The Immortal, Historic Sermon of Fatimah

Fatimah (s.a.) could bear no more, for the severe procedures of Abu Bakr against her were very hard and painful. Therefore she decided to announce her proofs and block any way that Abu Bakr might follow to justify his policy. She made a striking speech in the Mosque of the Prophet where she dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. She proved herself to be the greatest woman that Allah had ever created in the earth with the unique talents, geniuses, wisdom and eloquence she had.

Due to the great importance of this sermon, the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) forced their children to memorize it as they forced them to memorize the Holy Qur’an.

I think I do not know a lady in this age (nineteen years) that could make such a speech which even any expert orator in the world cannot make like. But this is not strange for the remainder of prophethood and the essence of knowledge and wisdom that her father had fed her with his knowledge and injected with his mental and psychological characteristics until she became as a true copy of him. Many traditions have confirmed this fact.

Fatimah’s sermon was an overwhelming revolt against the government of Abu Bakr where she tried to overthrow the thrones of his state and blow up the pillars of his rule. However Abu Bakr could, through his diplomatic abilities, quell this revolt, as we shall detail later on.

Historians described the going of Fatimah (s.a.) to the mosque of her father that she became very angry, she put on her veil and gown and came with her maids and some of her fellow-women walking exactly like her father’s gait, to Abu Bakr, who was in the mosque among a crowd of the Muhajireen, the Ansar and others. A curtain was put between her and the people. She moaned in a way that all the people began to cry and the meeting shook. She waited until they stopped crying and became quiet. She began her speech with praising Allah and then her eloquence streamed. She said, “Praise be to Allah for that which He bestowed (upon us), and thanks be to Him for all that which He inspired, and tribute be to Him for that which He provided; from prevalent favors which He created, and abundant benefactions which He offered and perfect grants which He presented; that their number is much too plentiful to compute, and too vast to measure; their limit was too distant to realize. He recommended to them (His creatures) to gain more (of His bounties) by being grateful for their continuity. He ordained Himself praiseworthy by giving generously to His creatures, and promised, through supplicating Him, to give more like them.

I bear witness that there is no God but Allah Who is One without partner; a statement which sincere devotion is made to be its interpretation, put into hearts its continuation, and illuminated in the minds its sensibility. He Who cannot be perceived with vision, neither be described with tongues, nor can imagination surround His form.

He originated things but not from anything that existed before them, and created them without examples to follow. He created them with His might and dispersed them according to His will; not for a need did He create them, nor for a benefit for Him did He shape them, but to establish His wisdom, bring attention to His obedience, manifest His might, lead His creatures to humbly venerate Him and to exalt His decrees. He then made the reward for His obedience, and punishment for his disobedience, so as to protect His creatures from His wrath and amass them into His Paradise.

I too bear witness that my father, Muhammad, is His slave and messenger, whom He chose before sending him, named him before creating him, and preferred him by missioning him; when creatures were still concealed in the unseen, guarded from that which was appalling, and associated with the termination and nonexistence. For Allah the Exalted knew that which was to follow, comprehended that which will come to pass, and realized the place of every event. Allah has sent him (Muhammad) as perfection for His commands, a resolution to accomplish His rule, and an implementation of His decrees. So he found the nations to vary in their faiths, obsessed by their fires, worshipping their idols, and denying Allah despite their knowledge of Him. Therefore Allah illuminated their darkness with my father, Muhammad, uncovered obscurity from their hearts, and cleared the clouds from their insights. He revealed guidance among the people; So he delivered them from being led astray, led them away from misguidance, guided them to the proper religion and called them to the straight path.

Allah then chose to recall him back in mercy, love and preference. So, Muhammad is in comfort from the burden of this world, he is surrounded with devoted angels, the satisfaction of the Merciful Lord and the nearness of the Powerful King.

May the blessing of Allah be upon my father, His Prophet, trusted one with the revelation, the choice from among His creatures, and His sincere friend and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.”

