Barakah means: multiplication, felicity and abundance; as Taj al-Arous clarifies. Also, Ragheb said: Because divine goodness springs from an ever - continuous source in an unlimited manner, it is said that anything which noticeably multiplies or, increases is Mubarak, or, blessed.
Allah Almighty gifted Fatima with abundant blessings, and made her the Mother of the Prophet's descendants on whom Allah has bestowed ever - lasting benevolence.
Upon reviewing the history of Fatima's offspring, we find that when she died, she left behind two sons and two daughters, who are: Imam Hasan (as) (son), Imam Husayn (as) (son), Zainab (as) (daughter), and Umm Kulthum (as) (daughter). But, when the event of Karbala occurred, Imam Husayn (as), and his children achieved martyrdom, and ‘Ali Ibn Al- Husayn (as) (Imam Zain Al-Abedeen) was the only surviving child of Imam Husayn. Also, seven of Imam Hasan's (as) children, and two of Zainab's (as) sons achieved martyrdom. Umm Kulthum (as) had no children at that time.
After the events of Karbala, inflictions successively befell the Prophet's descendants. Torture and massacres continued against them starting with the battle of Harra, Zaid Ibn ‘Ali's and Fakh, and going through the agony they suffered throughout the Umayyad era. But, when the Abbass-ides came to power, they went beyond the Umayyad record of eradicating, and annihilating Fatima's offspring (more details about the sufferings they encountered can be found in Maqatel al Talibeen).
The struggle continued for two centuries until Imam Al-Hasan Al-Askari (as) died in Samera (Iraq) as a result of eating poison, which was placed in his food. Furthermore, Salah Ad-Din al-Ayobi was as savage as the Abbassides in massacring the Prophet's descendants and followers. He committed mass murders and brutal crimes, which bring chills in the spine.
Nonetheless, Allah Almighty bestowed benevolence and blessings upon Fatima az-Zahra's descendants. He implemented abundant multiplicity in them.
The interpretation of the verse:
"To thee have we granted Kauthar" (108:1) varies according to interpreters. The most popular viewpoint of the meaning of Kauthar is a famous fountain, or, domain, which will be given to the Last Prophet on the Day of Resurrection; the literal meaning of Kauthar is abundance, or, abundant benevolence.
Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur, regarding the meaning of Kauthar, writes: "Buhkari, Ibn Jarir and Al-Hakim reported on the authority of Abu Bishr Ibn Said Ibn Jubair that Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
`Al-Kauthar is abundant goodness which Allah gave the Apostle.'
Abu Bishr said:
I told Ibn Jubair that some people claim that it is a river (fountain) in Paradise, he said:
`The fountain in Paradise is part of the abundant benevolence which He (Allah) gave him [the last Prophet] (as)'
Razi's interpretation of the above-mentioned verse is more appropriate. He held the view that what is meant by Kauthar is Fatima az-Zahra (sa). In Majma' al Bayan, Tabarsi writes regarding this subject:
"It was said that Kauthar means abundant benevolence, it has also been said that it means the multiplicity of a given person; and the descendants of Fatima have enormously multiplied in a way that they will exist until the Day of Resurrection."
Fakhr Razi made the following comment in his Interpretation of the Qur’an regarding this verse:
"In reference to the third viewpoint which advocates the meaning of descendants to "Kauthar," some scholars say:
"Since this chapter was revealed to refute the claim of an infidel who attempted to denounce the Prophet (S) for not having sons, it becomes clear that the meaning given here is that Allah gave the Prophet (S) offspring, which will be everlasting. We must keep in mind that numerous massacres have been committed against Ahlul-Bayt, yet still the world is full of them [their progeny]; while the Umayyads have vanished save a few who are worthless. Besides this, prominent scholars have descended from Fatima's sons, such as Al-Baqir, Al-Sadiq, Al-Kadhim, Al-Ar-Ridha’ (as), Al Nafs Al-Zakyyah and others."
