Comparing Models of Femininity: Fatimah Al-Zahra' and A'isha'

This talk entitled "Comparing Models of Femininity: Fatimah Al-Zahra' and A'isha" was delivered in occasion of the birth anniversary of Sayyida Fatimah Al-Zahra' (a).

Bismillah. A'uzubillahi min al-shaytan al-rajim. Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim. Al-hamdulillah rabb al-'alameen, thumma assalatu wa assalamu 'ala ashraf al-anbiya'i wa al-mursalin, habibi ilahal 'alameen abi al-Qasim, Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] wa 'ala ali baytihi al-tayyibeen at-tahireen. Assalamu aleykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa barakatu. Eid Mubarak to everyone, and thank you very much for having me back. It's a pleasure to see everyone. And now I'm warned after last time, so I will be expecting a very good question and answer discussion and or debate session, inshaAllah. And also, I would like to thank the young people who were reciting the Holy Qur'an and did a very good job of it, mashaAllah,both in the English and the Arabic. And also thank you for the nasheed. I will be stealing that, inshaAllah, because it's very rare to find good ones in English.

So now onto the subject matter, and I'm sure this is a very good topic for this center because I have specifically been told that Mehfil Ali likes more intellectual and analytical discussions because some people might wonder why bother comparing these two historical figures at all. Some people even find it insulting or offensive, either to one or the other of the two historical figures. They say, why is there a need to compare these to women in history at all?

But I do think it is a very valuable thing to do, and not only just as an intellectual exercise, because the fact is, as Muslims and I'm speaking about Shi'i and Sunni Muslims, just one hundred percent as Muslims nowadays there are two main women in Islamic history who are put forward as pardon. Salawat [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]

There are two main women who are put forward as primary role models for Muslim women or for Muslims in general, especially with regards to Hazrat Fatimah Az-Zahra, salamullahi alayha. Obviously, she is a good model [thank you very much] for both men and for women as well. But these are the two ladies who are put forward as the foremost examples of womanhood in the Islamic tradition. And yes, this is a sectarian issue. I'm not going to lie about it. I don't think there's any problem with being honest about this sort of things.

Of course, it's important to be tactful and to be polite, but I don't think anyone did not would deny that within the Shi'i tradition, Hazrat Fatimah Az-Zahra, peace be upon her, is put forward as the example for women. And in the modern Sunni tradition, people generally put forward 'Aisha' Bint Abu Bakr as the model for women. And this, incidentally, I don't personally think it's something reflected even in the Sunni Hadith tradition. If you look at the types of Hadith related about Hazrat Fatimah, peace be upon her, within the Sunni books, there's a certain way in which she is described that no one reaches. For example, not only is she referred to as-sayyidat al-nisa' al-alamin in the Sunni Hadith books, but she's also referred to as the mistress of the women of the Ummah, the mistress, or Sayyida of the women of Paradise. So this is a very lofty status.

Now, of course, in one of the Sunni books, there's a Hadith which claims to put 'Aisha' above that. But I think that's really quite difficult with the the very high praise that peace be upon her, is given even within the Sunni tradition. And, of course, the Hadith about her are shared in the Shi'i tradition as well. But for example, the narration is shared in the Sunni tradition, which says that Fatimah was named Fatimah because she and those who love her will have been separated from the Hellfire. I think that deserves another Salawat [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] and inshaAllah, may we all have the honor of being among those who do have love for Hazrat Fatimah Az-Zahra, peace be upon her and inshaAllah, may we be among those who are separated from the Hellfire.

But I'm just mentioning this to point out that with regards to the position given to Hazrat Fatimah, peace be upon her. Even within the Sunni textual sources, it's quite similar to the position in the Shi'i textual sources. However, Muslims on a general level nowadays within the Sunni schools of thought tend to push 'Aisha' as a role model more.

And when you look at these two women in terms of their normative portrayals, see that that's the type of word you can use in a more intellectual discussion.

But what I mean to say is, shared portrayals of these two women between Shi'i and Sunni Muslims that are there, not in obscure books. They're things that people would generally agree upon. I'm not really going to be going into anything obscure today. You do find that there's a very big difference between the model of womanhood that they present.

