These days are associated with Lady Fatimah (s.a.). Try to think why there is so much reward of narrating the pure life-histories and virtues of Ahl al-Bayt of the Holy Prophet (S)?1 It is so much rewarding because they were created in a human form, which is the highest example for humanity. They were role models. They are made as ‘perfect example’ by God, the creator of human beings.
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “I am taught morals from God and Ali (A) has been taught morals by me.”2 Ali (A) is an ideal man who is perfect. He is the best person as regards speech, movement and character. Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) was also an ideal for human beings.
Now Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) felt that she was going to depart. According to a narration, she wrote a will in solitude and kept it under her pillow. It is worth noting how an ideal wife’s behavior with her husband should be.
When Imam Ali (A) came near the bed of Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.), she expressed her desire to make a will. Imam Ali (A) sat near her and took her head in his lap. Lady Sayyada said: “O Abal Hasan! I want to make a few wills.” Imam Ali (A) said: “I would listen and obey. You can say what you want.”
Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) humbly started with an introduction, hearing which Imam Ali (A) was moved. She said:
“O Ali! Whatever duration I lived in your house I lived like your slave-girl. I spent time in your house most trustfully; I was in such a state in your house...”
Hearing these words, Imam Ali’s (A) eyes were filled with tears. He pressed her head against his chest as if trying to convey: “I never want you to apologize like this” because Lady Az-Zahra’s (s.a.) statements implied that she was apologizing for any discrepancy in her services. Whereas Imam Ali’s (A) act only meant: “O Az-Zahra! I don’t want you to speak like this because I am pained by it.”3
I leave this matter here and present another scenario to you. As you know Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) was furious at the people who inflicted atrocities on her. When they came to know that her malady has become serious, they sent a message to her seeking permission to visit her.
Actually, they wanted to apologize and ask her to forget what they had done in the past on the pretext of visiting her during her illness. Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) did not permit them to visit her and said: “I am not pleased with those people who hurt me and usurped the right of my husband. I don’t want them to enter my house and step on the floor of my house.”
Eventually, they came to Imam Ali (A) and said: “O Abal Hasan! We have requested the daughter of the Prophet to permit us to visit her during her illness but she did not allow us. So, we have come to you to seek your permission.”
Now note the respect that Imam Ali (A) accorded to Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.). He did not come to her and told her flatly: “Would you give me whatever I ask for?” or “So and so situation demands...”
The Imam said: ‘‘Az-Zahra (or daughter of Prophet) The two have sought my mediation.” That is, the decision is yours, whether you permit them or not. However, note what Lady Sayyada (s.a.) replied. She said: “O Ali! This is your house. I am your wife and would not object to your decision.”4
This couple had souls tied together in the same way as the saying goes: “Birds of feather flock together”. There was a wonderful unity between the two. Therefore, did Imam Ali (A) not have the right to wish for his death after the passing away of Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) who was so great that neither she had a replacement nor a successor?
Imam Ali (A) himself says:
“We were spending the days of our youth happily like a couple of pigeons. However, time separated us from each another. Surely, time separates the friends from one another.”5
What should a person do who is shattered by the loss of a helper who is unique? When he used to visit the holy grave of Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.), he used to salute her and then narrate his feelings to her. He used to speak to her about a thing and then give the reply himself.
Imam Ali (A) used to tell himself:
“Why do I stand at the grave of my beloved saluting her when I don’t get a reply to the salutation from the beloved’s grave? What kind of beloved you are! You do not reply to my salutations. Did you forget our friendship after passing away from this world? Did you forget Ali?”6
Then he used to himself say:
“My beloved said: O Ali! How do I reply you? Don’t you know that your Az-Zahra is sleeping under the cover of dust?”7
- 1. The wordings after this statement are absent from the cassette.
- 2. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 16, Pg. 231; Mizan ul-Hikmah, Vol. 1, Pg. 78.
- 3. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 43, Pg. 191; Bait ul-Ahzan, Pg. 253.
- 4. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 28, Pg. 303. Imam Ali (A) told Lady Fatimah (s.a.) that so and so persons were standing at the door and wanted to salute her and asked if they were permitted inside. Lady Fatimah (s.a.) replied, ‘This is your house and I am your wife. It is up to you to do whatever you wish.”
The tradition of Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 43, Pg. 246 and Baitul Ahzan, Pg. 246 is as follows: ‘This is your house and women must obey their husbands. I would not object to any of your decisions. You may permit whoever you want.”
- 5. Diwan Imam Ali, Pg. 86.
- 6. Ibid., Pg. 89.
- 7. Ashnai ba Qur’an, Vol. 7, Pg. 56-58.