This explanation correlates to the following: An infidel denounced the Prophet when one of his [prophet’s] children died, and said Muhammad is now without offspring, therefore when he dies his name will die with him. It was because of this incident that Allah revealed this chapter to His Apostle assuring him; it is as He (Glory be to Him) said:
"You have lost your son, but We have given you Fatima; although she is just one, Allah will make that one many."
A survey of the world's population attests to this conclusion; for Fatima's descendants (who are also the Prophet's descendants) are spread around the globe as follows: Iraq-one million, Iran-three million, Egypt-five million, Morocco-five million, Algeria, Tunis, Libya, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, the Persian Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Indonesia-approximately twenty million descendants of the Prophet of Islam.
An Islamic country in which descendants of Fatima az-Zahra do not live is hard to find. Their number is estimated to be thirty - five million; however, if precise and accurate statistics are taken, their number could be much higher.
Included among the Prophet's descendants are kings, princes, ministers, scholars, writers, prominent characters, and geniuses. Some are honoured by their lineage, and others ignore it and give no importance to it. Some follow Ahlul-Bayt, while others violate their doctrine. I have even heard of some descendants of Fatima (sa) who live in Indonesia, and are enemies of Ahlul-Bayt (as)!
More amazing is the fact that some Muslims refuse to accept their lineage of Fatima az-Zahra’s (sa), and ‘Ali (as); rather they claim that such a lineage is forged, and unacceptable. These people ferociously fought this idea up to the point that they shed innocent blood to implement their ideas.
Hajjaj, Mansour Dawaniqi, Haroon Al-Rashid, and others are known advocates of this idea.
It was mentioned in volume ten of Bihar that Amr Al-Shube said:
"One night Hajjaj summoned me to his palace; this horrified me, so I performed ablution and wrote my will; then went to meet him. When 1 entered his room, I saw a sword, and a leather mat (usually used for executions). I greeted him and he replied to me, and said: Do not fear anything, for I pardon you throughout the night, and until tomorrow noon.' He then ordered me to sit next to him; meanwhile a tied and shackled man was brought to him;
Hajjaj said: `This old man claims that A1-Hasan and Al-Husayn are the Prophet's children; he shall prove this from the Qur’an, or, I will cut his head off.'
I said: 'He should be freed from his chains, because if he proves his claim, he will surely be freed, and if not, a sword cannot break those chains.'
They freed the man of his shackles, but kept his hands cuffed; I was grieved when I saw that he was Sa'id Ibn Jubair, and said: How can he bring proof from the Qur’an in this regard?
Hajjaj said: `Bring me proof from the Qur’an, or, will behead you.'
He said: `Wait.' He waited for a while when Hajjaj repeated his demand, and Sa'id asked for more time to think. When Hajjaj repeated his demand for the third time, Sa'id said:
`I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed devil, in the Name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful.
We gave him Isaac, and Jacob; all (three) We guided; and before him, We guided Noah; and among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron; thus do We reward those who do good.' (6: 84)
Then he stopped and said to Hajjaj: `Read the following verse, And Zakariya and John and Isa.'
Then Sa'id said: `How does Isa fit in here?'
Hajjaj replied: `He is one of Ibrahim's offspring.'
Sa'id said: `Isa did not have a father, yet he was Ibrahim's descendant because he was his daughter's (Maryam) son, therefore Hasan and Husayn are more worthy of being called the Prophet's children especially that they are closer to him (the Prophet) than Isa was to Maryam.'
When Hajjaj heard this, he granted him ten thousands dinars, and set him free.
"In the morning I said to myself. `It is incumbent upon me to visit that old man and learn the meaning of the Qur’an, which I thought I know but really do not.' I entered the Mosque, and found that old man giving everyone ten dinars; I then heard him say: All this is because of the blessings of Hasan and Husayn (as). We were grieved once but cherished a thousand times; we also pleased Allah and His Apostle. "
Another narration which shows the extent of arrogance and insistence on discrediting Ahlul-Bayt and depriving them of the honour of relationship to the Prophet (S) says:
Sheikh Majlisi reported on the authority of Ihtijaj, and Tafsir ‘Ali Ibn Ibrahim in Bihar that Abu Al-Jaroud said:
'Abu Ja'far Al-Baqir (as) said to me:
'Abu Jaroud, what do they (followers of other than Ahlul-Bayt) say about Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn (as)?'
