Chapter 1: Her Life, a brief account
Fatimah (as) was the only woman connecting Prophethood and Imamah and was the link between the two. She was the daughter of the Prophet (sawa); the wife of the first Imam (as) and the mother of the rest of the Imams (as) who descended from her and her husband Ali (as). Allah singled her out with this virtue and peculiarity because she was the most perfect and highest example in purity, sanctity, worship, asceticism and morals.
According to some Qur'an commentaries (Tafsir), when the Quraysh (tribe) said that the Prophet (sawa) had no offspring, the chapter of al-Kawthar was revealed:
'Verily We have given thee the Kawthar (Abundance). So pray thou unto thy Lord! And offer sacrifice. Verily, thy enemy shall be the one cut off (in his progeny).' (Qur'an 108:1-3)
'We have given you al-Kawthar' means we have given you the abundant good, which shall last throughout your life and after it; therefore, turn your face unto your Lord in prayer, as mention of your name shall never end and your offspring shall never perish; it is those standing against you who are more deserving of this description.
This revelation was given against the backdrop of the pronouncements by some of the Quraysh's most scurrilous men - such as al-'As bin Wa'il, Abu Jahl, 'Uqbah bin Abi Mu'ayt and Ka'b bin al-Ashraf - that the Prophet (sawa) was cut off from male children, after the death of his son al-Qasim. Hence, it is clear that the abundant good - al-Kawthar - was pointing to the abundant offspring which the Prophet (sawa) would have through his daughter Fatimah (as), and that this was a reply to those people and their effort to weaken the Prophet's spirits. Supporting our interpretation, al-Tabataba'i, in al-Mizan commentary, said: 'Without that, the words 'Verily, thy enemy shall be the one cut off' would be useless.'
In Fatimah's childhood, there was no place for playing, leisure and purposelessness. Nor were her energies those of a child living a childhood of innocence and simplicity. Rather, hers was the energy of a child who stored within herself a feeling for the role which she should play in the Messenger's life and the suffering and pain which he was facing. It was a childhood with the characteristics of motherhood, living its spirit and fulfilling its role.
There she was, and having opened her eyes to life, she saw her father (sawa) coming every now and then, weighed down by the pressures, burdens and harm inflicted by the atheists; so she would embrace her father and relieve his pain and take care of him with all kindness.
One day, she saw her father (sawa) in the Holy Mosque of Makkah after the atheists had dumped dirt and rubbish over his back while he was praying to his Lord. She promptly went forward and removed the rubbish with her small hands, expressing her sadness and condolences to him (sawa) with her tears. This is what made her open up to her responsibilities in her early childhood to stand by her father, to take care of him and empathize with him; and he was the one who had lost his mother, and his sympathetic wife.
She stood by him when he was challenged with the Message: some called him names, others accused him of being insane, and others threw dirt and stones on him; his uncle Abu Lahab crying out: 'No doubt, Muhammad has bewitched you!' But when he returned home, he would be greeted by Fatimah (as), with her sympathy and care, which was not that of a child weeping without awareness.
She was sensing that his pain was also hers and so amassed during her childhood the pain of the Message and pain of the Messenger... And whosoever amasses in their early childhood the awareness of the pain of the Messenger and the Message cannot find time for leisure or playing or purposelessness; playing and purposelessness occur in our lives because of an emptiness, which we are trying to fill.
This was how Fatimah (as) grew up, not like other children, but as a person with mission in her feelings, emotions, opinions and her whole dynamic attitude.
Ibn 'Abdul Barr, in al-Istee'ab, narrated - and we would like very much to use it, as it was a Sunni source which represents a neutral source, so that the Shi'ah could not be accused of talking out of emotion - that 'Aisha said: 'I had not seen any one who was more resembling the Messenger of Allah in his speech, conduct and manners as Fatimah; when she used to enter (his house) he would stand up for her, take her hand and kiss it and make her sit in his sitting place; and when he used to enter (her house) she would stand up for him, take his hand and kiss it and make him sit in her sitting place'.1
When we study this text, we can conclude two things: first, the unity and complete merging between Fatimah's personality and her father's, as the person most closely resembling him. This is reflected even in his walking, as seen in many narrations, such as 'Fatimah came and her walk did not fail the walking of the Messenger of Allah (sawa)'; second, the depth of the spiritual relationship between the Prophet (sawa) and Fatimah (as), a relationship which the Prophet (sawa) had with Fatimah (as) alone.
