Here I would like to discuss something that is a matter of shame for myself and every respectable person. Though it exceeds the limits of decency, I shall mention it due to necessity. Anyway, Umme Kulthum was the daughter of Ali (a.s.) born of Fatima Zahra (s.a.). Ahlul Sunnat scholars and some Shia scholars write surprising things about this chaste lady. This writer differs from the research of both these sects.
It is written in Isafur Raghebeen that Umar asked for the hand of Umme Kulthum, the daughter of Fatima (s.a.) and Ali (a.s.) refused, stating her young age as an excuse for the refusal. Ali (a.s.) intended to marry her to the son of Ja’far at-Tayyar. But Umar pleaded with him and went to the pulpit and said that he had this wish because Hellfire is not for those who are related to the Prophet by blood or become the son-in-law of the Prophet. Thus, Ali (a.s.) decorated Umme Kulthum as a bride and sent her to Umar. When the Caliph saw this innocent girl, he lifted her up and placed her in his lap and kissed her. When she got up, he caught her by the thigh and said: “Tell your father, I am ready to marry you.” And when the child told all this to her father, Ali (a.s.) had her marriage performed. From this innocent girl was born Zaid Ibn Umar.
Ibn Hajar says that the kissing and embracing was by way of respect and it was because she was a child and had not attained puberty.
Ibn Sabbagh says that this incident is of 17 A.H. and Umar married her in the month of Zilqad that year. The dower was fixed at 40000 dirhams. Abul Fida, the historian and the writer of Seeratul Muhammadiya has also recorded this marriage of Umar. In this way, some Shia people also agree that this was true. Rather, they have included this strange incident in their books. As mentioned on Page 86 of Hadiqatush Shia of Shaykh Ahmad Ardbeli. The same is stated in Majalisul Mo-mineen of Qadi Nurullah Shushtari quoting the book Istigasa.
Here I will be content to relate the tradition of Hadiqatush Shia. The writer of this book says: Umar sent Abbas to Ali (a.s.) to ask for the hand of Umme Kulthum. Ali (a.s.) refused. Umar told Abbas that Ali (a.s.) had reservations from him. “By Allah! I will kill him.” Umar sent this information to Ali (a.s.). Ali (a.s.) said that being killed is something and giving the hand of the daughter is something else. “I will never give him the hand of my daughter.”
Umar told Abbas to be present in the mosque on Friday so that he can be a witness of whatever happens. Abbas was present in the mosque on Friday. He heard Umar say during the sermon: “O people! There is a person from the companions of the Prophet who has committed fornication. But there is no eyewitness to this act. What is your opinion about this person?” All the people said that the chief of the believers does not need a witness. If you order, we shall kill this person.
After this, Umar descended from the pulpit and said to Abbas: “If Ali does not give me the hand of his daughter, I will do as I have said.” Abbas heard this, came to Ali (a.s.) and told him everything. Ali (a.s.) told Abbas that he was aware of this before Abbas told him but he would never give the hand of his daughter to Umar. Abbas said that Umar was a shameless and vicious person. “If you don’t give the hand of your daughter to Umar, we shall do that to avoid enmity; and we would just think as if this daughter was never born.”
Thus, Abbas told Umar that though Ali (a.s.) refuses to give the daughter, we have no objection. After this, Umar collected the people and said: “Abbas is the uncle of Ali (a.s.). Being more senior in the family, he gives the daughter of Ali (a.s.) to me.”
This is a narration of Shia sect. Commonly, we do not take the reference of traditions from a Shia book. The readers may read whatever they desire in this tradition. Here, I do not invite the opinion of anyone in this regard, but in the knowledge of this writer, the marriage of Umar with Umme Kulthum never took place. Because, according to Ibn Sabbagh this union took place in 17 A.H. At that time, she was definitely of young age. If she had not been so, the Caliph would not have kissed her.
The same Ibn Sabbagh says that Umar married her in the month of Zilqad that year. Doubtlessly, copulation with a girl of this young age is irrational behavior. Apparently, the writer considers this incident baseless.
The research of this writer shows that Umar had actually married Umme Kulthum the daughter of Abu Bakr. The mother of this Umme Kulthum had later married Ali (a.s.) and from this aspect she was Rabia, the daughter of Ali (a.s.). The writer’s derivation is that scholars have related this matter to Umme Kulthum, the daughter of Fatima with some special aim in mind. Ahlul Sunnat scholars have established that on the basis of this marriage, Umar became the son-in-law of the Prophet and therefore was destined to Paradise. Imamiyah scholars have agreed in the authenticity of this incident, because it proves the despotic and evil nature of Umar, which can never make one eligible for Paradise. Anyway, we shall investigate this incident based on the writings of Ahlul Sunnat scholars.