And it is my theory which I will attempt to demonstrate today, and you can tell me whether or not if I've been successful, inshaAllah, that when you look at the portrayal of Hazrat Fatimah Az-Zahra, peace be upon her, in the Holy Qur'an and in the Hadith, so I'm not going into any other sort of scholarship or even historical sources, just the Qur'an and the Hadith. One of the things that very much stands out to me, whether you're looking at the Shi'i or the Sunni sources, is that she's portrayed as an example of a full and complete and perfected human being in all aspects.

So, for example, when you look at the Qur'anic verses, you see her spirituality, her charity, her involvement in the community. And what's more than that, there's a sense that this is something which is essential to her, which radiates from her inside, so to speak. So I think that this gives us an example of a female role model who is essentially complete and spiritually perfect on her own. Now, of course, we all admit and say that she is carrying on the prophetic message. I'm not trying to imply she's bringing a new Qur'an or a new religion, but what I'm saying is in and of herself, she has a certain authority over the religion and a certain understanding of it, and she's able to live it in her life and explain it on the basis of herself.

Whereas when you look at the portrayals of 'Aisha' in the Hadith collections or even in the Holy Qur'an and among some Muslims, she is given a very high status. But my observation is this is something that is solely connected to her position as the wife of the Holy Prophet Sallal-lahu alaihi wa alii wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] That is to say, any contribution she has to make to the faith, it doesn't come from herself, essentially, it's simply a consequence of the fact that she happened to be married to the Holy Prophet, and so therefore, she observed certain things in her household or she heard certain things from him and therefore she passed them on to the community. And this is also reflected in the Hadith.

But in my opinion, when you look at this, this presents a very different model of the potentials of women. And what it says subconsciously, in my opinion, is that it says women can reach a high status, but only on a secondary level, because nowhere is it said that she had this same level of essential spirituality of Hazrat Fatimah or an innate understanding of the religion or to teach people according to her understanding. Instead, she teaches by memorization. She heard the Holy Prophet saying something, so she passes it on or she saw something, so she passes it on.

But for those of us in education and I don't know how many educators we have in the room, anyone work in education? OK, perhaps I'm embarrassing some of you. But for those of you who work in education, for those of you who work in education, know there's various levels of thinking. The base level you teach the students to think at, is the memorization level where they can recite certain facts or repeat a poem, repeat certain dates or historical events. But that's not your highest goal. There are higher levels of thinking above that. For example, comparing, contrasting, building, designing, writing that show a deep synthesis and understanding of the subject.

So I feel like when it comes to looking at how 'Aisha', the wife of the Holy Prophet is portrayed, generally, she's portrayed only as having the first level, the memorization level, whereas when you look at Hazrat Fatimah Az-Zahra, peace be upon her, she's portrayed as having the highest comprehension of the religion. And I actually do think this has had a historical effect on how women are viewed in the Islamic tradition.

For example, if you look at the Sunni tradition, you find there is a very large number of women who went into Hadith scholarship. So the muhadhdhat, had the thought that there's an enormous number of women who did that historically. I don't know that there's so many who do it nowadays, but they used to teach the the big scholars, these ladies. But this is really the only field in the Islamic sciences that they became prominent in. You don't find in the Sunni tradition or for that matter, you don't find so many in the Shi'i tradition, but you don't find a lot of jurists, you don't find ladies who made advances in tafsir. I mean, you find some women who did these subjects. You do find some women who did other things. In the medieval era, there were female doctors and astronomers and etcetera, but it's not the norm.

Mostly women who were involved in the Islamic sciences did go into the passing on of Hadith. And that is a very memorization based endeavor. And I think that does, to a degree, match this model of what we see in the early Islamic period with regards to promoting one model of womanhood, which is in which the authority with regards to religion is something which is gained just by passing on something versus a lady who's able to explain and live things on her own.

So what I'd like to do, inshaAllah, to make that a bit clearer, especially if some of that was a bit complex, is I'd like to look at how these two women are portrayed in the Holy Qur'an and a bit in the Hadith. Now, I'm not going to spend a lot of time speaking about the verses where Fatimah Az-Zahra, peace be upon her, is mentioned, simply because I'm assuming that most of us have heard these stories before and sometimes we get annoyed at hearing the same thing again and again in lectures and we like to hear something different.