Another narration by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak states: 'The Messenger of Allah used, when he came back from a battle or journey, to come to the mosque and pray two Rak’ats to thank Allah, then would enter to (the house of) Fatimah, then he would come to his wives'.2
This meant that Fatimah (as) held the prime place in the relationships between the Prophet (sawa) and other people, including his wives.
In the same book, al-Mustadrak, al-Hakim also narrated: 'The Prophet (sawa), when he used to travel, the last person he would see was Fatimah.' Thus her image would stay in his mind, and the kindness and emotion, with which she used to embrace him, would stay with him in his travel and his memory, to comfort him.
Al-Hakim added: 'And when he returned from a journey, the first person he would see would be Fatimah.'3
Historians have said that the Prophet (sawa) did not accept that Fatimah (as) became separated from him even after her marriage and, therefore, did not accept that she lived in a house far away from him, so she lived in the house next to his so that he could enter into her house directly from his.4
In al-Isti'ab we read: ''Aisha was asked: who was the most beloved person to the Messenger of Allah? She replied: Fatimah. I asked: and amongst men? She said: her husband...'5 This is an important witness by 'Aisha for Fatimah and Ali (as).
There are many stories from her life which tell how she used to study her father's thoughts to know what he liked and disliked, what opened up his heart and what closed it. An example of this was when he (sawa) came back from a journey and entered her house, looked around a little, then left. Quickly she knew that something bothered the Messenger of Allah (sawa).
She thought about it and realized that on the door of her house was a curtain and that she had two bracelets in her hands; she took the curtain down and took off the bracelets and sent them with her sons and said: 'Say greetings to my father and say to him: we have not introduced anything after you except this, it is for you to do with them what you like.'
When the Prophet (sawa) heard this, his expression relaxed. He was moved by this generous, wonderful, spiritual gesture by his daughter, and this thoughtful response, and gave these things to the poor, saying: ‘She did this! May her father be sacrificed for her! May her father be sacrificed for her! May her father be sacrificed for her! What have the family of Muhammad to do with life: they have been created for the hereafter!'6
This is what every girl with a mission should learn, when her father is a man of missionary affiliations and responsibilities; as too should every woman with someone who has a missionary dimension in his life: she should learn not to get too engrossed with her own affairs, but to open herself up to the responsibilities of her father, husband, brother or son so as to join with him in the dynamic movement of responsibility, and not to add to the burdens to his responsibility. For we see many great men, past and present, become burdened by the people who are around them: while when they think in a missionary manner, those around them think only of themselves.
We also learn from Fatimah (as), in her advanced missionary awareness and position, that she was someone who rebelled against her personal needs, however simple, for the sake of her missionary ambitions; she was someone who prioritized in favour of principles over the self. This is what we need to learn, for many of us - men and women alike - fall down when it comes to a choice between the needs of the principle and the needs of the self; we too often choose the self, and may even make a principle of service to the self.
Fatimah al-Zahra (as) was unique in all her behaviour and deeds, even in her sorrow for her beloved, especially during her separation from the Messenger of Allah (sawa).
Historians tell us that, when she went to him as he was dying, she embraced him and he whispered something in her ear which made her weep. Then, when he whispered something that made her laugh, she was asked: 'How quickly (you’re) laughing after weeping?!' She said: 'I shall not reveal the Messenger of Allah's secret in his life.' So, when she was asked about this after his death, she said: 'He whispered in my ear first that he was going to meet his Lord and that his soul was announced to him (his death), so I wept; then he whispered in my ear again that I was going to be the first of his family to go after him, so I laughed!'7 Where else would you find a young woman, whatever her love for her father, become happy when he tells her that she is going to be the first to die after him?
What relationship deeper could be than this, and what unity of spirit could be stronger?
One of his eternal and most valued utterances in Fatimah's praise is the saying of the Prophet (sawa): 'Fatimah is the mother of her father!'8
But, to understand the precise meaning of this statement we should study the life of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and the hardships and difficulties to which he was subjected from the beginning of his life. He suffered a great deal: from the atheists, to the point that he said: 'No prophet has ever been harmed like I have'9; from losing his wife, the Mother of the Believers, Khadijah (as), who was the shelter in which he found refuge in his hardships; from the loss of his uncle Abu Talib, who took care of him and defended him and stood by him. And he suffered before all this, when he lived an orphan.