Fatimah (s.a.) kept on her speech saying, “You are Allah's slaves at His command and prohibition. You are the bearers of His religion and revelation. You are Allah's trusted ones with yourselves, and His messengers to the nations. Among you He has a right; a covenant He brought unto you, and an heir He left over you. That is the eloquent Book of Allah, the truthful Qur’an, the brilliant light, and the shining beam; its insights are clear, its secrets are revealed, its indications are manifest, and its followers are blessed by it. It leads its adherents to bliss and listening to it leads to salvation. With it are the bright divine authorities achieved, His manifest determination acquired, His prohibited decrees avoided, His manifest evidence recognized, His satisfying proofs made apparent, His permissions granted, and His written laws are achieved.

So Allah made faith to be purification for you from polytheism. He made Prayer an exaltation for you from conceit, zakat a purification for the soul and a (cause of) growth in subsistence, fasting an implantation of devotion, pilgrimage a construction of religion, justice a harmony of the hearts, obeying us (Ahlul-Bayt) management of the nation, our leadership safeguard from disunity, jihad (struggle) a strengthening of Islam, patience a helping course for deserving divine reward, enjoining the good welfare for the public, kindness to the parents a safeguard from wrath, maintaining kinship a cause for a longer life and multiplying the number of descendants, retaliation for sparing blood, fulfillment of vows deserving of forgiveness, completion of weights and measures preventing from ignoring others’ rights, forbiddance of drinking wines an exaltation from atrocity, avoiding slander a veil from curse, abandoning theft a reason for deserving chastity.

Allah has also prohibited polytheism so that one can devote himself to His Lordship. Therefore; Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except that you are Muslims. Obey Allah in that which He has commanded you to do and that which He has forbidden you from, for surely who fear Allah among His servants, are those who have knowledge.”

Fatimah (s.a.) then added:

“O People! Be informed that I am Fatimah, and my father is Muhammad. I say that repeatedly and initiate it continually. I say not what I say mistakenly, nor do I do what I do aimlessly.

Now hath come unto you an Apostle from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should perish; ardently anxious is he over you, to the believers he is most kind and merciful. Thus, if you identify and recognize him, you shall realize that he is my father and not the father of any of your women; the brother of my cousin (Ali) rather than any of your men. What an excellent assistant to him he was, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny. Thus he propagated the Message, by announcing openly with the warning, and inclining away from the path of the polytheists, striking their middles and seizing their throats, inviting to the way of his Lord with wisdom and good preaching. He destroyed the idols, and broke the heads until their gathering fled and turned their backs, until the night revealed its morning, the truth appeared with its genuineness, the leader of the religion spoke out, and the discords of devils were silenced, the stuff of hypocrisy was perished, the knots of infidelity and desertion were untied. So you spoke the word of devotion among a group of the white starving ones (the Ahlul Bayt).

You were on the brink of a pit of fire, (you were) the drink of the thirsty one, the opportunity of the desiring one, the firebrand of a hasty passer, the foothold,1 you used to drink from the rainwater (gathered on roads and in which animals urinate), eat animal skin. You were low and despised and always in fear lest men around should extirpate you, but, Allah the Almighty rescued you through my father, Muhammad (peace be on him and on his progeny) after the much suffering he faced, and after he was confronted by mighty men, the Arab beasts, and the insolent, mutinous men of the people of the Book (the Jews).Whenever they ignited the fire of war, Allah extinguished it, and whenever the thorn of the devil appeared (the Satan’s followers revolted), or a mouth of the polytheists opened wide in defiance, he would send his brother (Ali) into its flames, who did not come back until he trod its head with the sole of his foot, and extinguished its flames with his sword. He (Ali) tired himself for the sake of Allah, and overworked to fulfill the command of Allah, near to the Messenger of Allah, a master among Allah’s devotees, sincere in his advice, earnest and exerting himself (for Islam), paying no attention, in the way of Allah, to any blame, while you were at ease, luxury, and feeling safe in your comfortable lives, waiting for us to meet disasters, awaiting the spread of our news, and you fell back during battles and ran away at times of fighting. And when Allah chose for His Prophet the abode of His prophets, and the residence of His choices, the rage of hypocrisy appeared on you, the garment of faith became worn out, the silent one of the deviants spoke out, the sluggish ignorant came to the top and brayed, the camel of the falsifiers wiggled his tail in your courtyards, and the Satan put his head out of his socket crying out to, and he found you responsive to his invitation, and observing his deceits, then he aroused you and found you quick (in responding to him), and invited you to anger and found you angry (to his anger); therefore, you branded other than your camels and proceeded to other than your drinking places. You did so and the age (of the Prophet) was still recent, the wound was still wide and not yet healed, and the Prophet was not yet buried. Did you so quickly claim the fear of sedition? Surely into sedition have they already tumbled down, and most surely hell encompasses the unbelievers.

