Chapter 2: Some Virtues of Sayyidah Fatimah al-Zahra

Sayyidah Fatimah al-Zahra was one of the members in the event of al-Kisa1, one of the participants in the invocation at Mubahilah2, and also one of those who had migrated (from Makkah to Madinah) under extreme conditions, in the way of Allah. She is also one of those regarding whom the verse of ‘Tathir’ (spiritual purification) was revealed,

“Verily Allah intends to keep off from you (every kind of spiritual) uncleanliness, O’ the People of the House, and to purify you (with) a thorough purification” (Suratul Ahzab (33), v. 33),

while Jibra’il himself took pride in being one of those (who was under the blanket during the revelation of this verse) and Allah Himself was a Witness to the truth and purity of those select individuals. She is also the mother of the Imams and the remembrance of the Prophet of Allah, and the Messenger’s progeny descend from her and they shall remain until the Day of Resurrection. She is also the mistress of the women of the two worlds from the beginning until the end (of creation).

She resembles the Prophet most in regards to her speech. Her character and mannerisms are a mirror of the character and mannerisms of the Prophet of Allah as her manner of movement also resembles him.

Whenever she would go to the Prophet, he would welcome her warmly, kiss her hands and sit her in his own place. Likewise when the Prophet would go and meet Fatimah, she would rise up and receive him warmly while kissing his hands. The Prophet would kiss Zahra often and whenever he longed to smell the fragrance of Paradise, he would go to Fatimah. In regards to her, he has said, “Fatimah is a part of me, whoever pleases her pleases me and whoever hurts her hurts me;” and he also said, “Fatimah is the dearest person to me.” Other statements of his bear witness to his immense love for Fatimah, and he would often address her as “O beloved of her father!”

Al-Tabari relates from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir who relates from his grandfathers (ther other Imams) that Sayyidah Fatimah said, “The Messenger of Allah told me, ‘O beloved of her father! Every type of intoxication is prohibited, and every intoxication is wine.’

Friendship for the Sake of Allah

It must be kept in mind that love for those who are spiritually close to Allah and also towards their children, relatives and close friends does not originate due to their own self or human impulse; rather they are far removed from following the base, human desires. Showing love and attachment to them is purely for the sake of Allah, because they do not hold anyone dear except Allah, while the love which they show towards other than Allah is simply because this love results in the love of Allah. It is for this reason that Prophet Ya’qub loved his son Prophet Yusuf more than any of his other sons.

Due to the fact that his sons were ignorant of the real essence of his love for his son (Prophet Yusuf), they considered their father to have gone astray and said,

“Surely Yusuf and his brother are dearer to our father than we, though we are a (bigger) group; verily our father is in manifest error.”3

In addition, the affection which Prophet Ya’qub displayed towards Prophet Yusuf was not due to materialistic reasons, but rather it was because Allah loved Yusuf and had chosen him (as a prophet) from among his other brothers. Thus, it is as clear as light that the beloved of Allah should also be the beloved of His Prophet.

Shaykh al-Kulayni relates from Muhammad b. Sinan that, “I was in the presence of Imam Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Jawad and informed him about the difference of opinion that had crept up amongst the Shi’a. The Imam replied, ‘O Muhammad! Allah is constantly Unique and Peerless in His Individuality and Matchlessness. Then He created Muhammad, ‘Ali and Fatimah and these three lights remained (in worship) for thousands of years. Then Allah created all of the other beings and made them witness upon His creations and made their (Muhammad, ‘Ali and Fatimah’s) obedience incumbent upon all of His creatures and handed all of the affairs to them. They made lawful what they desired and forbade what they desired - but they desired not except what Allah desired.’4

Then Imam al-Jawad continued, ‘O Muhammad! This is the original piety. Thus those who move rapidly and go forward (from them) fall astray, while those who move slowly and lag behind (them) are doomed, but those who move in harmony with the religion and remain constantly attached to it (the faith of Islam) shall reach the truth. O Muhammad! Memorize these words and take heed.’”

The author says: These words prove that the personality of Sayyidah Zahra was of one who had been bestowed with authority over all of the creations by Allah. She had been given the permission to make lawful what she desired and to prohibit what she desired - bearing in mind that she would not desire (anything on her own), only that which Allah desires.

The Book of Fatimah

It is related in numerous traditions from the Infallible leaders of the faith that the ‘Book of Fatimah’ remains with them.

It is related in Basairul Darajat from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq that he said, “Fatimah left a book as a remembrance. That book is not the Qur’an, but it contains words of Allah from among His numerous words that He revealed to Fatimah. The Prophet of Allah dictated it (to her), while it was written down by Imam ‘Ali.”

Abu Basir relates, “I went to Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq and asked him, ‘May I be ransomed for you! I have a question. Is there any stranger here who may hear me?’ Imam as-Sadiq lifted a curtain which was drawn between his room and the adjoining one, looked therein then said, ‘O Aba Muhammad! You may ask whatever you desire.’ I said, ‘May I be your ransom! The Shi’a relate a tradition that the Prophet of Allah opened a door of knowledge for Imam ‘Ali, and from that door, one thousand doors (of knowledge) opened up. By Allah! This is the complete and true knowledge!’ Imam as-Sadiq remained silent for some time and then said, ‘Verily this is the knowledge, but not a complete one, O Aba Muhammad! We have with us the ‘Jami’a’ (a compilation), and do people even know what is the compilation? It is a scroll measuring a length of seventy cubits dictated by the Prophet of Allah himself and written down by ‘Ali. It contains all that is lawful and unlawful and all other religious laws that people need, even the penalty of inflicting a scratch.’ Then he patted me with his hand and said, ‘O Aba Muhammad! Do you permit me?’ I replied, ‘I am one of you, you may do as you wish.’ Then he pinched me with his sacred hand and said, ‘The ‘compilation’ also contains the penalty for inflicting a pinch’, he replied this while appearing a bit angry. I said, ‘By Allah! This is the complete knowledge!’ The Imam replied, ‘Verily this is the knowledge, but again not a complete one.’

Then again he remained silent for sometime and continued, ‘Indeed we have ‘Jafr’ with us, and what do people know what the ‘Jafr’ is?’ I asked as to what it was and he replied, ‘It is made of leather, a treasure containing the knowledge of (previous) prophets, the vicegerents and the ancient erudites of the Tribes of Isra’il.’ I again said, ‘Indeed this is the complete knowledge!’ The Imam replied, ‘This is the knowledge, but not a complete one.’ Saying this, he remained silent for a moment and continued, ‘Indeed we have with us the ‘Book of Fatimah’! Do people know what is the ‘Book of Fatimah’?’ I asked him, ‘What is the ‘Book of Fatimah?’