Thus, when he was moved by Fatimah's feelings and care, he anointed the motherhood in his daughter with the words ‘Fatimah is the mother of her father.' It encapsulated all his feeling for the kindness and great heart of his daughter towards the Messenger of Allah (sawa).
So, imagine the great scale of the feeling and kindness of Fatimah (as), which succeeded so well in filling the soul of this great man and made him feel secure... To be a mother for a personality such as the Prophet (sawa) demands from the person who wants to play that role a great deal of effort, energy, heart and soul, and a broad horizon.
To use today's terminology, Fatimah and Ali (as) were the first students in the boarding school of the Messenger of Allah (sawa). Ali (as) used to sit in Makkah, when the revelation was being revealed to the Prophet (sawa), and Fatimah (as) used to sit as well to read, together with Ali (as), the revelation and listen to the teachings of the Prophet (sawa), as he explained the meanings of the revelations. They, together, would learn what Allah had entrusted to His Prophet with his laws for man. Hence, Fatimah (as) was with Ali (as) in that great prophetic, cultural surge.
One could understand the hadith 'If Ali did not exist, there would have been no match for Fatimah' on intellectual level: that which Fatimah (as) had was not possessed by anyone but Ali (as).
Many companions proposed to Fatimah (as), but the Prophet (sawa) kindly turned down their requests, saying: 'I await the order of my Lord'10 for in Fatimah (as) there was special merit that was not to be found in his other daughters. Fatimah (as) possessed a holy secret, which only Allah Almighty knew; similarly Ali (as) possessed a holy secret, which only Allah knew.
Some asked Ali: 'Why don't you propose to Fatimah?' But he was shy. At last he came to the Prophet (sawa) and talked to him on this matter. In his response, the Prophet (sawa) showed that he was pleased, as if he was waiting for this proposal, even preparing for it. He said to Ali: 'What money have you got?'
Of course he (sawa) knew how much Ali (as) had, for he was the one who brought him up and was with him both at home and away, day and night, in war and peace; nevertheless he asked him: 'What have you got?' Ali replied: 'My sword, shield and the clothes which I wear!' The Prophet (sawa) said: 'You cannot do without your sword with which you defend Islam and remove hardship from the Messenger of Allah, but give me your shield.'11
The shield was sold for 500 dirham and this was the marriage gift (mahr) of Fatimah (as), who accepted Ali (as) as her husband.
What we need to understand in this marriage is what is in the hadith that Imam al-Sadiq (as) - or the Prophet (sawa) according to others - said: 'Had it not been that Allah the Most High created the Commander of the Faithful for Fatimah, there would have been no match for her on Earth.'12
What was this match that the narration was referring to?
Certainly it was not the match in terms of family, for there was more than one cousin of the Prophet (sawa), but it was a match in soul, mind, intellect and belief. Fatimah (as) was, through her faith, mind, intellect, soul, purity, holy struggle and asceticism, a suitable match for Ali (as), who was at the highest level as far these attributes were concerned. Allah ordered his Messenger (sawa) to marry his daughter to her match and the pure to the pure, because there was more than one point on which they met.
This makes us understand the secret behind the refusal of the Prophet (sawa) to marry Fatimah (as) off to any of the prominent companions. Al-Sadooq tells us, in 'Uyoon Akhbar al-Rida (as), that Ali (as) said: 'The Messenger of Allah (sawa) told me: O Ali! Men from the Quraysh complained about Fatimah ('s marriage) and said: we have asked you for her hand in marriage but you have turned us down and married her off to Ali! I said to them: I swear by Allah that it was not me who turned you down and accepted him, but it was Allah; (the archangel) Gabriel came down and said: O Muhammad! Allah the Great and Almighty said: If I have not created Ali, there would have been no match for your daughter Fatimah on the face of the Earth.'
1. Al-Qundoozi narrated, in Yenabee' al-Mawaddah, that Fatimah (as) said: 'I heard my father the Messenger of Allah (sawa), in his death illness saying, and the room full with his companions' [i.e. he did not say it in whisper or secretly, but aloud in front of his companions]: O people! I am about to die and I am submitting this speech to you to fulfill my duty towards you - I am leaving for you the book of my Lord the Great the Almighty and my progeny. Then he took the hand of Ali (as) and said: This is Ali with the Qur'an and the Qur'an with Ali shall never separate until they arrive to me at the basin, (and) I shall ask you how you have succeeded me in dealing with them?'13
2. In Kanz al-Fawa'id, Fatimah (as) narrated that the Prophet (sawa) said: 'Gabriel informed me that the two angels (appointed to count the deeds) of Ali did not register any sin for Ali since they accompanied him.'14 This was what distinguished Ali (as) from the rest of the companions of the Messenger (sawa) and this was what made Fatimah (as) defend Ali's right, not because he was her cousin and husband, but because he was the infallible in whom the two angels could not find any sin or bad deed.