How far to You, what is the matter with you, and what a falsehood! Allah’s Book is still among you, its affairs are clear, its rules are manifest, its signs are bright, its restrictions are visible, and its commands are evident. Yet indeed you have thrown it behind your backs! Do you want to turn away from it? Or according to something else you want to rule? Evil would be the exchange for the wrongdoers! And if anyone desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost. Then you have not waited until its rush would calm down, and it became obedient. You then began arousing its flames, instigating its brand, responding to the call of the misguiding Satan, putting out the lights of the manifest religion, and annulling the Sunna of the sincere Prophet. You conceal sips on foam and march towards his (the Prophet) family and children in thickets and forests, but we are patient with you as if we are being nicked with daggers and stung by spearheads in our abdomens, and now you claim that there is no inheritance for us! Is it then the judgment of (the times of) ignorance that they desire? And who is better than Allah to judge for a people who are sure? Do you not know? Yes, indeed it is obvious to you like the sun of the forenoon that I am his daughter.

O Muslims! Is my inheritance usurped? O son of Abu Quhafa, is it in the Book of Allah that you inherit your father and I do not inherit my father? Surely you have done a strange thing! Did you intendedly desert the Book of Allah and turned your back on it? Allah said:

“And Sulaiman was Dawood's heir.” 27:16

And said about Yahya bin Zachariah:

“Grant me from Thyself an heir, who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Yaqoub.” 19:5-6

And said:

“And the possessors of relationships are nearer to each other in the ordinance of Allah.” 8:75

And He said:

“Allah enjoins you concerning your children: The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females.” 4:11

And He said:

“Bequest is prescribed for you when death approaches one of you, if he leaves behind wealth for parents and near relatives.” 2:180

You claimed that I have no position and no inheritance from my father, and there is no kinship between us. So did Allah distinguish you with a verse, from which He excluded my father? Or do you say: people of two religions do not inherit each other? Am I and my father not of one religion? Or are you more aware of the Qur’an than my father and my cousin?

So here it is before you! Take it (ready) with its noseband and saddle! It shall dispute with you on the Day of Punishment; what a fair judge Allah is, the master is Muhammad, and the appointment is the Day of Resurrection. At the time of the Hour the wrongdoers shall lose, and it shall not benefit you to regret then! For every Message, there is a time limit, and ye shall know to whom a punishment that will confound him comes, and upon whom a lasting doom will fall.

Fatimah (s.a.) then turned towards the Ansar and said, “O you people of magnanimity, the supporters of the nation, and the defenders of Islam, what is this short-coming in defending my right? And what is this slumber before the wrong done to me? Did not the Messenger of Allah, my father, say: ‘A man is observed through his children’? How quick have you violated (his orders), and how soon have you let down? Though you still are able to help me in my attempt, and powerful to assist what I request.