The Imam replied, ‘It is a book three times the size of the Qur’an that is in your possession by Allah! It does not even contain a word from the Qur’an.’5 I again said that this was indeed the complete knowledge and the Imam replied, ‘It is the knowledge but not a complete one.’ Then he remained silent for a moment and said, ‘All the knowledge of the past and the future until the Day of Resurrection is with us.’ I said, ‘This is then the complete knowledge!’ The Imam replied, ‘This also is the knowledge, but not a complete one.’ I asked, ‘Then what is the complete knowledge?’ The Imam said, ‘It is the knowledge that manifests every day and night referring to one subject after the other, and one thing after another until the Day of Resurrection.’”

The Status of Fatimah in Paradise

It is related in some traditions that Fatimah is one of the people who shall ride upon ‘Ghazbah’ - the camel of the Prophet of Allah on the Day of Resurrection, and will enter the ground of Mahshar on this ride.

Ibn Shahr Ashub relates that, “When the Prophet of Allah was on his deathbed, his camel, Ghazbah addressed him saying, ‘Whom do you bequeath me to after your death?’ The Prophet replied, ‘O Ghazbah! May Allah give you abundance! You are from among the property of Fatimah who shall ride upon you in this world and in the hereafter.’ When the Prophet passed away, the camel came at night to the presence of Sayyidah Fatimah and said, ‘Peace be upon you, O daughter of the Prophet of Allah! My end has drawn near. I swear by Allah that since the death of the Prophet of Allah, I have not tasted water or grass.’ The camel died three days after the passing away of the Prophet.”

It is related in the Tafsir of Furat b. Ibrahim that the Commander of the Faithful Imam ‘Ali said, “One day the Prophet came to meet Fatimah while she was aggrieved. The Prophet related to her the events regarding the Day of Resurrection and said, ‘O Fatimah! When you reach the gate of Paradise, twelve thousand houries shall come to greet you. They will not have met anyone before you, nor will they meet anyone in this manner after having met you. They will be carrying dazzling weapons and will be riding upon radiant camels - the saddles of which will be made of gold and red rubies.

Their bridles will be studded with pearls, and each of these camels will be covered with studded, silk brocade heaped with various precious gems. When you enter Paradise, the dwellers therein will rejoice at your arrival and shall bring dishes of food specially prepared for your Shi’a, will be laid down upon radiant chairs. They will partake from it, while others will be entangled in accounting. Your Shi’a will always be given whatever and whenever they desire anything, and when the friends of Allah will finally settle down in Paradise, all of the prophets, starting from Adam and those who came after him, will come to greet you.”

Words of Fatimah - A Delight for the Prophet’s Heart

Sayyidah Fatimah relates, “When the verse, ‘Make not the addressing of the Prophet among you like how you address one another’6 was revealed, I started addressing the Messenger as ‘O Prophet of Allah’; but the Prophet wanted me to (continue) to address him as ‘O father.’ He did not say anything to me three times, but thereafter he turned towards me and said, ‘O Fatimah! This verse has not been revealed for you or your progeny, as you are from me and I am from you! Rather this verse has been revealed in regards to the unkind and rough Quraysh and the arrogant and egoistic people.’ Then he continued, ‘Address me as ‘O father’ for these words of yours enliven my heart and please Allah.’”

It is related in Misbahul Anwar by the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali that Fatimah said, “The Prophet of Allah told me, ‘Allah grants pardon to the one who sends salutations upon you, and unites that person with me in my status in Paradise.’”

Hunger of Sayyidah Fatimah and the Prophet’s Prayer

Shaykh al-Kulayni narrate from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir who relates from Jabir b. ‘Abdullah al-Ansari that, “One day the Prophet went to see Sayyidah Fatimah while I was with him. When we reached the door, he knocked at it and said, ‘Peace be upon you!’ Fatimah replied, ‘Peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah!’ The Prophet asked, ‘May I enter inside’ and she replied, ‘You may enter, O Prophet of Allah.’ The Prophet asked, ‘May I enter alongwith the one accompanying me?’ Fatimah replied, ‘O Prophet of Allah! I do not have a veil on.’ The Prophet said, ‘O Fatimah! Then cover your head with the extra part of your over garment.’ Fatimah did as directed and the Prophet said, ‘Peace be upon you.’ Fatimah replied, ‘Peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah.’ The Prophet continued, ‘Do you permit me to enter now’ and she replied in the affimative. The Prophet said, ‘Do I enter alongwith the person accompanying me?’ Fatimah replied, ‘Yes, both of you may enter.’ Both of us entered therein and the Prophet saw that Fatimah’s face had turned pale. The Prophet asked her the reason and she replied, ‘O Prophet of Allah! It is due to excessive hunger.’ Hearing this, the Prophet made the following supplication, ‘O Allah, the One Who satiates the hungry, the One Who amends the affairs of the deficient ones! Please satiate Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad!’”

Her Modesty Towards her Husband

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri relates that, “One day Imam ‘Ali was very hungry. He came to Fatimah and said, ‘O Fatimah! Do you have some food so that I may partake of it?’ Fatimah replied, ‘No, I swear by the Lord Who has chosen my father for prophethood and Who has bestowed the vicegerency upon you that we have no food. Two days have passed since we have had any food, and if I had some, I would surely have given you preference over myself and my sons, Hasan and Husayn.’ Hearing this Imam ‘Ali said, ‘O Fatimah! Why did you not inform me so that I could have arranged food for all of you?’ Fatimah replied, ‘O Abal Hasan! I felt embarrassed in the presence of my Lord that I should burden you with something beyond your ability.’”

Division of Labour in the House and Outside

It is related in the book Qurbul Isnad from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq that Imam Muhammad al-Baqir relates that, “Imam ‘Ali and Sayyidah Zahra requested the Prophet to distribute the tasks inside the house and outside between the two of them. The Prophet allotted the tasks inside the house to Fatimah and outside the house to Imam ‘Ali. Sayyidah Zahra says that, ‘No one except Allah knows to what extent I was pleased due to this distribution for the Prophet saved me from enduring the inconvenience of meeting other men (and he allotted such work to my share that would not make me leave my house and mix with other men).’”

Angels in the Service of Sayyidah Zahra

In the book al-Khara’ij by ‘Allamah al-Rawandi it is related through Salman (al-Farsi) that, “One day I was in the house of Sayyidah Zahra. I saw that she was seated and grinding barley with a mill. I also saw that the handle of the mill was soaked with blood (from her hands) while Husayn, who was an infant, was weeping in the room due to excessive hunger. I said, ‘O daughter of the Prophet of Allah! Do not strain yourself much, Fidhdhah is present here and at your service.’ She replied, ‘The Prophet of Allah has recommended to me that one day I should do the work of the house and one day let Fidhdhah do it. Yesterday was Fidhdhah’s turn while today is my turn.’ I said, ‘I am your ransomed slave and am at your service, either let me grind the barley or look after Husayn.’