3. In another narration, Fatimah (as) said that she went to the Prophet (sawa) and he stretched out a cloth and said ‘sit', then al-Hasan (as) came and he said to him 'sit with her', then al-Husain (as) came and he said 'sit with them', then Ali (as) came and he said 'sit with them'; then he gathered up the cloth and closed it upon them and said: 'O Lord! They are from me and I am from them; O Lord! Be satisfied with them as I am satisfied with them.'15
His statement 'I am from them' means that the mission of the Prophethood, of which he (sawa) was the bearer, would be passed on to Ahlul Bayt (as) after him, and so the Prophet (sawa) would continue to exist through them, and his Message would continue through them. This is the secret behind his satisfaction with them, for he is satisfied with only those whom Allah is satisfied.
4. In another narration, Fatimah (as) brought al-Hasan and al-Husain (as) to the Messenger of Allah (sawa) in his final illness, and said: 'O Messenger of Allah! You have not bequeathed these two anything!' He replied: 'As for al-Hasan, he has my presence and my mastership; as for al-Husain, he has my courage and generosity.'16
5. Fatimah (as) said: 'My father the Messenger of Allah (sawa) entered when I had gone to bed to sleep, and said: O Fatimah! Do not go to sleep before doing four things: reciting the whole of the Qur'an, making the Prophets your mediators (with Allah), making the believers satisfied with you and performing the pilgrimage and visit (hajj and 'umrah to Makkah). Then he started praying! So, I stayed in bed until he finished the prayer and said: O Messenger of Allah! You ordered me to do four things which I could not do in this hour! The Messenger of Allah smiled and said: If you recite the Tauheed chapter (al-Ikhlas surah) three times it is as if you have recited the whole of the Qur'an; and if you recite prayers to me and the prophets before me then we shall be your mediators in the Day of Judgment; and if you pray that Allah forgive the believers (say istighfar) they shall be satisfied with you; and if you say: Subhan Allah(praise be to Allah) and al-Hamdu Lillah (gratitude to Allah) and La Ilaha Illa Allah (there is no God but Allah) and Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) as if you have performed the pilgrimage and visit.'17
6. She said: 'The Messenger of Allah (sawa) said: Your best of men are those who are the most lenient with people and most generous to their women.'18
This means that the best people are those who are most kind to people and most generous to their women, whether daughters, wives or mothers.
The short life of Fatimah (as), which lasted no more than twenty years according to some historians, was filled with much suffering and grave crises. If we talk about the suffering and hardships in her daily living, we also need to talk about what was worse than that: the calamities and grievances which she suffered after the death of her father - something which opened a bleeding wound in the Islamic nation, and which in turn was the cause of the painful wounds that followed - one of the worst of which was the murder of the Master of the Youth of Paradise Imam al-Husain (as) and his progeny in the desert of Kerbala' and the taking of the women and children as captives to al-Sham (Damascus), driven like slaves. These grievances have been narrated by both the Sunnah and Shi'ah, and the numerous narrations which speak about her grievances and injustices coincide, even to the level of mutawatir.19
Historians, one of whom is Ibn Qutaybah in al-Imamah wal Siyasah, said that - after the death of the Prophet and al-Saqeefah episode - men came with wood to burn down the house of Ali and Fatimah (as), to threaten them and those whom they considered as opposition, who had gathered at the house of Ali (as). Some said to the leader of the assault: 'O man! In the house is Fatimah!'; and Fatimah was the person whom the Muslims agreed to love and respect, and whose position they agreed to acknowledge, because she was the only daughter that the Prophet (sawa) left when he died, and because she was part of him - what made her angry made him angry and what harmed her harmed him... So, how come you come with fire to burn her house?
But, he replied with his famous statement: 'Even though!'
We regard this as one of the most dangerous utterances, because it means that there are no sacred entities in this house, and so there is nothing to prevent it being burned with its people inside!