So please let me know if I should pause and repeat something if it is new. But I'm assuming much of this is familiar. So what I'm going to do is inshaAllah, look at some of the verses where Fatimah Az-Zahra, peace be upon her as mentioned. And you can make a very good case in tafsir that she's mentioned here. There's many verses in the Holy Qur'an which refer to Ahlul Bayt, but I'm just going to pick some very commonly agreed upon ones. And then the same thing with 'Aisha', the wife of the Holy Prophet.

And we can look at the ways in which Allah Ta'ala himself refers to these two individuals, because I think it's I think it shows what I'm saying very clearly, perhaps more clearly than myself, because these are, after all, the words of Allah. So Bismillah. Actually, I think I'm going to make this interactive, especially because there's so many youth here. I hope this is not going to bring terror to anyone. What are some verses Hazrat Fatimah peace be upon her, as mentioned in the Holy Qur'an? Sorry. Yes, Surat ul-Kawthar (108). So, Surat ul-Kawthar (108) is one of the many verses which describes one of the many aspects of Hazrat Fatimah Az-Zahra, peace be upon her. Now, this surah gives her a very unique position, one that was very kindly referred to in the Nasheed, and that we know that one of the reasons why she's referred to as al-Kawthar is because she was the one through whom the lineage of the Holy Prophet Sallal-lahu alaihi wa alii wa sallam was passed on.

And we know that this was a very unusual position for a lady in that society, even in this society in England, the lineage usually goes through the man's side, in terms of the family name and so forth. A lot of societies are like that. So this was a really a unique position for her. And Allah knows why He chose to have the Holy Prophet's lineage go through his daughter as opposed to a son. One can only assume that Allah, He did it out of his wisdom.

But this does give her a very unique position. And this is something that's not found among other people of that time, although I personally think it's comparable to having Nabi Isa, alayhi assalam, being the sole child of Bibi Mariyam. Again, usually people would look for the lineage of the prophets and the lineage of people through their fathers. And he's only someone who has the lineage of a mother. And I think this also points to the exalted position of Bibi Mariyam. And of course, there's a lot of connection between the two.

Okay, what are some other verses that refer to Hazrat Fatimah? Maybe from the ladies side this time? Sorry. Okay, and because my memory's not always good, what does that verse about? OK, Mubahila, a very good example too. Now this verse portrays Hazrat Fatimah, peace be upon her, in a very different way and that we all know the story of the Mubahila, I'm not going to go into details, but the Holy Prophet, sallal-lahu alaihi wa alii wa sallam, he was resolving a dispute with the Christians of Najran in a very, you know, one of those characteristically terrorist and violent Islamic manners. That was a joke, by the way, a slightly self-heating joke. He had a pray off with the Christians of Najran, where they decided to have a great battle of prayer. And so they they would invoke the curse of Allah upon the group that was not truthful in their claims with regards to Allah and the prophethood. And we know that in this verse, Allah Ta'ala instructs the Holy Prophet to bring "his sons, their sons, our women, your women"(3:61) and so on to come to the Mubahila. And we know that when it says: "wa nisaaa'anaa wa nisaaa'akum" (3:61) that the only woman who came along to this was Fatimatu az-Zahra, peace be upon her.

And we know that the effect that this had on the Christians of Najran and that when they saw the Holy Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him and his family, when they saw that he brought his. Not only did he bring his closest relatives, but when they saw just the sort of the spirituality of these people, the light in their faces and their spiritual presence, they were very much convinced by their sincerity. So this verse portrays Hazarat Fatimah, peace be upon her in a couple of different ways. One of them is referring to her relationship with the Holy Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him and his family, but also it's pointing to her involvement in the community and that this was a significant event in the history of the Muslim community.