She replied, ‘It befits me more to look after Husayn, while you may grind the mill.’ I started grinding the mill when suddenly I heard the call to prayer. I went to the masjid and offered prayers behind the Prophet of Allah. After the prayers I related what had transpired to Imam ‘Ali who started weeping. He made his way towards the house and then returned back smiling. The Prophet of Allah asked him the reason for his smiling and he replied, ‘I went towards Fatimah and saw that she was sleeping while Husayn was sleeping on her chest and I saw that the grind-mill was turning around on its own.’ The Prophet smiled and said, ‘O ‘Ali! Do you not know that Allah has appointed some angels to circulate the earth and serve Muhammad and his progeny, and this service of theirs will continue until the Day of Resurrection.’”

The Prophet Assists Fatimah

It is related that one day the Prophet of Allah went to the house of Imam ‘Ali and saw that both ‘Ali and Fatimah were busy grinding millet. He said, “Which one of you is more tired?” ‘Ali replied, “Fatimah is more tired than I.” The Prophet told her to stand up and she did as she was asked. The Prophet then sat in her place and helped ‘Ali in grinding the millet.

Affluence of the Food of Fatimah

It has been mentioned in some books that Jabir b. ‘Abdullah al-Ansari has related, “Some days passed and the Prophet had not eaten anything. He was greatly disturbed due to his hunger and could not find food in any of his wives’ rooms. He went to the house of Fatimah and asked for food to satisfy his hunger to which Fatimah replied, ‘May I be your ransom! There is no food available in the house.’ Hearing this, the Prophet left.

Thereafter, one of her neighbours brought Fatimah a gift of two loaves of bread and some meat. Fatimah took it, placed it in a pot, covered it with a cloth and said, ‘I give preference to the Prophet of Allah (in satiating his hunger) over myself and over those with me (my husband and sons).’

Fatimah sent a message to the Prophet through Hasan and Husayn and the Prophet arrived at their house and Fatimah related to him regarding the gift that she received. The Prophet said, ‘Bring it to me’, and she brought the pot to him. The Prophet lifted the cloth off it and saw that it was full of bread and meat.”

Jabir says that, “We were surprised when we saw it and I reminisce how this was one of the graces of Allah and I praised and glorified Allah and sent blessings upon His Prophet.”

The Prophet asked Fatimah, ‘Where did you get this food from?’ Fatimah replied, ‘From Allah, Allah gives abundant sustenance to whomsoever He wills.’

Thereafter the Prophet sent a man to fetch ‘Ali and then everyone gathered. The Prophet of Allah, Imam ‘Ali, Sayyidah Fatimah, Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn, the wives of the Prophet, and other people of the house ate from the food, however still the vessel remained full of food. Fatimah said, “I shall distribute this food to all of the neighbours, Allah has bestowed plentiful abundance to this food, just as He had offered abundance (of food) to Maryam.”

Her Worship

Hasan al-Basri says that in the community of Islam there was no One who was paralelled in their worship to Sayyidah Fatimah for when she stood up for prayers, she would stand for so long such that her legs even swelled up.

The Prophet of Allah once asked Sayyidah Zahra, “What is best thing for a woman?” She replied, “Neither that she looks at any (non-Mahram)7 man nor any (non-Mahram) man looks at her.” The Prophet, after hearing her reply, embraced her and recited the following verse: “Offspring, one from the other”8 [This tradition refers to the fact that the teachings and way of life of the daughter of the Prophet were in line with the teachings of the Prophet of Islam. – ed.]

Imam Hasan relates, “I saw my mother on Thursday night standing in the prayer-niche; she was constantly bowing and prostrating until dawn. I heard her taking the names of the believers and praying for them, but she did not pray for herself. I asked, ‘O Mother! Did you not pray for yourself like ycou did for others?’ She replied, ‘Neighbours first, thereafter one’s own household.’”

Shaykh as-Saduq relates that Sayyidah Fatimah said, “I heard the Prophet of Allah say, ‘On Friday, there is a specific time wherein Allah fulfills whatever a Muslim desires from Him regarding well-being.’ I asked, ‘What time is that?’ He replied, ‘The time when the half disc of the sun is hidden under the horizon while the other half of it is not yet hidden.’ Fatimah told her servant, ‘Go on top of the house, and when the half disc of the sun disappears, let me know so that I may beseech or supplicate to Allah.’”

It is also related that when she would enter her prayer-niche to offer prayers, her light would shine forth for the dwellers of the heavens, just like the light of the stars shine for the dwellers on the earth.

Service in Her Husband’s House and Request for a Maid

Shaykh as-Saduq relates from Amirul Mo’minin Imam ‘Ali that once he said to a man from the clan of Bani Sa’ad, “Should I relate to you regarding Fatimah when she was in my house?” Then he continued, “Inspite of being the most beloved person to the Prophet of Allah, she drew water herself by means of a leather-bag, such that the mark of it’s strap was visible upon her chest; she swept the floor of the house to such an extent that her clothes were covered with dust; and she blew the fire below the vessel (to cook food) to such an extent that the colour of her dress changed.” After seeing such toil and hardship, I told her, “You should go to the Prophet and ask for a maid who can help you in your household chores.”

Fatimah went to the Prophet but saw some youth with him and returned back without uttering a word. The Prophet of Allah realized that Fatimah had come to him with a request, but had returned back without asking him. Thus the next morning, the Prophet of Allah himself came to our house while we were sleeping. The Prophet, as was his custom, saluted us three times and we thought that if we did not answer him on the third time, then he would return back home as his custom was that whenever he came over, he would greet us three times requesting to enter and if he did not receive a reply, he would return back. Thus I replied, “And peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah! Do command.” He entered therein and sat near our head and said, “O Fatimah! Yesterday you came to me - ask what you desire.” Fatimah did not utter a word due to her modesty and I feared that if I would not convey her desire to him, the Prophet would get up and leave.

Thus I lifted my head and said, “O Prophet of Allah! I would like to inform you that Fatimah draws water by means of a leather-bag such that the mark of its strap is visible upon her chest; she mills the flour to such an extent that her hands are full of blisters; she sweeps the floor of the house to such an extent, that her clothes are covered with dust; and she blows the fire below the vessel (to cook food) to such an extent that the colour of her dress has changed. I told her that she should come to you and request a maid who can help her in our household chores.”

The Prophet replied, “Do you want me to teach you that which is better than a maid? When you retire for the day, recite Allahu Akbar thirty-four times, Alhamdulillah thirty-three times, and Subhanallah thirty-three times.” Upon hearing this Fatimah lifted her head and said, “I submit and am pleased with Allah and His Prophet.”