This utterance points to the mindset of the people, and what they were prepared to do. However, had they opened the door to dialogue through nice words, they would have found Ali the man of dialogue, as he had always been throughout his life, even after he became a caliph; and they would have found Fatimah a woman of dialogue, because the Qur'an, to which Fatimah above all others adhered most closely to, was the book of dialogue. However, those people had already passed the stage of dialogue by the time they gathered the wood to burn the house of al-Zahra (as). So when in reply to 'In the house is Fatimah', that man said 'Even though!' this represented the ugliest form of injustice to which Fatimah (as) was subjected.
There were other events in which she suffered, but they have not always been substantiated fully beyond doubt. Those include the actual burning of the house, the breaking of her rib, the miscarriage, the slapping of her cheek, and the beating of her and others. These are recorded in narrations that may have question marks raised against them, either in their actual text (matn) or in the chain of narrators (sanad), as is the case with many historical narrations.
Therefore, we have raised some queries, as have been raised by some scholars in the past (may Allah be satisfied with them) such as Sheikh al-Mufeed20 who seems to question the miscarriage issue, even the existence of the pregnancy - although we disagree with him on the latter. However, we do not deny that these events may have taken place - as Sheikh Muhammad Husain Kashif al-Ghita' has done regarding beating her and slapping her cheek21 because denying requires as much proof as accepting. At any rate, what is definite is that the numerous narrations attain the level of mutawatir as a whole, confirm that there was an assault on her if only by exposing her house, attacking it and threatening to burn it and this alone should be sufficient to prove the degree of crime which took place. It was a crime that continued to haunt those who committed it, and this was why the first caliph declared as he was dying: 'I wish I had not exposed the house of Fatimah, even if it had declared war on me.'22
Scholars from the two schools of thought, including al-Suyooti, in their commentary on the verse: 'And give to the near of kin his due' (Qur'an 17:26), said that when this verse was revealed, the Prophet (sawa) gave Fatimah (as) the village of Fadak, which he saw as part of the peace treaty between him and the Jews...23 It seems that the right of Fatimah (as) to Fadak has always been well known amongst the Muslims throughout history, and hence 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz, the Umayyad caliph, returned Fadak to Ahlul Bayt.24 Later, after the first 'Abbasid caliphs had confiscated it again, al-Mahdi returned it once more, then he and Haroon took it back, and it continued to be in their possession until al-Ma'moon became caliph and returned it to the Fatimids.25
The proofs to Fatimah's ownership of Fadak were many and clear, and many Muslims gave witness in that regard, including the Commander of the Faithful (as) and Ummu Ayman, but their evidence was refuted!26 There was no counter evidence - except the hadith in which Abu Bakr narrated that the Prophet (sawa) said: 'We, the folk of prophets, do not leave bequests - what we leave is for alms.'27
The factors which stood against this counter evidence, in addition to being contradictory to the Qur'an, are:
First: the hadith was narrated by Abu Bakr only, and Fatimah (as), through her stance, denied this hadith;
Second: the Messenger of Allah (sawa) loved Fatimah (as) with the greatest of love, and would protect her from any evil. So how come he did not tell her of this (Islamic) ruling, which was anyway contradictory to the Qur'an, which states that, the prophets (as) inherited and bequeathed? How come he did not tell her when the hadith was directly related to her - in fact, she was its most clear manifestation? How come he did not tell his beloved and save her the trouble?
Third: If the Muslims agree that Fatimah (as) is the Doyenne of the Women of the World, how come she tells lies, or talks nonsense or contradicts a hadith of her father (sawa)?
Fourth: The history of prophets (as) did not tell us that they did not bequeath anything, and that what they left was for alms, since if that were the case the followers of other religions would have known.
Fifth: Is it conceivable that Ali (as) would enter into dispute with the people about Fadak, and would accuse them of injustice and treason 28 just to side with his wife?! How come and the Prophet (sawa) said: 'The right is with Ali wherever he goes'29 and: 'Ali is with the right and the right is with Ali?'30 And how come Ali does not know that the Prophet (sawa) does not bequeath when he is the gate to the Prophet's City of Knowledge and Wisdom, and who has been with the Prophet (sawa) in a way unparalleled by any other companion?
Sixth: Historians mentioned that Fadak was, in fact, under Fatimah's control and that at the beginning her claim was based on it being a gift from her father (sawa) during her life and therefore did not fall into the category of inheritance.