I guess we could liken it to a sort of diplomatic mission. It was engaging with another people who were outside of the Muslim state. This was their method of conflict resolution. So it's showing her involvement in a very different manner than Suratul Kawthar (108). So those are two very common examples. Another couple of places which will generally, generally agree, are referring to Fatimatu az-Zahra, peace be upon her. Most people would mention Surat ul-Dhahr [or Al-Insan, 76],when she and Amir ul-Mu'mineen, alayhi assalam, and the rest of the family are giving away their food for three days to those who are in need, and they do it out of love of Allah, and because they are conscious of Allah and they go without and because of that sincerity, combined with their sacrifice, the Surah is revealed about the divine reward awaiting them.[Ref. 76:8 onwards]

And by the way, when you have time to take some time just to ponder on the Surah, it really is quite beautiful. If you just sit for a while and think about the reward in the Akhira that's mentioned. But in any case, this is a very different portrayal of her. It's pointing to the both the spirituality and also the charity and the service to human beings. And there's many verses we could mention. One of them, which to my knowledge is only mentioned in the Shi'i tradition, is Suratul Qadr (97), because we know there are some Hadith connecting Fatimatu az-Zahra, peace be upon her to Laylat ul-Qadr, in that just as Laylat ul-Qadr is hidden from us human beings, we don't generally have recognition of it or even awareness of when it is or truly what it is. Similarly, it said that the true nature of Fatimatu az-Zahra's status and spiritual significance is hidden from us. We ,don't really have a strong we just understand the surface of that. So this is, again, is a very different way of looking at her. This is more of an esoteric look at her spirituality.

So if you look at these verses or other verses, it does give you a very complex picture of who she is. We've seen the esoteric spirituality, the spirituality and practice, the charity, the relationship with her father, her participation on the mission to the Christians of Najran and so on and so forth. So many different things. So now I'm going to go on to some verses which are agreed in tafsir to refer to ''Aisha'', the daughter of Abu Bakr. And there's at least three parts of the Holy Qur'an, in which she's referred to, unambiguously. And there's some other verses where the wives of the Holy Prophet are referred to unambiguously.

But what I want us to pay attention to today is simply how is the portrayal? What is what is focused on with regards to herself? Because we've seen this very complex and well-rounded portrayal with regards to Fatimatu az-Zahra, peace be upon her. One of the verses of the Holy Qur'an, which may come to your mind if you think to yourself what verses are related to 'Aisha', umm al-mu'mineen.

One of the verses which might come to mind is the a set of verses in Surat un-Noor (24), and what happens in these verses or what is referred to, which many of us are familiar with, is that there was a bit of a scandal in the community. The early Muslims apparently were not much better than a lot of Muslims. They liked to gossip and tell sometimes untruths about each other to each other. I guess this is not a Muslim thing, by the way. It's a human thing. But in any case, we know that what happened is the Holy Prophet, sallal-lahu alaihi wa alii wa sallam, he was traveling and so he had brought 'Aisha' with him, and we know that she got left behind. What she says in the narration about it is this was after the verse of the hijab was revealed. So she was in a covered thing that you put on the camel's back. And so they couldn't see whether she was in it or not. And according to her narration, she says we were all very thin at the time. So I guess being in the prophetic household, they probably didn't eat a lot. So they just couldn't tell that she was missing. So she got left behind. And then she says that she fell asleep when she was waiting for them to come back. And then a young man in the community, reasonably young man, found her. And then some people in the community started spreading some unpleasant rumors.

And these verses of the holy Qur'an, by the way, I'm sure I don't need to specify what these rumors are, we can figure it out. And these verses in the Holy Qur'an very strongly critique these rumors and they ask why the believing men and the believing women, so this is proof that women are not the only ones who gossip, but it's asking, why didn't the believing men and women basically use their brains and think that this is a lie? Why were people accepting this sort of thing? And it's condemning those people who were spreading these rumors saying that you think this is something light, but instead it's a very serious crime. And if you're going to accuse someone of something like this, you need to bring four witnesses or else you're the ones who are liars.[Ref. 24:11-21]

And of course, we do know, unfortunately, in our communities, sometimes these types of rumors do get spread around. So it's a reminder that we shouldn't speak about things that we have not seen firsthand.

