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Majlis 14

Simple Lifestyle Of The Holy Prophet (S)

One of the basic principles of the Prophet’s life was simplicity. It is narrated that he followed this principle till the last moments of his life.1

It is mentioned in a tradition that one day Umar Ibn Khattab entered the Prophet’s house to see that the Prophet had turned his face away from his wives and was saying: “You are free to take divorce or in order to lead a simple life or you make patience your motto.” It was so because some wives of the Prophet had told him: “We cannot lead such a simple life. We also want ornaments and jewels like others: so please give us something from the war booty.”

His Eminence was telling them: “I lead a very simple life. Thus, if you want I am ready to divorce you and also prepared to pay you some monies as ordered by the Holy Qur’an. It is all right if you want to live a simple life, otherwise I am ready to divorce you.”2

Upon this, all the wives of the Prophet replied in unison: “O Messenger of Allah! We are ready to lead a simple life.” This incident has been narrated in great detail.3 Books of Ahle Sunnat also contain this tradition.

It is narrated that when Umar came to know about the problems of the wives of Prophet, he went to speak to the Prophet. He says that when he reached there, an Ethiopian was sitting outside with orders not to allow anyone to meet the Prophet. Umar told the sentry to inform the Prophet about his arrival. He went inside and then came back and said: “The Holy Prophet (S) did not give any reply.”

After that, Umar tried to seek permission twice again but he did not get it. When he went there for the third time, he was permitted to enter. He saw the Holy Prophet (S) resting on a mat of date-palm.

When the Holy Prophet (S) moved, marks of mat appeared on his holy body. He was moved on seeing this and said: “O Messenger of Allah! Why is it that worldly kings are surrounded by wealth and the Messenger of Allah is in such a state?”

The Holy Prophet (S) was annoyed at these words of Umar. He got up from his place and said:

“What are you saying? What rubbish is this? On the basis of what you have seen you are wondering why I don’t have wealth? In your view it is a sort of deprivation for me and a bounty for them. By Allah, even if all these luxuries come to Muslims, even then they would not be worth boasting on.”4

O mourners! You have seen how simple the lifestyle of the Holy Prophet (S) was! When he passed away from this world, what did he leave behind? Later, when Imam Ali (A) departed from this world, what did he leave behind?

Simplicity Of Lady Fatimah (S.A.)

As we know the Holy Prophet (S) was survived by only one daughter. Generally, every father out of his fatherly love and according to our customs tries to leave behind something for his daughter before passing away.

For example, he might buy a house for her where she can live peacefully. However, history says that one day the Holy Prophet (S) visited his daughter’s house. He saw her wearing a silver bangle and the house had a colorful curtain.

In spite of the boundless love of his daughter, he went away without speaking to her. Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) understood that her father did not like even this much wealth for her. Why? Because it was the period of the folks of the Suffa (a platform in the Prophet’s mosque where homeless folks took shelter).5

Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) was always present in the rows of generous people. She used to give off whatever worldly wealth she had to others. As soon as she saw that her father has gone, she took off her bangle and that colorful curtain and sent them to the Holy Prophet (S) along with a message:

“O Messenger of Allah! This is gifted to you by your daughter and you may use them as you wish.” When the Holy Prophet (S) heard this, his face lit up with happiness and he said: “O daughter! May your father be sacrificed for you.”6

Wedding Night Dress

It was the wedding night of Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.). Only a single dress was purchased for her wedding night. Apart from this, she did not have any other new dress.

On her wedding night, a beggar came to her house and called out, “I am without clothes. Can anybody give me clothes?” Nobody paid heed to his call. However, when the bride sitting on her bed, Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) saw that nobody was paying heed to the beggar, she got up and going to an isolated place, changed her wedding dress putting on her old clothes.

Then she gave away the wedding dress to that beggar. When guests arrived and inquired about her new dress, Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) replied that she has given it in the way of Allah.7 Think about the greatness and importance of this act in the view of Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.)? What was a new dress for her? What was apparent glitter and adoration for her?

Then Why Did Fatimah (S.A.) Go To Claim Fadak?

If Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) went to claim Fadak in the court of caliphate it was so be in Islam it is obligatory to defend one’s right. Otherwise, what worth Fadak had for her? However, if she had not demanded her right to Fadak it would have been injustice to herself.

She could have sacrificed a thousand Fadaks in the way of Allah but she went to seek her right for not doing injustice to herself. That is, Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) considered Fadak important because it was her right and not because it was a material thing and a property. The only importance of Fadak as a property was that she could help the poor through its income.

Last Moments Of Lady Fatimah (S.A.)

Yes, the state of Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) on her wedding night was same as I narrated just now. However, at the time of her death, she particularly wore a pure dress so that she takes her last breath in these clothes only. Asma Bint Umais says:

“One day (there are two traditions regarding the demise of Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.). According to one tradition Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) passed away 75 days after the Prophet’s demise and according to another tradition, she passed away after 90 days) I saw that the condition of Lady Az-Zahra was quite better because she got up from her place and then sat down again. Then she got up again and went to perform the ritual bath (Ghusl) and then said: ‘Asma! Bring such and such dress of mine.”8

Asma says that she became happy seeing all this but the statement spoken by Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) later on turned all her happiness into grief. Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) said: “Asma! I am lying down facing Qibla. Don’t talk to me for some time. After some time has passed, you should call out to me. If I don’t reply; know that that my final moments have arrived.”

Upon this, all the expectations of Asma were destroyed. Not much time passed when Asma started wailing and came out in search of Ali. She reached the mosque and called put for Imam Ali (A) and Imams Hasan and Al-Husayn (A) also arrived.9

  • 1. Irshad ul-Quloob, Ch. 32, Pg. 155.
  • 2.
    يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ إِنْ كُنْتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا فَتَعَالَيْنَ أُمَتِّعْكُنَّ وَأُسَرِّحْكُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا 
    وَإِنْ كُنْتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَالدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْمُحْسِنَاتِ مِنْكُنَّ أَجْرًا عَظِيمً
    O Prophet! Say to your wives: If you desire this world’s life and its adornment, then come, I will give you a provision and allow you to depart a goodly departing; and If you desire Allah and His Apostle and the latter abode, then surely Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a mighty reward. (33:28-29)
  • 3. Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, Vol. 16, Pg. 314.
  • 4. Sirat al-Halabiya, Vol. 3, Pg. 316.
  • 5. That is it was a period of extreme poverty.
  • 6. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 43 Pg. 83.
  • 7. Nuzhat ul-Majalis, Vol. 3, Pg. 235.
  • 8. Lady Asma Bint Umais was not a servant. She was the sister-in-law of Lady Zahra (s.a.) i.e. wife of His Eminence, Ja’far Tayyar. After his martyrdom, she was married to Abu Bakr and Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr, an honest person was born to them. After Abu Bakr, Imam Ali had married her. Thus, Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr was also called the son of Imam Ali (A). He was brought up by Imam Ali (A).

    Hence he loved Imam Ali (A) very much and had nothing to do with his father. The purpose of narrating this is to make it clear that Asma Bint Umais was a woman of high status. When she was married to Abu Bakr, she had faith in the caliphate of Imam Ali only. She was among the supporters of Ali (A) and loved the family of the Imam very much and had faith in them. She did not like the family of Abu Bakr at all. (Ustad Mutahhari)

  • 9. Muntahai ul-Amaal, Vol. 2, Pg. 270; Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol, 43, Pg. 186.