I said: 'They deny the fact that they are sons of Allah's Apostle.'
He then said: 'So with what do you debate them?'
I said: 'With Allah's saying about Isa Ibn Maryam:
"And among his progeny David and Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron; thus, do we reward those who do good," (6: 84) and that Allah Almighty made Isa a descendant of Ibrahim."
He said: 'Then what do they say?'
I said: 'They say: 'A daughter's son can be called a son but he is not actually a real descendant.'
He said: 'How do you argue with them?'
I said: 'We quote the following verse for them':
'Say: Come! Let us gather together, our sons and your sons, our women and your woman.' 1
Then he said: 'Then what do they say?'
I replied: 'They say: "It is common in Arabic for a man to call another man's children Our children while they are really others' children."'
Imam Baqir (Abu Ja'far (as)) then said:
'By Allah, Abu Al-Jaroud, I shall quote a verse from the Book of Allah which shows that Hasan and Husayn are his[Prophet Muhammed’s (S)] direct children (form his loins); proof that can only be denied by infidels.'
I said: `May I be your sacrifice, what verse are you speaking of?' He answered: `When Allah said:
"Prohibited to you (for marriage) are your mothers, daughters... until (those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins".
Ask them, Abu A1 Jaroud, was it permitted for Allah's Messenger to marry Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn's wives (had they been divorced)?
If their response is affirmative, then they have lied and sinned; and if their answer is negative, it is because they are his children proceeding from his loins. "'
In another debate, which took place between Haroun Al-Rashid and Imam Musa Ibn Ja'far (as) mentioned by Bihar Majlisi on the authority of 'Oyun Akhbar Al-Ar-Ridha’, Haroun said to the Imam:
"Why did you permit people to trace your ancestry back to Allah's Messenger (as) and call you sons of Allah's Apostle while you are descendants of ‘Ali? Men are traced to their fathers; Fatima was not but a vessel and her father, the Prophet your maternal grandfather!"
The Imam (as) replied: "Had the Prophet been brought back to life, and asked you for your daughter's hand in marriage, would you fulfill his wish?"
Rashid answered: "Glory be to Allah! Why wouldn't I fulfill his wish? Indeed I would be honored among the Arabs, non Arabs, and Quraish to do so."
The Imam then said: "But he would not ask to marry my daughter, nor could I give her to him in marriage."
Rashid exclaimed: "Why not?"
The Imam said: "For he has begotten me, and has not begotten you".
Rashid then said: "You are right, Musa (as);" and added: "but why do you claim to be the Prophet's offspring while he did not beget sons? And, since offspring are sons not daughters, and you are Fatima's children, she did not have offspring."
Upon hearing this, the Imam apologized to Rashid and asked to be excused; he did not want to answer him in observance to the law of prudence (taqiya). Nevertheless, Rashid insisted on hearing his arguments, and said: "You are obligated to bring me your arguments from the Qur’an, you children of ‘Ali (as), and you are their Imam of the time and chief, as I was told, I will not excuse you until you bring me proof from Allah's Book, from which you know the interpretation of every letter, as has been written in this verse:
`Nothing have We left unattended from the Book.'
Furthermore, you dispensed with the opinions of other scholars, and `qiyas' (inference)."
The Imam then said: 'am I permitted to give you the answer?"
Rashid said: "Indeed you are."
The Imam then said: "I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed devil. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful:
And among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron; thus, do We [Allah] reward those who do good;
"And Zakariya, and John, and Jesus (Isa)".
The Imam continued, "Who is Isa's Father?"
The Imam then said: "Therefore, he is considered among the Prophet's offspring through Maryam; likewise, we are the offspring of the Holy Prophet (S) through our Mother, Fatima (sa)..."