But in any case, this also happens to be a verse which is referring to something that happened in 'Aisha''s life. And my number one observation about it in this context is it is still it is very much referring to her only in a context of being the Holy Prophet's wife. That is to say, if she were married to someone else, say, the local blacksmith or the local shoemaker or bootmaker or whatever they happen to have in the community, it is possible... now, Allah knows best. I'm not speaking on behalf of Allah, but I'm saying it's possible that maybe these verses might not have been revealed about her, because obviously the Holy Prophet had a very specific and important position in the community so that perhaps there was a certain need to exonerate her of any wrongdoing or this would have reflected poorly on the Message.

In any case, the accusation of misconduct in a marriage and exonerating someone, this is entirely with regards to her domestic position, it has nothing to do with her herself except to say that she didn't do anything wrong. But it's not talking about any anything she's really done herselfit's, just about her. It's talking more about the slander. Okay, so that's one verse.

And the next one might make some people unhappy because this is a very critical verse. This is in Surat At-Tahrim (66), where there's two wives of the Holy Prophet who are being criticized for some at domestic misconduct inside the household. Of course, we know the Holy Prophet had a very difficult task, having many wives who didn't always get along with each other. And sometimes, you know, they would they would not get along basically. Well, we all know how these things work sometimes.

And so in any case, there was one situation where two of the wives decided to try to make the Holy Prophet dislike a third wife who was the only one who had born the prophet a child, so they were jealous. So they told some lies and, sorry, I thought that was directed over here. So that was one situation and there was another situation when they were revealing secrets that the Holy Prophet had told them. And so Allah Ta'ala reveals these verses in this Surah, criticizing them for these things.

And one of the verses where it says the Holy Prophet tells his wife that you have done this in this and she says, who told you this? And he says Allah, who knows everything has told me this. And then it encourages these two wives to repent to Allah. And then it says, but if basically if you don't repent, then Allah will protect the Prophet and the Angel Jibra'il, and wa saalih ul-mu'mineen (66:4), which in tafsir is referred to as Ali Ibn Abi Talib, alayhi assalam, and the verse says Salih, one Salih, because I've noticed in the Yusuf Ali translation, they've rendered that as 'every believer', but it's quite singular in the Arabic. And then it says that if the Holy Prophet divorces you, he might bring the prophet better wives. So this is a very critical verse about some domestic misconduct.

But again, the point I'm going to take from it is that it's referring to these two wives in the context of their domestic relationship and what they've done. It again, it's not talking about any other sort of community involvement. It's not like the verse of Mubadala, which was about interacting with people who are not Muslims. It's not like the story and Surat adh-Dhahar, which is about charity or spirituality. It's still simply about the domestic roles by which, by the way, in case you are not familiar, the two wives in this Surah are said to be 'Aisha' and Hafsa. This is even given in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, it's not a big secret, but of course, some people don't like this one being discussed. So this is another part of the Holy Qur'an referring to her.

And another section, which is unambiguously referring to her, among others, is the section of Surat al-Azhab (33), which is specifically addressed to the wives of the Holy Prophet, sallal-lahu alaihi wa alii wa sallam. This is this is a piece of trivia, by the way. But I believe that the only women to be addressed in the second person in the Holy Qur'an who were alive in the prophetic period are the wives of the Holy Prophet. I mean, the holy Qur'an does speak to the people who believe in general, but in terms of referring specifically to women using a 'you' phrasing, it's the wives of the Holy Prophet. But you can sit there and think about that for a while and run through some verses in your head to see if that's the case.

So what I find about these verses in Surat al-Azhab (33), what strikes me is when they speak to the wives of the Holy Prophet. So now we're talking about all of them in general, not just one or another. And it is very much neutral. That is to say, it's neither positive nor negative. This also tends to disturb some people. If you say that, because they say, what are you talking about? We're talking about ummahat al-mu'mineen. Yes, that's true, this name is given to them because they're not supposed to marry after the Holy Prophet, but it basically leaves the decision open to them whether they wish to do good or not. And that's what this section is about, that they have a choice. it says that if you desire the life of the world and the glitter of the life of this world, then the Prophet will set you free and provide for you. But if you wish Allah and the hereafter, then you have to give up this sort of worldly life, so you have a choice. Or for example, it says that if you do good, then a law will give you twice the reward. But if you do not act according to taqwa and you act inappropriately, then you will have a double punishment.[Ref. 33:28-33]