Do you say: ‘Muhammad has died’? Surely this is a great calamity that its damage is great, its injury is wide, and its wound is much torn. The earth became dark with his departure, the sun and the moon eclipsed, the stars scattered for his calamity, hopes were skimped, mountains submitted, sanctity was violated and holiness was encroached after his death. This, by Allah, is the great affliction and the impressive calamity that there is no an affliction, nor is there a sudden misfortune like it. The Book of Allah, the Most Praised, announced in your courtyards, in your evenings and mornings in calling, crying, recitation and intonation; and before him what had happened to the prophets and messengers of Allah; a final decree, and a determined predestination:

“Muhammad is not but an Apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before him. If he died or was killed, will you then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah will reward those who are grateful.” 3:144

Ah people of Qaylah (the tribes of Ouss and Khazraj), is the inheritance of my father usurped while you hear and see me?! And you are in your meetings and gatherings around me? You hear my call, and the affair includes you though you are numerous and well equipped with power and good shield?! The call reaches you but you do not respond and the cry comes to you but you do not help? You do this while you are qualified by struggle, known for goodness and welfare, and are the choice that were chosen, and the best selection that were selected for us, Ahlul-Bayt.

You fought the Arabs, bore tire and exhaustion, struggled against the nations, and resisted their mutinous ones. We were still…we ordered you and you obeyed, until when Islam became triumphant, the accomplishment of the days was at hand, the nose of polytheism was subjected, the outburst of falsehood was calmed, the fires of infidelity were put out, the call of commotion was quelled, and the system of religion was well-ordered, then why have you become confused after lucidity, concealed after the openness, receded after daring, became polytheists after faith?

“Will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at expelling the Messenger, and they attacked you first; do you fear them? But Allah is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers.” 9:13

Surely I see that you have inclined to ease, dismissed one who is worthier of giving and preventing, secluded yourselves with easiness, escaped from narrowness to abundance, so you spat out what you had contained, and vomited what you had drunk; If you are ungrateful, you and those on earth all together, most surely Allah is Self-sufficient, Praised.

Surely I have said all that which I said with knowing of the disappointment that preoccupied you, and the betrayal that your hearts felt, but it is the inners of the soul, the emitting of rage, the weakness of spears, the diffusion of (what is in) the chest, and the awarding of the proof. And so, here it is! Carry it on a pussy back (of a camel), which has a thin slipper, with everlasting disgrace, marked with the wrath of Allah, and eternal dishonor, attached to the burning Fire of Allah, which rises above the hearts. It is in the eye of Allah that which you do (and those who do wrong will come to know by what a (great) reverse they will be overturned!) And I am the daughter of a warner (the Prophet) to you against a severe punishment. So act and we are acting, and wait and we are waiting.2

In this immortal sermon, Fatimah (s.a.) called for revolt to overthrow Abu Bakr’s government and return the right to its people. This striking sermon made hearts feel fear, sights submit and souls yield. Straying fancies were about to go back to reason, and the right to its people, but Abu Bakr could, through his tactics and diplomatic abilities, control the situation and save his government from being overthrown. He welcomed Fatimah (s.a.) and received her with great respect and reverence. He showed her that he regarded her more than his own daughter Aa’isha. He also showed her his great sorrow for the death of her father and said he wished he had died before her father’s dearth…and other such sweet statements.

He said to her that he had not assumed the rule due to his own desire, but he had been elected by the Muslims, and the severe procedures too were not out of his own opinion but they were out of the Muslims’ opinion. By that, he attracted the Muslims’ feelings to him and put out the fire of the revolution and did away with all its tokens.

Sayyid Sharafuddeen al-Aamily says, ‘Would he have avoided the fail of Fatimah (s) in her situations as possible as he could with all wisdom he had! Had he done so, it would have been much better for him and it would have kept him away from regretting and being blamed and it would have been better to unite the umma!

He could have protected the trust of the Prophet (s) and the only daughter of him, Fatimah (s), from being disappointed and then to go back upset stumbling with her garment. What would he have lost, where he had occupied the position of her father, if he had given Fadak to Fatimah (s) without a trial? An imam could do that due to his general guardianship; and what the value of Fadak was before the general advantage of the Muslims and before avoiding evils!’3

Fatimah (s.a.) disappointedly went to her father’s tomb complaining to him at the misfortunes she met from the people. She recited these verses of poetry:

“There were after you conflicting news and misfortunes,
If you were here, no misfortune would happen.
We have lost you as the earth loses its rain,
And your people turned upside down; come to witness them and do not keep away!
Some men showed us what there was hidden in their hearts,
When you left and the grave kept you away from us.
Some men frowned at us and we were disparaged,
When you were lost, and the inheritance was plundered.”