If the research of Ahlul Sunnat is correct, this marriage has many repulsive aspects. What a nice way to make oneself eligible for Paradise? By marrying a young girl while one is 60 years of age and against the wishes of her father; and even when she is betrothed to someone else? Age is also a consideration in the matter of matrimonial match. Just to become eligible for Paradise, a person is bent on making a living being burn in hellfire of this world. That is what must have been the life of Umme Kulthum. Doubtlessly, such behavior cannot be expected from a human being. Such a vicious act requires a great degree of hard heartedness.
The way Umar threatened Ali (a.s.) and he relented by sending her as a bride to Umar is mentioned in Isafur Raghebeen. Umar must have indeed behaved very badly that he threatened to allege fornication to Ali (a.s.). But it is not expected of Ali (a.s.) that he would have sent his daughter to him. He had to maintain silence against his will.
Thus, if the above incident is true, the Bani Hashim had become so weak that a person could obtain the hand of the daughter of the chief of Bani Hashim so easily. I have to show in this book, how different types of insults were heaped on Amirul Mo-mineen. So much so, that at last the incident of Karbala’ happened and after this, the various atrocities that were committed on descendants of the Prophet and descendants of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) (Sadaat).
This incident of the marriage of Umme Kulthum related by Ahlul Sunnat scholars is a very tragic incident indeed. It tells of the pathetic level of the honor of Amirul Mo-mineen. What can one say about the tragic and horrific nature of this incident? Although Mohsinul Mulk has greatly defended the behavior of Umar, but as the Nawab (Mohsinul Mulk) was himself childless, it was not possible for him to put himself in the position of the bride’s father and see what a painful matter it was.
O cruel people of the world! Whether you are Jew or Hindu or Muslims! I ask you, how you would feel when a four or five year daughter of yours, whom you intended to marry to a suitable match, is snatched away forcibly by a sixty year old demon? And when the girl goes to that person before the marriage that beast makes her sit in his lap and kisses her and when she is to return home, he catches hold of her thigh! O parents of young girls! Can you bear such behavior with your daughters? Indeed, your modesty and conscience will scream out, “Never! Never!”
Though Ibn Hajar has justified the kissing of Umar that it was by way of respect, but he has presented no justification for the holding of thigh – May be in the tribe of Ibn Hajar it was a permissible matter for women to have their thighs held by stranger men, that he did not think it required any explanation. In brief, this incident of Umar seems to be an act to hurt Bani Hashim and it can’t be for the love of Paradise. No religion considers forcible marriage to a young girl, a means to obtain Paradise.
According to the belief of Ahlul Sunnat, Umar was one of the ten people who had been guaranteed Paradise according to the Prophetic tradition of Ashra Mubashera (the lucky ten)1 Therefore, what was the need for him to insist on marriage to Umme Kulthum? Except that it was a way to further oppress and hurt Bani Hashim. If the people of justice do not call it severe injustice, what else would they say?
Leave alone Shia narrators, the narration in Sunni book itself is sufficient to prove the cruelty and viciousness of the main protagonist. The truth is that if Ahlul Sunnat narration is correct, this girl was forcibly taken from Bani Hashim. The marriage of Umme Kulthum to Ali (a.s.) never took place by the consent of Ali (a.s.). Ali (a.s.) was extremely hateful to Umar (a.s.). Ali (a.s.) knew that Umar was the enemy of his life and property, as it is not hidden from the researchers. It is beyond reason to assume that Ali (a.s.) could have willingly given his daughter’s hand to Umar. The proof is that the Holy Prophet (S) did not give the hand of his daughter to Umar though he had asked for it.
Thus, Ali (a.s.) who followed in the footsteps of Prophet (S), could not go against the practice of Prophet (S) and give his daughter to Umar. It is well known that the refusal of Prophet resulted in Umar becoming hateful to Ali (a.s.) and Fatima and this enmity continued to the end of his life. It is a great misconception among Muslims that Umar and Ali (a.s.) were close friends. In that situation, when there was absolute enmity between them, it is highly improbable that such an affair could have occurred.
Also there was a wide difference between the nature and upbringing of Umar and His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). Anyway, even if we assume it to be true, as Ahlul Sunnat believe, it is sufficient to say that Umar had great resolve. Because if he failed to obtain the hand of Fatima (s.a.) from the Prophet, he at last succeeded in gaining the hand of such a young daughter of Fatima (s.a.) after all these years. The strength of resolve is a great thing! At last, on the basis of that power, now Umar made himself eligible for Paradise. How great it is to be the master of ones resolve and intention!
- 1. Ten persons who received the glad tidings of Paradise.