So again, it's giving them the choice to go either way. So this is not characterizing the wives in a negative or positive light, it's just giving them a choice. However, again, I would observe this is entirely referring to them only in a domestic context. It's not referring to anything that they've done by themselves or any other essential aspect of their spirituality or religious practice and so forth. And so, I think this also points to a very different portrayal, especially if you compare that to ahadith like the one that I just mentioned, which says that Fatimah was named Fatimah because she and those who love her were separated from the Hellfire. That's a very amazing statement. That's not even giving her a choice and saying, Fatimah, if you do good, you will go to paradise and have a double reward. It's already saying that she will go to paradise or the hadith, which, as I mentioned, are shared in the Sunni tradition, saying that she is, as they say, sayyidat al-nisa' ahlul Jannah, for example.

So these are just some very brief points about some of the Qur'anic portrayals. But I think it does illustrate what I was saying in the beginning, that when you look at the portrayal of Fatimatu az-Zahra, peace be upon her, in the Qur'anic tradition, and you can say the same thing for the ahadith as well, you do see a lot of different aspects of spirituality and really a complete person.

And I think this is a very good model to have, especially for women. There's so much negativity about women and Islam nowadays. It's very beautiful to have a perfect female role model that we can look at and say this is an example of perfection among women, just as we have examples of perfection among men as well, such as Rasul Allah, sallal-lahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. And of course, one can speak a lot more about the status of Fatimatu az-Zahra, peace be upon her, I even feel bad, I feel like I've been lowering her a bit, just limiting myself to this discussion. We know that the Hadith, about her spiritual status, portray her in a very, very high light.

And with regards to the other portrayal of womanhood that I was mentioning, although I didn't really say anything critical about the portrayal of 'Aisha', one of the things that it is clear is that the emphasis given to her is only on account of something accidental, that she was part of the house, the domestic life of the Holy Prophet, and that accounts for her inclusion in the Holy Qur'an. And when you look at the ahadith related from her, they tend to be along the same lines, too. So I think that does sometimes send a different message about women or about the potentials of women when that is the only model of women that is presented.

So I think these are a few things we can take from comparing these two women. Of course, there's much more that we could discuss inshaAllah, but I think we should all follow the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and try to say Salat on time as much as possible, inshaAllah. So thank you for your attention and I look forward to speaking with you afterwards. Assalamu aleykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa barakatu.

And now we came to the exciting part, inshaAllah. Anyone have any questions, comments or debates?

Everybody is looking at me, I guess I would do for your job place, I would put Fatimah, alayha assalam's character in a totally different manner. She was a unique woman, but at the same time, she came to the earth to collect a reward and go, through that, telling us that we have to do something similar. To praising her doesn't take us to the paradise. But she she was very brave, she collect the ladies going to the battlefield and helping the men to fight for, she was, um, which way I can put it, she was helping the injured people. And then one of the very famous figures in Europe, which is called Florence Nightingale, when she went to Egypt and to study, she learned from Fatimah, alayha assalam, who to be and what to be. These kind of things that we should talk about Fatimah would be more appropriate for us, would be shown her character and also about 'Aisha', she was the wife of the Prophet Muhammad, after all. And I think she was very intelligent, she was unique and what she knew, that's why she's been granted Prophet Muhammad. She did wrong, however, I think for the sake of unity, we should leave that between Allah and her.

I can't really accept the way you put her character that, you know, things need to come to defend her position, although she was the wife of the Rasul, what it was for her as well, because every single human being comes to the earth for a purpose. And I think personally, I wouldn't take 'Aisha' as a role model, but she for herself, was a character could teach certain women on her own level. The one who wants to go higher could choose Fatimah, alayha assalam, for her role model. Actually, as far as Plantinga and many, many other European ladies, even to the present time when they go on to study in Azar University, they have they just come to conclusion there is no other way out except choose her as a way for their own life. Thank you.