These verses of poetry show that she suffered bitter pains because of the terrible events she faced after the death of her father. The people did not regard her high position and importance, and they treated her in a way that harmed her too much.

Her Speech to the Women

When Fatimah (s.a.) became ill, Muslim women came to visit her. They asked her, ‘How are you doing, daughter of the messenger of Allah?’ She said, ‘By Allah, I have been resenting your world, and detesting your men. I have cast them away after testing them and hated them after examining them. Thus, away with the men of playing after seriousness, striking the soft rocks, slackening the spears, the foolishness of judgments, and deviation of fancies!

“Certainly evil is that which their souls have sent before for them, that Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide.” 5:80

Certainly, I have girt them with its noose, burdened them with its load, and waged its raid on them. So, may the unjust people be killed, cursed, and damned. Woe unto them! Whereto did they move it from the position of the mission, the bases of the prophethood and the place of descent of Gabriel, who is aware of life and religion’s affairs? That was the great loss. What did they deny from Abul Hassan (Ali)? Yes, they denied the beating of his sword, his carelessness about his death, his deadly assaults, and his anger for the sake of Allah. By Allah, if they turned away from the reign, which the Prophet had handed over to him (to Imam Ali), he would catch it tenderly and he would move without harm or worry. He would lead them to a fresh flowing fount and would return them with satiety while he himself would not profit of anything but a little just to break his acute thirst and hunger. If they did so, they would be granted blessings from the Heaven and the earth4 and they would be rewarded by Allah according to their deeds. Come on to see! As long as you live, time shall show you wonders! I wish I knew on what proof they have relied, to what refuge they resorted and to what tie they clung, and on whose progeny have they encroached and spoke against! Evil indeed is the patron, and evil indeed is the associate, and evil indeed is this change for the unjust! By Allah, they exchanged the good with the bad and the daring with impotent. Disgrace be for a people, who think they do well. Surely they themselves are the mischief makers, but they do not perceive. Woe to them!

“Is he then who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge?” 10:35

By Allah, it5 was impregnated so wait until it bears, then milk pure blood and fatal venom to the full of the bucket! Then they will perish who say false things and the successors will know what bad the earlier ones have established. Then be at ease and wait relaxedly for the sedition. Rejoice at a sharp sword, an assault of a tyrant enemy, general commotion and despotism, which will make your victuals so insignificant and your gathering separate. Alas, what a pity! How will you be while it has been obscured to your sights? Shall we then force you to accept it when you are averse to it? And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and blessings be on Muhammad, the last of the prophets and the master of the messengers.”6

The women were overcome with terrible silence, and bitter distress, and their eyes were full of tears. They went back home and informed their husbands about Fatimah’s distress and what she said. Then they (the husbands) knew how much they had betrayed Fatimah (s.a.) and shortened in supporting her.

In this speech, Fatimah (s.a.) denied the offensive attack against the house of the Prophet (S) and the center of the revelation and knowledge in Islam, and denied the plundering of the caliphate and putting it in other than its actual place. She mentioned the reasons that made the people turn their backs to Imam Ali (a.s.) and treat him badly. It was the assaults of his (Imam Ali) sword that harvested the heads of the polytheists and the unbelievers of Quraysh. That caused the people of Quraysh to bear grudge and enmity against Imam Ali (a.s.) who did not flatter anyone in the way of Allah. He said, ‘By Allah, I will take back the right of the oppressed from their oppressors, and I will drive the unjust with their noses until I will bring them to the way of the truth even if they are unwilling.’7

She said that what made the people of Quraysh try their best to avenge on Imam Ali (a.s.) was his utmost courage and carelessness about his death in the fields of jihad against the polytheists and atheists. He devoted himself to keep alive the religion of Allah and spread monotheism. These reasons besides the unique virtues and talents that Allah had granted him with and his infinite devotedness and loyalty to the Prophet (S) made the people bear grudge and envy against him.