It is related in al-Manaqib from Abu Bakr al-Shirazi (a scholar of the Ahlus Sunnah) that, “When Sayyidah Zahra related her state to the Prophet and asked for a maid, he wept. Then he said, ‘O Fatimah! I swear by the Lord Who has chosen me for truth! At present, there are four hundred men in the masjid without (adequate) food or clothing. If I had not feared that your merit would be lessened, I would have fulfilled your desire. O Fatimah! I do not wish that your own recompense and reward will part away from you and be passed on to your maid.’”

It is related in the Tafsir of al-Tha’labi from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and also in Tafsir of al-Qushayri from Jabir b. ‘Abdullah al-Ansari, that, “The Prophet saw Sayyidah Fatimah wearing a woolen dress and milling the flour while feeding her child. Tears flowed from his eyes and he said, ‘O daughter! Hasten towards the pleasantries of the Hereafter from the severities of this world.’ Fatimah replied, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Praise be to Allah upon His favours, and thanks be to Him upon His gifts.’

The Knowledge and Excellence of Fidhdhah - Her Maid

Abul Qasim al-Qushayri relates in his book from some other people that, “Fidhdhah, the maid of Sayyidah Zahra, lost her way in the desert while going for the hajj. A man named ‘Abdullah Mubarak, who was also left behind says, ‘I saw a woman alone in the desert. I was riding upon a camel and went towards her, and whatever I asked her, she replied to me in the words of the Qur’an.’ Their conversation was as follows:

‘Abdullah: Who are you?

Fidhdhah: And say: Peace (be upon you), for they shall soon know. (Suratul Zukhruf (43):89)

I saluted her and asked:

‘Abdullah: What are your doing here?

Fidhdhah: And whomsoever Allah guides, then for him none shall beguile. (Suratul Zumur (39):37).

I realized that she had lost her way.

‘Abdullah: Are you from among the Jinn or the human beings?

Fizzah: O children of Adam, put on your adornment. (Suratul A’raf (7):31).

I perceived that she was a human.

‘Abdullah: From where do you come?

Fidhdhah: Who are called to from a place far away. (Suratul Fussilat (41):44)

I realized that she had come from a far off place.

‘Abdullah: Where do you intend to go?

Fidhdhah: And for Allah, is incumbent upon mankind, the pilgrimage to the House. (Surat Ale ‘Imran (3):97)

I perceived that she was intending to go to Makkah.

‘Abdullah: Since when did you part away from your caravan?

Fidhdhah: And indeed created We the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six days. (Surat Qaf (50):38)

I realized that she had been separated from her caravan for the past six days.

‘Abdullah: Do you want food?

Fidhdhah: We made them not (such) bodies not eating (requiring) food. (Suratul Anbiya (21):8)

I realized that she wanted some food to eat.

‘Abdullah: Hasten and walk fast.

Fidhdhah: Allah does not impose upon any soul but to the etent of the (individuals) ability. (Suratul Baqarah (2):286)

I perceived that she was tired and could not travel further.

‘Abdullah: Mount upon the camel behind my back.

Fidhdhah: Had there been in (the heavens and the earth) (other) deities except Allah, they both would have been in disorder. (Suratul Anbiya (21):22)

I realised that she was embarrassed to sit behind me and thus I made her ride alone and I walked. When she mounted, she said:

Fidhdhah: Glory be to Him Who subjected this unto us. (Suratul Zukhruf (43):13)

When we reached a caravan I asked,

‘Abdullah: Is there anyone in that caravan from among your relatives?

Fidhdhah: O Dawud! Verily We have appointed you a vicegerent in the Earth. (Surah Sad (38):26) And Muhammad is not but an Apostle. (Surah Ale ‘Imran (3):144) O Yahya! Hold thou the book fast. (Surah Maryam (19):12) O Musa! Verily I am Allah. (Suratul Qasas (28):30)

I realized that in this caravan there were men by the names of Dawud, Muhammad, Yahya and Musa who were related to her, thus I called out their names. Four youth came out of the caravan and went towards her, I asked her,

‘Abdullah: Who are these men in relation to you?

Fidhdhah: Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. (Suratul Kahf (18):45)

I understood that they were her sons. When they came to her, she said to them:

Fidhdhah: O my father! Employ him, verily the best of those whom you can employ is the strong (man), the trusted (one). (Suratul Qasas (28):26)

I realized that she wanted them to give me some recompense. They gave me some wealth. Then she said:

Fidhdhah: And verily Allah gives manifold increase to whosoever He wills. (Suratul Baqarah (2):261)

I realized that she wanted them to give me more, thus they gave me more wealth. I asked them as to who she was and they said that she was Fidhdhah, the maid of Sayyidah Zahra. It had been twenty years that she spoke nothing but the Qur’an.”9

Fatimah’s Virtues and Status in Paradise and Her Followers

Abu Ja’far al-Tabari relates in Basharatul Mustafa from Hamam Abi ‘Ali that he said, “I asked Ka’ab al-Ahbar, ‘In your opinion, who are the Shi’a of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib?’ He replied, ‘O Hamam! I have found their merits mentioned in the Qur’an! Among the creations (of Allah), they are the party of Allah10, the helpers of His religion, the adherents of the ‘Friend of Allah’, and His special and virtuous slaves. Allah has chosen them for His religion and created them for His paradise. They shall dwell in the lofty gardens of Paradise in tents and rooms studded with transparent pearls.

They are the ones near to the ‘righteous ones’11 and shall consume a drink that has not yet been touched by any one and has been sealed. The drink shall be from the stream of ‘Tasnim’ which has been created exclusively for them, and ‘Tasnim’ is a stream that Allah gifted to Sayyidah Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad and the wife of ‘Ali. The source of the stream is from under a pillar whose dome is cool - its coolness is similar to camphor; its taste is similar to ginger; and its fragrance resembles musk. The drink shall flow in a stream and the adherents and friends of Fatimah will drink from it.

The dome is held up by four pillars, one studded with white pearls and the stream of ‘Tahur’ flow from underneath it; the second one is of green emeralds and from underneath it, two streams flow - one of them is the ‘pure drink’ and the other is of honey, and both of these streams flow from under a part of Paradise; however ‘Tasnim’ flows in the lofty Paradise and only the exclusive ones will drink from it.

These are the friends and Shi’a of ‘Ali and this is the meaning of the Qur’anic verse:

“They shall be provided to partake of the pure drink (which shall be) sealed (to others), the seal (being) of musk, for that they may aspire (all) those who (wish to) aspire, mixed therein shall be the water of ‘Tasnim’, (which is) a spring from which drink the near ones.”12

By Allah! None loves the Shi’a (of ‘Ali) except from whom Allah has taken the pledge.”

After quoting the above mentioned tradition, Abu Ja’far al-Tabari, stated, “It is befitting for the Shi’a to note down this tradition with gold so that it is extensively quoted and not destroyed (or forgotten). In this context they should perform such acts that would serve as a medium for all of them to reach the lofty Paradise. Furthermore, this tradition is quoted by the Ahlus Sunnah and thus it is acceptable to use as a solid proof since its authenticity is clear.”