What great individuals suffer is the injustice of history and of the historians who intentionally hide their names, marginalize their roles and do not take care in registering the particulars of their lives, which are rich in lessons and lively examples that can teach generations throughout time. Fatimah (as) has been one of these victims, for when we study her history, we can find only snapshots of her life with her father the Messenger of Allah (sawa), but with little details. Fatimah (as) is mentioned as a migrant: but nothing much is recorded here except that her name is one of those who migrated after the Prophet (sawa). The irony is that we find history talks extensively about things that are irrelevant to our practical life, such as the celebrations in the heavens when she got married!31
We know that her life, although short, was full of lessons, teachings, worship and holy struggle. We can say that, in spite of all this historical injustice, what has reached us from her, and about her, is sufficient to give us the highest example and the most complete role model for any Muslim.
The attack on Fatimah's house, and the threat to burn it and other injustices, did not win the approval of the Muslims in general. This forced the two men who oppressed her to come and request Ali (as) to ask her permission to enter and to try to resolve the matters with her. What was her response?
Ibn Qutaybah, in al-Imamah wal Siyasah, narrates that 'Umar said to Abu Bakr: 'Let's go to Fatimah, for we have made her angry.' So they went together and asked her permission, but she denied it to them. They asked Ali to talk to her, and he did. When they entered and sat, she turned her face to the wall. They greeted her, but she did not answer. Abu Bakr said: 'O you the Messenger of Allah's beloved! I swear by Allah that the kinship of the Messenger of Allah is more beloved to me than my kinship, and you are surely more beloved to me than my daughter 'Aisha, and I wished the day your father died that I died and did not stay after him... Do you see me, when knowing you and your virtues and honour, denying you your right and inheritance from the Messenger of Allah (sawa)? Except that I heard your father the Messenger of Allah (sawa) saying: We, the folk of prophets, do not leave bequests - what we leave is for alms'.
Fatimah (as) did not comment on the inheritance issue, since she has previously dealt with that in detail in her sermon, but she wanted to establish the proof on the two of them regarding the harm, injustice and wrong-doing to which she was subjected. Hence she said: 'Can I see you if I narrate a hadith from the Messenger of Allah (sawa); you know it, will you do according to it?' They replied: 'Yes'; she said: 'I ask you by Allah, haven't you heard the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sawa): the satisfaction of Fatimah is my satisfaction and the discontent of Fatimah is my discontent?' They said: 'Yes, we heard it from the Messenger of Allah (sawa)'. She said: 'Therefore, I take Allah and his angels as witnesses that you have made me discontented and have not satisfied me, and when I meet the Prophet I shall complain about you to him!'. Abu Bakr said: 'I take refuge in Allah from his discontent and your discontent O Fatimah!’ but she said: 'I swear by Allah that I shall invoke Allah against you in every prayer I do!'32
In another source, she said: 'I ask you by Allah, have you heard the Prophet (sawa) say: Fatimah is part of me and I am part of her; whoever harms her harms me and whoever harms me harms Allah, and whoever harms her after my death it is as if he has harmed her during my life, and who harms her during my life as if he harms her after my death?'. They said: 'O Lord, yes'; she said: 'Gratitude to Allah'. Then she said: 'O Allah! I make you witness, so be witnesses you who are present, that they have harmed me in my life and at my death!'33
In this way, and with all strength and courage, Fatimah (as) proved her case and registered that the two of them had made her angry, and hence also the Messenger of Allah (sawa), and above that Allah the Most High. Her anger remained, like a bleeding wound, in the heart of her descendants and followers. When Abdullah bin al-Hasan was asked about Abu Bakr and 'Umar, he said: 'Our mother was a truthful woman and daughter of a sent prophet; she died angry with some people and we are angry because of her anger.'34
Her protest did not stop at that; she continued her protest until her death. She asked Ali (as) to bury her at night 35 and that those who oppressed her and confiscated her right should not be present. She wanted to express her protest and opposition to aggression and injustice even after death, and she wanted it to be angry and hurtful, but with wisdom and convincing evidence and strong attitudes. She knew that people would start asking: why would the daughter of the Prophet (sawa) be buried at night? Why did she request that? What was happening? For this had not happened in Islam and everyone was expecting to participate in the funeral of their Prophet's daughter. But they were to find out that she was buried at night, and they would be told that that was her will!