She also said that if the nation entrusted Imam Ali (a.s.) with the affairs, he would rule them with pure justice that no one in his state would be wronged at all, would be loyal and truthful to the nation secretly and publicly, and that he would take the nation to the bliss of safety, ease and peace. If Imam Ali (a.s.) undertook the reigns of the rule, he would not enjoy even a bit of the wealth of the state and people, and would participate with the poor and the deprived in their pains and sufferings. And that came true when he assumed the caliphate after the killing of Uthman bin Affan, the third caliph. He was satisfied with a coarse garment and two loaves of barley bread. He did not build himself a house when being a caliph. He participated with the poor and the deprived in their clothes and food. He said, ‘Would I be satisfied with myself to be said: “Ameerul Mo'minin” while I do not participate with them in the calamities of time and be an example to them in the difficulties of living?’8

The history of the East, or even of the entire world, has never seen a ruler like Imam Ali (a.s.) in his asceticism, piety, justice and disdaining from the subjects’ properties.

Fatimah (s.a.) stated that if Imam Ali (a.s.) was entrusted with the affairs of Muslims, bounties and blessings would spread everywhere and people would eat from above their heads and from under their feet, but Muslims prevented themselves from this great blessing and they exchanged the good with the bad and the just with the unjust and they turned away from the one who would guide them to the right path.

She thought deeply on that which the nation would suffer because of turning the caliphate away from the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and saw that sedition would afflict the Muslims, separate their unity, and notch their bonds. She too saw that Muslims would be overwhelmed by unjust and oppressive ones, and this soon came true. The Umayyads and the Abbasids seized the reigns of the nation and subjugated the Muslims. They oppressed the people, and spread terror and violence throughout the Muslim world. Hence and due to these reasons, Fatimah (s.a.) resisted the government of Abu Bakr and asked the Muslims to overthrow it.

Unacceptable Excuse

Abu Bakr and his friend Umar tried to appease Fatimah (s.a.) to give their caliphate a kind of legality. They asked permission to visit her but she refused to receive them. Then for another time they tried and she refused again. They went to Imam Ali (a.s.) and asked him to intercede for them with her, and she responded to Imam Ali (a.s.). When they came to her, she turned her face away from them. They begged her to pardon them. She said to them, “I adjure you by Allah, did you not hear the messenger of Allah say: ‘the pleasure of Fatimah is my pleasure and the displeasure of Fatimah is my displeasure? Whoever loves Fatimah my daughter loves me, whoever pleases Fatimah pleases me, and whoever displeases Fatimah displeases me’?”

They both said that they did hear the Prophet (S) say that.

She raised her hands towards the heaven and said, ‘I make Allah and His angels bear witness that you both displeased me and did not please me. When I meet the messenger of Allah, I shall complain to him against you.’ She turned towards Abu Bakr and said to him, ‘By Allah, I will pray Allah against you in every prayer that I offer.’9

How heavy words they were! They were heavier than the strikes of swords. The ground shook under the feet of these two sheikhs. They left Fatimah’s house with a great disappointment. They understood how much the wrath that they had burdened themselves with was.

Deep Sorrow

The sorrow at the loss of her father tore Fatimah’s heart. Every moment she remembered him with regret and distress. She longed for the voice of Bilal, her father’s caller, who stopped calling the azan after the Prophet’s death. He responded to her and began calling the azan. When she heard him say “Allahu Akbar”, she remembered her father and could not control her tears. She began weeping. When Bilal recited “Ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasoolullah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”, she sighed and fell to the ground unconscious. People shouted, ‘O Bilal, give up! The daughter of the messenger of Allah has left this life.’ Then, Fatimah (s.a.) recovered consciousness and asked Bilal to keep on reciting the azan, but he did not do.10

Disasters and calamities attacked Fatimah (s.a.) one after the other, the worst of which was the people’s denying of her right and their excessiveness in harming her. They ignored her position and the Prophet’s recommendation about her. That left deep sorrow and distress in herself. She resorted to crying for she found relief in it until she was considered as one of the Five Criers11 who kept on staying sad and crying.