Reply to a Question from Salman

Al-Tabari relates in Basharatul Mustafa from the book, Kanzal ‘Ummal that Abu Dharr said, “Once, I saw Salman and Bilal al-Habashi come to the Prophet of Allah. Suddenly, Salman fell to the ground and startd to kiss the feet of the Prophet. The Prophet stopped him from doing so and said, ‘O Salman! Do not perform such an act with me as the Persians do to their kings as I am from among the slaves of Allah, and (like the creations of Allah) I eat and sit.’

Salman replied, ‘O my Master! I wish that you would relate to me the excellence of Sayyidah Fatimah on the Day of Resurrection.’ The Prophet looked at him with a smiling face and said, ‘I swear by the Lord in Whose hands is my life! Fatimah is a woman who shall pass by the ground of ‘Mahshar’ mounted upon a camel and her face will reveal piety and her eyes will shine forth with the light of Allah.

Jibra’il will be on the right side of the camel, while Mika’il on the left. ‘Ali will walk in front of her, while Hasan and Husayn will walk behind her. Allah will be her Protector and Guardian until she passes by the ground of ‘Mahshar’. Then suddenly the voice of Allah will come, ‘O creatures! Lower your gazes and bow your heads down. This is Fatimah, the daughter of your Prophet, wife of ‘Ali your Imam, and the mother of Hasan and Husayn.’

Then she shall pass over the bridge (sirat) while adorning two white and clear veils. When Fatimah enters Paradise and witnesses the blessings and gifts that Allah has reserved for her, she will say:

‘In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All praise is Allah’s (alone) Who has taken away from us (all) grief, Verily our Lord is Oft-Forgiving, the greatest appreciator (of goodness). He Who has alighted us of His grace in an abode to abide, therein touches us not any toil, not affects us therein any fatigue.’13

Then Allah will reveal to Fatimah: ‘Ask me whatever you desire so that I may offer you that which will please you. Fatimah will reply: ‘O Lord! I desire You! Rather You are far above what I desire. I ask in Your presence not to punish my friends and the friends of my progeny in the hell-fire.’

Allah will say: ‘O Fatimah! I swear by My honour and My glory! I have sworn to Myself two thousand years before the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, that I shall not punish your friends and those of your progeny in the hell-fire.’”

Her Abstinence and Piety

Sayyed Ibn Tawus relates from the book Zuhdan Nabi of Abu Ja’far Ahmad al-Qummi that, “When the two verses of the Qur’an were revealed: ‘And verily hell is certainly the promised abode for them all. For it (the hell) are seven gates, and for each of those (gates) will be a separate party (of the sinners) assigned’14, the Prophet wept abundantly such that his companions also wept upon seeing him. However, the companions could not understand why the Prophet wept, and none could question him beholding his state.

It was the habit of the Prophet that whenever he saw Fatimah, he was delighted, and thus one of the companions went to Fatimah to bring her to the Prophet. When he reached her house, he saw that she was grinding barley in the mill and reciting the following verse of the Qur’an, ‘And what is with Allah is better and more lasting.’15 The man went and saluted her and informed her about the Prophet’s lamentation. Immediately Fatimah stood up, put on a worn-out veil which contained twelve patches of the leaves of date palms, and came outside.

When Salman’s sight fell upon her, he wept and said, ‘O the grief! The daughters of Caesers (Roman kings) and Chosroes (Persian kings) adorn dresses of brocade and silk, while the daughter of the Prophet wears a worn-out and patched veil!’

Fatimah came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Prophet of Allah! Salman is surprised at my dress, when by the Lord Who has chosen you by truth, five years have passed since we use a sheet made of sheep’s hide, we sleep upon it at nights, and during the day we turn it and lay leaves for the camels to eat, while our pillow is also made from the leaves of date-palm.’ The Prophet turned towards Salman and said, ‘Verily my daughter is among the foremost ones in the eyes of Allah.’

Fatimah then asked the Prophet, ‘O dear father, may I be your ransom! Why do you weep?’ The Prophet recited the above verses revealed by Jibra’il. When Fatimah heard the name of hell, she fell down prostrating upon the ground and constantly repeated, ‘Woe, and woe upon those who enter the fire of hell.’

When Salman heard the verse he said, ‘I wish I would have been a sheep, my family would have slaughtered me and torn my hide and I would not have heard the name of hell.’ Abu Dharr said, ‘I wish my mother was barren and had not given birth to me so that I could not have heard the name of hell.’ Miqdad said, ‘I wish I was a bird in the forest, then I would have been free from accounting and not heard the name of hell.’ Imam ‘Ali said, ‘I wish the beasts would tear my flesh and I wish my mother had not borne me so that I would not have heard the name of hell.’

Saying this, the Prophet put his hand upon his head and wept, then said, ‘O the lengthy journey! And O the insufficient belongings for the journey of the resurrection! The people (sinful ones) will go towards the fire and the fire shall turn them over. They are the sick persons that none visits them, and are the injured ones that none goes to heal their wounds. They are the imprisoned ones that none goes to rescue them from the fire, while their food and drink is from the fire. They shall turn upside down in the large vessels filled with fire. They adorn cotton clothes in this world while their dress in hell shall be of pieces of fire. They embrace their spouses in this world, while in hell the satans will embrace them.’”

Devoutness of Sayyidah Zahra and of the Prophet

It has been mentioned in the book, Kashful Ghammah from the Musnad of Ahmad b. Hanbal that, “It was a practice of the Prophet that whenever he went on a journey, Sayyidah Fatimah would be the last one that he visited, and upon his return, she would be the first one that he would visit (because he could not bear her absence for long periods of time).

In one such journey, when he returned back to Madinah, he went to the house of Sayyidah Fatimah and saw an exquisite curtain drawn while Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn were wearing silver bracelets. Seeing this, the Prophet returned back without entering therein. Sayyidah Fatimah was informed about this and understood that the Prophet had left due to the curtain and bracelets. Sayyidah Fatimah had given these bracelets to Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn, however she immediately removed the curtain, took away the bracelets from them and all together, they came weeping to the Prophet of Allah.

The Prophet took the bracelets away from them and giving them to one of his servants named Thawban told him to sell them. He also told him to buy in lieu of that, a wooden necklace for Fatimah and two bracelets of ivory. Then he said, “Verily my Ahlul Bayt do not rejoice in utilizing the good things in the life of this world.”16

Veneration of Zahra Towards Remembrance of the Prophet

The eminent Shaykh Abu Ja’far Mumad b. Jarir al-Tabari in his book al-Dala’il al-Imamah relates with his chain of authorities from Ibn Mas’ud, that once a man came to the presence of Sayyidah Zahra and said, “‘O daughter of the Prophet of Allah! Do you possess a thing as remembrance of the Prophet that I can earn the reward of seeing it?’ Sayyidah Fatimah said to her maid, ‘Get the slate for me.’ The maid went to search for it, but could not find it. Sayyidah Fatimah said to her, ‘Woe be to you! Search for it, because the worth of it to me is similar to that of Hasan and Husayn.’