Okay, well, thank you very much. I suppose we're all also very familiar with the narration that says Fatimah was named Fatimah because the creation has been kept away from truly knowing who she is and her reality. So when we are dealing with people who are so great and so exalted, there are many ways, perhaps even an infinite number of ways that we can look at them just like, of course, if inshaAllah, this is not too heretical, if we look at Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, every moment, we can look at Him a different way and never repeat ourselves because Allah is infinite. Of course, I'm not trying to equate Ahlul Bayt and Allah, but I'm saying there's lots and lots of angles we can look at them and not grow tired. So thank you for granting us another way to look at her, salawatullahi alayha.

Any more questions? Thank you very much for the interesting talk. I was wondering if you know any Sunni reference for that they agree or did they confirm the Shahada of Hazrat Zahra, salamullahi alayha.

That's a good question. Offhand, I can't say, I think Beyhaqi talks about it. I think, now I'm not sure I think Tabari refers to the attack on her house. I'm not 100 percent sure and they were Sunni scholars, but I apologize, I don't recall that offhand. But you can easily find it available because people like to write books on these sorts of things. Any questions on the lady side? I mean, Okay, I'll add on to that question, although not directly relating to the Shahadat, that it is implied in some of the primary, Sunni Hadith sources. For example, now, again, actually the name of the book is skipping me. But one of the ahadith in the Sunni tradition, speaking about the last days or the last day in the life of Hazrat Fatimah, peace be upon her, it says that what a part of her last will is, she asks not to be washed before burial. And of course, we know the implication of this is that the only person who's not washed before burial is the shaheed. So it's implying that she is martyred, but it's not explicitly stated. So this implication is there. Or the ahadith who talk about that there are certain people that she was very angry with towards the end of her life and did not forgive and did not want in her funeral. I mean, that's that's quite common in the prominent books. But as for the details, I don't remember offhand.

I think, the narrative may become much more clear if we look at 'Aisha''s role during the reign of Muawiyah. And there, I think the differences between the two are quite clear. Obviously, Fatimahtu az-Zahra, salamullahi alayha, didn't live long enough after the Prophet to show anything significant apart from the fewer incidents you have mentioned, but I shall leave long enough, to really show that she was subject to all kinds of blackmail, emotions and things which are quite ordinary, and she did make some very serious mistakes in that time. I think that's something which probably needs to be taken onboard.

Uh, yes. Thank you for mentioning that point. I personally am of the view that I think we shouldn't hide from our history as Muslims, even for the sake of unity with respect, of course. I mean, I think we should be polite and tactful when discussing figures that we might have differences of opinion about. But I do think we should be open about our history and not just pretend certain things didn't happen or, you know, because this is our history and we should learn from history. This is what the Holy Qur'an says. Anyway, so thank you for bringing up that point. I mean, it was slightly different than what I was attempting to describe today, so I didn't mention that particular aspect. But that is, I suppose, another aspect of her character that could be looked at.

Any more questions? Salaam aleikum, sister. I am here. I do not agree with you what you said about the last the comments of the speaker, because was the point of talking about people who went away 1300 years ago when we do not actually find out what they left behind after they've gone. So really, the idea is when we talk about examples in Islam and that we have to remember what is the consequences, what is happened after 'Aisha' and because of her mistakes and errors, she caused the death and the divide, the division of Islam, is no point study the history of famous people and that, and then we do not actually refer to the consequences of what they've done and what they. So I don't I can't see really the benefit of this lecture if you don't actually go to this. It's not about dividing Islam. It's about facts. You just said it's about history and facts. And we have to know the history and the facts because the effect is visible today. Thank you for coming.

Yes. I mean, I agree with you in what you're saying. I do think it is important for us to be aware of history and to look at it and not to hide history. I mean, what I was speaking about today was slightly different in that I was simply looking at how women are portrayed, in particular with regards to these women and sort of the figure of an ideal woman who is portrayed and some of the differences between some of the lessons that are taken from these people. But I do agree that it is important to look at what has happened historically, because it is basically. Any more questions? Okay, I think we are done then. Thank you. Salawat. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]