Anas bin Malik, who was one of the men who put the Prophet (S) in his last abode, visited Fatimah (s.a.) to console her on her father’s death. She said to him, ‘How were your souls pleased to pour earth on the messenger of Allah?’

Anas stopped talking. He sank into deep sorrow and left shedding tears.12

Fatimah (s.a.) insisted on her cousin and husband Imam Ali (a.s.) to show her the shirt in which he had washed her father (the ritual wash of the dead). He brought her the shirt. She began eagerly kissing and smelling it. It was the shirt that touched her father’s body before being in his last abode. She felt great pain and sorrow until she lost consciousness.13

The image of her father appeared to her in every moment of her short life that she lived after him. She cried most of her time. Historians say that people could not bear her continuous crying, for her house was next to the mosque of the Prophet (S) where people always held meetings. They complained of her to Imam Ali (a.s.) and asked him that she should assign a certain time for her weeping and mourning for her father because they found rest neither at day nor at night. Imam Ali (a.s.) asked her for that and she responded. In the day, she with her children al-Hasan, al-Husayn and Zaynab (peace be upon them), went to a big tree outside Medina and sat under its shadow. She spent all the day weeping for her father there, and a little before the sunset, she came back home with her children. People purposely cut that tree. After that, she wept under the heat of the sun. Imam Ali (a.s.) built her a house there and called it “the House of Sorrows”. This house remained (until now) as a symbol of the pains and sufferings she met from her father’s companions.

It is said that Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) said this verse of poetry,

“By her highness, I will not take
After “the House of Sorrows”, a house of joy.”

Fatimah (s.a.) spent the day in that sad house soliloquizing and weeping for her father bitterly. When the night came, Imam Ali (a.s.) went to bring her with the children back to their house. Sorrow, weeping, and mourning tore Fatimah’s tender heart, and diseases attacked and weakened her body… And thus was the reward of the people to their Prophet’s household!14

  • 1. She wanted to say that they were so low and subservient and that they were as a ready bite for the Romans, the Persians and some of the Arab tribes.
  • 2. Al-Ihtijaj, vol. 1 p. 132-141, Sharh Nahjol Balagha by Ibn Abil Hadeed, vol. 16 p. 210, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 29 p.216. Some other Historians and scholars mentioned parts from this sermon such as: al-Mas’udi in Murooj ath-Thahab vol. 2 p.311, Ibn Mandhur in Lisan al-Arab vol. 12 p.,331, Kahhalah in A’lam an-Nisa’ vol. 4 p. 116-119, Ibn Tayfur in Balaghat an-Nisa’ p. 414, Ibn Tawus in Kitab at-Tara’if p. 263, Ibn al-Atheer in Ghareeb al-Hadith vol. 4 p. 273.
  • 3. An-Nass wel-Ijtihad (text and interpretation), p. 37.
  • 4. Her speech means: (If they let Imam Ali be the caliph, as the Prophet had ordered, he would rule with justice and fairness. He would never burden them with more than their abilities. He would make them live in luxury and ease while he himself would live in asceticism).
  • 5. She referred to the situation of the rulers and the public.
  • 6. A’lam an-Nisa’, vol.4 p. 128-129.
  • 7. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 32 p. 49.
  • 8. Ibid., vol. 33 p. 474.
  • 9. Al-Imama wes-Siyasa, vol. 1 p. 14, A’lam an-Nisa’, vol. 3 p. (1214), Imam Ali bin Abi Talib by Abdul Fattah Abdul Maqsud, vol. 1 p. 218.
  • 10. Fatimah az-Zahra’ Bahjatu Qalb al-Mustafa, p. 113.
  • 11. The Five Criers were Adam, Jacob, Joseph, Ali bin al-Husayn (Imam as-Sajjad), and Fatimah (s.a.). Refer to Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11 p. 204.
  • 12. Sunan Ibn Maja, 18, al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya, vol. 2 p. 381.
  • 13. The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali, vol. 1 p. 168.
  • 14. The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali, vol. 1 p. 286. It is said that it is the mosque of Fatimah (s.a.) that lies in al-Baqee’.