The maid once again searched for it and found it in the garbage can, as it was lost while sweeping the floor. She brought it to the presence of Sayyidah Zahra, and on it was written, ‘Muhammad the Prophet said: He is not a believer from whose harm one’s neighbour is not safe, and the one who believes in Allah and the Day of Resurrection does not hurt his neighbour. The one who believes in Allah and the Day of Resurrection, his speech should be gentle or remain silent. Allah loves the one who is benevolent, tolerant and virtuous. Allah hates the one who abuses, is foul-mouthed, shameless, and one who asks excessively and is persistent in his questions, as modesty is a part of true faith and (those who possess) true faith shall enter Paradise, while abusing is from shamelessness and (those who possess) shamelessness shall go to hell.’”

Prophet’s Praise of Fatimah and Predictions Regarding Her

Shaykh as-Saduq relates an extensive report from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Prophet informed us regarding the oppression that will be meted out upon his Ahlul Bayt after his demise - some of his words from that narration are, “As for my daughter Fatimah, who is the mistress of all the women-folk of the two worlds from the beginning until the end of time, who is a piece of my body, the light of my eyes, the fruit of my heart and my soul that exists in me, she is a human hourie. When she stands up in the niche for prayers in the audience of Allah, her light shines forth for the Heavenly angels as the stars shine for the dwellers of the Earth, and Allah tells His angels: ‘O My angels! Behold My maid, who is the mistress of all My maids, she stands in My audience for prayers. Behold how her limbs tremble due to My fear, while her heart is reserved entirely for My worship. I make you witness that I shall save her Shi’a from the fire of hell.’”

The author says, the Prophet continued, “Whenever my sight falls upon Fatimah I recall those events and sorrows that will befall her after my death. It is as if I see that trouble has entered her house and others disrespect her while usurping her rights. She is not given aid while her side is fractured and the child in her womb is killed and she cries out: ‘O Muhammad!’ There will be none to reply her and she will ask for help but none will come to her rescue. It is as if I see that she is constantly aggrieved, sad and tearful after me, when she recalls that the ascending of revelation has stopped in her house (due to my death), and she remembers the days that she has to spend in my separation. Previously she constantly heard my voice reciting Qur’an at the time of the night prayers, but behold she will no longer hear it, thus she gets up at night in fear. And she is all the more sorrowful when she recollects how honourable she was during her father’s lifetime. At that moment Allah will appoint angels to accompany her. They shall speak to her like they spoke to Maryam and will address her by saying: ‘O Fatimah! Verily Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Fatimah! Be devout to your Lord and prostrate yourself and bow down (in Prayers) with those who bow down.’”17

It is as if I see that she is hurt and sick and needs attending to, then Allah will send Maryam the daughter of ‘Imran, to attend to her. She shall attend to her and then Fatimah will say to Allah: ‘O Allah! I am satiated and tired of this life and am depressed by the worldly men, thus unite me with my father.’ Then Allah will unite her with me, and she will be the first among my progeny to join me in a grievous and sad state - in a state that her right has been usurped, and they will have killed her. Then I shall complain to Allah saying: ‘O Lord! Keep Your mercy away from the one who oppressed her, and punish those who usurped her rights and disgrace those who hurt her and throw the one into the fire of hell who struck at her flank and aborted her child.’ At that moment the angels shall call out: ‘Ameen (so be it!).’”18

The Marriage of Sayyidah Zahra

Mahr of Fatimah

It is related in Bihar al-Anwar from the work al-’Amali of Shaykh al-Mufid from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq that the Prophet married Sayyidah Fatimah to Imam ‘Ali.

One day the Prophet went to meet her and saw her weeping and asked, “Why do you weep? I swear by Allah! If there was another person better than ‘Ali in my family, I would have married you to him. Besides I did not marry you to ‘Ali except that I consider you to be his perfect match, while your mahr will be the khums of this world forever.”

Her Marriage Dowry

Imam ‘Ali has said, “The Prophet of Allah told me, ‘Rise and go and sell your armour.’ I went and sold the armour and brought the money to the Prophet - he did not ask me how much it was, nor did I tell him. The Prophet took some amount from it, and gave it to Bilal al-Habashi, and told him, ‘Buy some perfume for Fatimah from this.’ Then he took two handfuls from that amount and handed it to Abu Bakr and said, ‘From this amount, buy whatever is suitable for Fatimah with regards to clothes and household necessities.’ He then sent ‘Ammar b. Yasir and some others from among his companions behind Abu Bakr. They went to the market, and whatever they liked they pointed it out to Abu Bakr who consented and bought it. The things they bought were as follows:

• A dress worth seven dirhams;

• A shawl worth four dirhams;

• A black gown from the (cloth of) Khaybar;

• A mattress filled with the leaves of a palm tree (or a pillow padded with the leaves of a palm tree);

• Two Eygptian quilts, one stuffed with wool and the other with the leaves of a palm tree;

• Four pillows of tanned hide made in Taif filled with dry grass;

• A delicate woolen curtain;

• A straw mat stitched in Hajar (a town in Bahrain);

• A hand mill;

• A copper tub;

• A water-skin;

• A clay bowl;

• A water-skin specially made to cool water;

• An earthen pitcher that was coloured from inside;

• A green clay ewer;

• A few cups made of clay.

When the purchase was complete, Abu Bakr carried some of these things, and the others accompanying him carried some, and they brought everything to the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah held these things with his sacred hands and said, ‘O Allah! Grant abundance to these for the Ahlul Bayt.’”

Her Bethrotal and the Marriage Feast

Imam ‘Ali relates that, “One month passed after these events, I prayed along with the Prophet of Allah and went to my house, but I did not utter a word to him regarding the actual marriage. After one month the wives of the Prophet told me, ‘Should we speak to the Prophet (on your behalf) to send Fatimah to your house?’ I asked, ‘Can you speak to him?’

They went to the Prophet of Allah and Umme Ayman19 said, ‘O Prophet of Allah! I have come to you regarding a matter that if Khadijah had been alive, she would have been delighted in regards to. ‘Ali would like to take his wife to his home. Let Fatimah be delighted by the glance of her husband and so too will we be delighted.’

The Prophet asked, ‘Why does ‘Ali himself not speak to me regarding this matter - I expect that he should precede you.’ Imam ‘Ali replied, ‘O Prophet of Allah! Modesty refrains me from speaking to you regarding this matter.’ The Prophet said, ‘Who is present here?’ Umme Salma replied, ‘I am at your service, and Zaynab too, and so and so are also present.’ The Prophet said, ‘Prepare a room from among the adjacent rooms for my daughter Fatimah and my cousin (Imam ‘Ali).’ Umme Salma asked, ‘Which room?’ The Prophet replied, ‘Your room.’”

