unsheathed swords and promised to kill him if he refused to swear fealty to them.10

5. ‘Abd al-Jalal al-Qazwini (d. cir. 560 A.H./1165 A.D.)

In his book, wherein he rebutted a book titled Al-Naqd (in response to “Some Rafidi Scandals”), ‘Abd al-Jalal al-Qazwini has said the following:

“... They claim that ‘’Umar hit Fatima (sa) in the stomach, killing a fetus in her womb whom the Messenger of Allah S had named Muhsin...” The answer to it is this: This is true. Shi’as and Sunnis have recorded it in their respective books. But it has been narrated about the Chosen One S that he had said, “Actions are judged according to intentions.” If ‘’Umar’s purpose was to secure the oath of allegiance from Ali (as), and he did not intend to cause any miscarriage, and perhaps ‘’Umar did not know that Fatima (sa) was behind the door, his killing of her fetus will be by mistake, unintentionally. Even if he had killed him deliberately, he was not an infallible man. Allah is the One Who will judge him, not we, and nothing more can be said. Allah knows best about His servants’ actions, inward thoughts and what they hide.

“And they say that ‘’Umar and ‘Othman prohibited Fatima (sa) from weeping over her father..., etc.”11

And he says in another place, “‘’Umar tore up Fatima’s property title of Fadak, hitting her in the stomach, and they prohibited her from weeping over her father.”12

We say that the excuse provided for killing al-Muhsin is truly odd and strange in the face of the huge torrent of narratives clearly proving that he (‘’Umar) knew that she was behind the door (where she spoke to him prior to being hit by him). Some narratives have even stated that he hit her fingers when she held the door trying to stop him from opening it, telling him that she had no veil on her so that