These were some of the verses that Ahlul-Bayt (as) used as proof of their lineage to Allah's Apostle through Fatima az-Zahra (sa).
There are a great number of narrations, which declare the same thing; among them are:
1. Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi v.1, p.316, in Tarikh Baghdad reported that Ibn Abbas said:
"I was in the company of my father, A1-Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib, sitting in the presence of Allah's Messenger (as) when ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (as) entered, and greeted us. The Prophet(as) returned his Salam, stood up and while smiling, embraced him and kissed his forehead. The Prophet then asked him to sit near to him."
Al-Abass asked: "Messenger of Allah, do you love him?"
The Prophet replied: "Uncle of Allah's Messenger! By Allah, Allah loves him more than I do. Surely, Allah made every Prophet's progeny proceed from him, and made my progeny proceed from this one."
2. Also, Khawarazmi in Manaqib p.229, narrates the following:
Allah's Apostle declared: "Surely Allah made every Prophet's progeny proceed from his [the prophets’] own loins, and made my progeny proceed from ‘Ali's loins."
This narration was reported by the following writers:
Muhib Ad-Din-Tabari in Dhakhaer al-Uqbi, Hamueeni in Faraed As-Semtain, Dhahabi in Mizan al-Etedal, Ibn Hajar in al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqa p.74, Mirza Hindi in Muntakhab Kanz al-Umal, Zarqani in Sharh Mawahib Ladonyyah, and Qandouzi in Yanabi' al-Mawaddah p.138.
Nisaee also mentioned in Khasaes Amir Al-Mu’mineen on the authority of Muhammad Ibn Usama Ibn Zaid, that his Father said:
Allah's Messenger said: “As for you ‘Ali, you are my son-in-law, and the father of my offspring; you are from me, and I am from you.'"
The same narrator reported that Usama said:
"I went to visit the Prophet of Allah one night; he (as) came out carrying something that I didn't recognize under his cloak. When I finished my work with him I said. `What do you have under your cloak?' When he opened his cloak, I saw Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn on his lap. The Prophet then said:
`These are my children and my daughter's sons; O Allah, you surely know that I love them, therefore love them".
Despite the large number of traditions, which declare that Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn are the Prophet of Allah's children, some ignorant writers try to deny this fact. These writers quote the Qur’anic verse:
"Muhammad is not the Father of any of your men,"
In order to prove that he [Prophet Muhammad (S)] was not anyone's Father. These writers use this verse even though it is an uncontested fact that it was revealed to prove that Zaid, the Prophet's adopted son, is not related to the Prophet (S). The Apostle gave him (Zaid) in marriage to his cousin Zainab; but when Zaid divorced her, he [Prophet Muhammad (S)] married her in obedience to Allah's command, and to prove that he (S) was not Zaid's Father, which would make Zainab prohibited as a wife to him.
"Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary formalities, We joined her in marriage to thee: In order that (in the future) there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the later have dissolved with necessary formalities (their marriage) with them. And, Allah's command must be fulfilled." (32: 39)
Thus, prohibiting marriage with the previous wives of a son depends on proving their actual lineage to the father; if such a lineage cannot be proved, then marrying the previous wives is not prohibited. It is for this reason that Allah Almighty said:
"Of any of your men."
If this was not the case, then what about Ibrahim, Al-Qasim, Al-Taeeb and Al-Mutahhar who were all his [Prophet Muhammed’s (S)] sons.
Furthermore, it has already been verified that the Prophet (S) said to Imam Hasan (as):
"This son of mine is a Master."
He also said:
"Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, these two sons of mine, are Imams whether they rise, or, forebear."
"Every daughter's children are called to their Father, save Fatima's children; for I am their Father."
In another interpretation of "of any of your children," some scholars say: "What He meant by "Men", was the mature ones; and none of his children were mature at that time."
In conclusion, whatever has been said about the Apostle's sons, can be said to include Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn. They were the Prophet of Allah's sons.
- 1. The Prophet (S) chose Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn to represent his sons, Fatima for "women," and himself and ‘Ali (as) for "ourselves." (Translator's note)