The Prophet asked his wives and the other women to adorn Fatimah, befitting her dignity. Umme Salma said, “I went to Fatimah and asked, ‘Do you have perfume?’ She replied in the affirmative and brought a bottle of perfume and sprinkled some upon the palm of my hands. Its scent was so splendid that I had never ever smelt something similar to it. I asked her, ‘Where did you get this perfume from?’ Fatimah replied, ‘One day, Dihyah al-Kalbi came with the Prophet and my father told me, O Fatimah! Bring a mat for your uncle. I brought a mat and spread it on the floor, and they sat upon it. When they stood up, something scattered upon the floor from his clothes. My father told me, ‘Gather this.’ ‘Ali asked the Prophet as to what it was and the Prophet replied, ‘This is amber that has fallen from the wings of Jibra’il.’20

Imam ‘Ali continued, ‘The Prophet then told me, ‘Prepare food for your relatives, the meat and bread will be arranged by us, while you take care of the oil and dates.’ I went and bought oil and dates and gave it to the Prophet. He lifted his sleeves up and mixed the dates in the oil, and sent a fleshy sheep and a large quantity of bread. Then he told me, ‘You may invite anyone whom so ever you desire.’ I went to the Masjid and saw that there were many companions therein. I felt ashamed that I should invite some and leave some and therefore I called out in a loud voice, ‘You are invited to a feast for the bethrotal of Fatimah’. Hearing this, all of them came. I was embarrassed due to the large number of men and the small quantity of food. When the Prophet perceived my embarrassement, he said, ‘I will pray to Allah to grant abundance to the food.’

All of the people ate and drank to their fill and prayed for us that Allah may grant us abundance. All of them, who numbered more than four thousand, were satiated, but the food did not become less. Then the Prophet called for some bowls, he filled the bowls with food and sent them to the house of his wives. Then he took a bowl, and filled it with food and said, ‘This is for Fatimah and her husband.’”

Night of the Marriage

After sunset, the Prophet told Umme Salma, “Bring Fatimah to me.” Umme Salma brought Fatimah to him with her skirt flowing on the ground, sweat trickling down her face and legs trembling due to her immense modesty. Seeing this the Prophet said, “May Allah safeguard you against the trembling of this world and the hereafter.”

Fatimah sat facing the Prophet, he lifted off her veil and Imam ‘Ali who was also present witnessed her immense beauty. The Prophet then placed the hand of Fatimah in the hand of Imam ‘Ali and said, “May Allah grant you abundance in the daughter of the Prophet of Allah. O ‘Ali! Fatimah is an excellent spouse, and O Fatimah! ‘Ali is an excellent spouse. Hasten to your house and do not perform any task until I come to you.”

Imam ‘Ali says that, “I sat Fatimah on one side of the house, while I sat on the other, and both of us had our heads bowed down due to (our) modesty.”

The Prophet Blesses the Bride and Groom

Imam ‘Ali relates that, “The Prophet came to the door of our house and said, ‘Who is there?’ I answered, ‘O Prophet of Allah, enter inside, felicities to the ones beholding you and to the one who is entering.’ The Prophet entered and sat Fatimah at his side and said, ‘O Fatimah! Rise and bring me some water.’ Fatimah got up and filled a vessel with water and brought it to him. The Prophet took a little water from the vessel, gargled with it and put it back in the vessel. He then sprinkled some water from it upon her head and told her to sit facing him. When she sat facing him, he sprinkled some water upon her chest and between her shoulders and prayed, ‘O Lord! This is my daughter, the most beloved to me from any other creation and O Lord, this is ‘Ali, my brother and the most beloved to me, more than any other creation. O Lord! Make him Your friend and aide, and make his household a means of prosperity for him.’ Then he turned towards ‘Ali and said, ‘Go to your wife, may Allah make her a means of abundance for you, and may the Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you, the One Who is worthy of Praise, Exaltation and Commendation.’”

In another tradition it is related from the Commander of the Faithful Imam ‘Ali that, “Three days passed after Fatimah came to my house, and the Prophet did not visit us. On Wednesday morning, he paid us a visit while Asma b. Umays was also present. The Prophet asked her, ‘Why have you come here when the man (‘Ali) is here?’ She replied, ‘May my parents be your ransom! When a woman goes to her husband’s home and passes (the first) days of her marriage, she needs another woman who can fulfill her needs, thus I have come here.’ The Prophet answered, ‘O Asma! May Allah fulfill your desires of this world as well as the next.’”

Imam ‘Ali relates that, “Those were the days of winter while Fatimah and I had covered ourselves with a blanket. When we heard the Prophet’s voice, we started to get up but the Prophet said, ‘By the right that I hold upon you, do not disperse until I come to you.’ Saying this, he entered and sat at our heads. He placed his legs under the blanket and we warmed his feet. Then he said, ‘Bring me a pot of water.’ I brought it for him and he blew at it three times while reciting some verses of the Qur’an. He then told me, ‘Drink this water and leave some.’ I did as he directed and the Prophet sprinkled the left-over water upon my head and chest saying, ‘May Allah keep (every kind of) uncleanliness away from you O Abal Hasan and purify you (with) a thorough purification.’

Then he asked for another pot of water and I did as I was told. Again he recited some verses of Qur’an upon it and blew therein three times. Then he gave it to his daughter Fatimah saying, ‘Drink this water and leave some.’ She did as directed and the Prophet sprinkled the left-over water upon her head and chest saying, ‘May Allah keep (every kind of) uncleanliness away from you, and purify you (with) a thorough purification.’”

Recommendations of the Prophet to Fatimah

Imam ‘Ali continued, “Then the Prophet told me to go into another room while he spoke to Fatimah saying, ‘O dear daughter! How are you and how do you find your husband?’ Fatimah replied, ‘O dear father! I found my husband to be the best, however a group of women from the Quraysh visited me and said that my father had married me to an indigent man.’

The Prophet replied, ‘Dear daughter! Neither is your father indigent, nor is your husband! Allah has given me authority upon all the gold and silver treasures of this Earth but I have preferred the recompense near Allah over it. My dear daughter! If you had known what your father knows, the world would seem wretched in your eyes. I swear by Allah, that I have not been stingy with regards to your well-being. Your husband is the foremost in Islam, the most knowledgeable among everyone, and the most forebearing. O my daughter! Allah exclusively beheld the Earth and chose two men from among all - one he made your father and the other your husband. O my daughter! Your husband is a virtuous husband. Obey him in all matters.’”

Recommendations of the Prophet to Imam ‘Ali

Then the Prophet called me and said, “Enter your house and deal with your wife with love and kindness, for Fatimah is a piece of me and whoever hurts her, hurts me, and whoever pleases her, pleases me. I offer you to Allah and may He be your Protector.”