The question spread out amongst Muslims: why? This is what Fatimah (as) wanted, to awaken consciences, and those who had been fooled would know the nature of the conspiracy and what had happened.
Moreover, her will also stated that her grave should be flattened so as to add another proof and witness to the injustice she suffered, and to eternalize her protest upon those who oppressed her...36
Ali (as) did exactly what she wanted and buried her at night and effaced her grave. The place of her grave remained unknown, although some narrations by the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (as) say that she was buried in her house, while others say that she was buried in the rauda (garden) which was, according to some scholars, what the Prophet (sawa) meant in his hadith: ‘Between my grave and my pulpit a garden from the gardens of paradise.' A third possibility, according to others, is that she was buried in the cemetery of al-Baqee'.37
- 1. A'yan al-Shi'ah, Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin al-'Amily, Dar al-Ta'aruf, Beirut, Vol.1, p. 307.
- 2. Same; also narrated in Sunan Abu Dawood, Musnad Ahmad and others.
- 3. Ditto.
- 4. Al-Kafi, vol. 4, p. 555. Also, 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 372 states that between the houses of the Prophet (sawa) and Fatimah (as) there was an opening so that he (sawa) would be kept informed about her and her welfare.
- 5. Ditto, p. 308. Also in Sunan al-Turmuthi and al-Amali by al-Tusi.
- 6. Al-Bihar, vol. 43, chapter 4, p. 86; Musnad Fatimah, 'Ataridy, p. 106.
- 7. Al-Irshad, vol. 1, p. 156; Sahih Muslim, Vol. 4, p. 187, Dar Ihya' al-Turath al-'Arabi, 1991; al-Bihar, vol. 2, chapter 29, p. 486.
- 8. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 19; this nickname 'Ummu Abeeha', mother of her father, is included as one of the names by which she used to be known - see 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 69.
- 9. Al-Bihar, vol. 39, chapter 73, p. 56.
- 10. Fatimah al-Zahra fil Ahadith al-Nabawiyyah, al-Sarawi, Beirut 1994, p. 86, 92; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 380.
- 11. Al-Bihar, vol. 43, p. 127, 140; Dela'il al-Zahra, p. 46.
- 12. Kashf al-Ghummah, al-Arbilli, vol. 1, p. 463; al-Bihar, vol. 43, p. 141.
- 13. Yenabee' al-Mawaddah, vol. 1, p. 124.
- 14. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 25, p. 193.
- 15. Dela'il al-Imamah, p. 68.
- 16. Same, p. 69; Kanz al-'Ummal, vol. 12, p. 113, al-Rishalah publishers, Beirut 1993.
- 17. 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 580; Musnad Fatimah al-Zahra, p. 218-9, Dar al-Safwah, Beirut.
- 18. Dela'il al-Imamah, p. 76; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 621.
- 19. Narrated by so many sources, which could never gather to conspire to lie, so as to make it impossible for it but to be true. The translator.
- 20. Al-Irshad, vol. 1, p. 355; this also seems to be the opinion of al-Tabrasi in I'lam al-Wara bi A'lam al-Huda, vol. 1, p. 395, Ahlul Bayt publishers, Iran, 1417H.
- 21. Jannatul Ma'wa, p. 135, Dar al-Adwa', Beirut 1988.
- 22. Commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 6, p. 50; Lisan al-Mizan, vol. 4, p. 189.
- 23. Al-Durr al-Manthoor, vol. 4, p. 177; Yenabee' al-Mawaddah, vol. 1, p. 138.
- 24. Futooh al-Buldan, p. 38; Commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 16, p. 216.
- 25. Commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 16, p. 216.
- 26. Same, p. 122.
- 27. Sahih al-Bukhari, Karmani's commentary, vol. 15, p. 4.
- 28. Commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 16, p. 229.
- 29. Fera'id al-Simtayn, vol. 1, p. 177.
- 30. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 48, p. 26.
- 31. 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 275.
- 32. Al-Imamah wal Siyasah, p. 14.
- 33. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 203.
- 34. Commentary of Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 6, p. 49-50.
- 35. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 210-1; Ibn Sa'd in Tabaqat al-Sahabah; al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak; al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan; al-Tabari in al-Tareekh; and others.
- 36. 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 519.
- 37. Al-Bihar, vol. 97, p. 190, 192, 193, 196; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 517-526.