Imam ‘Ali continued, “I swear by Allah, I never made her angry nor forced her to do anything until Allah, the Mighty, the Sublime, took away her soul. She never made me uneasy, nor did she ever disobey me, and whenever I looked at her, all of my grief and sorrow vanished away.”

Request for a Maid & a Lesson for Better than a Maid

The Prophet stood up to leave and Fatimah requested him to provide a maid to help her in the household affairs. The Prophet replied, “Do you want to have something better than a maid?” She answered in the affirmative. The Prophet continued, “Then recite daily thirty three-times ‘Subhanallah’, thirty-three times ‘Alhamdulillah’, and thirty-four times ‘Allahu Akbar’. This equals a hundred exaltations and will be a means of bestowing a thousand gifts in the weighing scales (on the Day of Resurrection). O Fatimah! If you recite this every morning, Allah will fulfil your desires of this world and the hereafter.”

It is related in Misbahul Mutahajjid of Shaykh al-Tusi that the Prophet married Fatimah to Imam ‘Ali on the first day of the month of Dhul Hijjah, while some believe that it was on the sixth of the month of Dhul Hijjah.21

  • 1. ‘Ayesha relates that one day the Prophet of Allah came outside enrapped in an embroidered black woolen mantle (al-Kisa). Just then, Hasan b. ‘Ali came to him and the Prophet took him into the mantle. Soon Husayn b. ‘Ali followed him and he was also taken into the mantle. After him came Fatimah, and the Prophet took her into the mantle as well. Lastly ‘Ali came, and the Prophet also had him enter under the mantle. Then the verse of purification (Ayah al-Tathir) was revealed. (Imam al-Muslim, “as-Sahih”, vol. 2, pg. 283; Ahmad b. Hanbal, “al-Musnad”, vol. 1: pg. 330. Also refer to Jalaluddin as-Suyuti, “Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthur”, vol. 5; Fakhruddin al-Radhi, “Tafsir al-Kabir”, vol. 1; Jalaluddin s-Suyuti, “Khasaisul Kubra”, vol. 2; Ibn Hajar al-Haithami, “Sawaiqul Muhriqah”, pg. 85; Ibn Athir, “Jami’ al-Usul”, vol. 1; Muhibuddin al-Tabari, “Riyadhun Nazarah”, vol. 2; al-Haythami, “Majma’ul Zawaid”, vol. 9; al-Tirmidhi, “Jami’”, vol. 2; Hakim al-Naishaburi, “al-Mustadrak”, vol. 3; Ibn Kathir, “al-Bidayah wa Nihayah”, vol. 3; Ibn Sabbagh, “Fusulul Muhimmah” pg. 8.
  • 2. The famous incident of Mubahilah took place in the tenth year after the migration and it was against the Christians of Najran. A deputation of sixty Christians from the city of Najran came to the Noble Prophet to discuss about the personality of Prophet ‘Isa. The Prophet asked them not to attribute divinity to him as he was just one of the prophets of Allah. When they refused to agree to any amount of reasoning, the following verse was revealed, “And unto him who disputes with you therein after the knowledge has come unto you, say (unto them): come, let us summon our sons, and (you summon) your sons, and (we summon) our women and (you) your women, and (we summon) ourselves and (you) yourselves, and then let us invoke and lay the curse of Allah upon the liars.” (Surat Ale ‘Imran (3): 61). The Christians agreed to the Mubahilah (a spiritual contest invoking the malediction of Allah upon the liars) for the following day. On the next day the Christians gathered their holy men, women and children while the Prophet came with Imam Husayn in his lap, Imam Hasan holding his finger and walking beside him (as his sons), Sayyidah Fatimah (as his women), and Imam ‘Ali behind her (as his self). At the appearance of these Divinely-sent souls with the halo of a Divine light radiating from their noble faces, the chief monk, ‘Abdul Masih began to gaze at their faces and exclaimed, “By God! I see the faces which, if they pray to God for mountains to move from their place, the mountains will immediately move.” He continued, “O believers in Jesus of Nazareth! I will tell you the truth that should you fail to enter into some agreement with Muhammad and if these Godly souls curse you, then you will be wiped out of existence until the last day of the life on this earth.” This event is marked in Islamic history as the eternal triumph of Islam upon Christianity and numerous non-Shi’a historians have related it in their books, such as Imam Fakhurddin al-Radhi in his Tafsir; Abu Ishaq al-Tha’labi in his Tafsir; Jalaluddin as-Suyuti in Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthur, Qadhi al-Baidhawi; Jarullah al-Zamakhshari, Imam al-Muslim in his Sahih.
  • 3. Noble Qur’an, Surah Yusuf (9): 8
  • 4. Refer to the Qur’anic verse

    “And you desire not save what Allah desires; verily Allah is All-Knowing, the All-Wise.” (Suratul Dahr (76): 30)

  • 5. The great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad b. Hasan al-Saffar (d. 290 ah) in his book, Basairul Darajat relates, “Al-Jafr is a book that Imam ‘Ali inherited from the Prophet of Allah and it contains knowledge of the past and future events. There are two types of Jafr: the White Jafr contains the previous scriptures such as the Zabur, Tawrah, Injil and even the Scrolls (Suhuf) of Ibrahim. The Red Jafr is a leather bag that contains the weapons of the Prophet, and both of these Jafr have been consequently passed on to each Imam, while the mushaf of Fatimah is a part of the white Jafr. This mushaf is said to be three times the size of the Qur’an, but there is not even a word of the Qur’an in it. Part of the contents includes the will of Fatimah. It is related that after the death of the Prophet of Allah, Fatimah informed Imam ‘Ali that she could hear voices from within. He asked her to inform him what she heard, for it was actually an angel speaking to her. She dictated what she heard to Imam ‘Ali, and this formed the mushaf. It also pertains to future events.” (Here ends the quotation of Shaykh al-Saffar). This is why one of her names was Muhaddatha, i.e., a person other than the Prophet, with whom the angels speak.
  • 6. Noble Qur’an, Surah al-Nur (24): 63
  • 7. The term ‘mahram’ refers to a person of the opposite gender who is related to an individual either through permanent or blood relationship, such as father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, great-grandfather or great-grandmother and so on; brother or sister; son or daughter, grandson or grandaughter, great grandson or great grandaughter; uncle or aunt; nephew or neice, etc…while another group become ones’ mahram through marriage, such as: father-in-law or mother-in-law; son-in-law or daughter-in-law, etc…
  • 8. Noble Qur’an, Surah Ale ‘Imran (3): 34
  • 9. Her previous name was Maymunah and she was a Nubian princess - Nuba being a city in (present day) Sudan. She left the life of ease and comfort to come and serve the Prophet of Allah and his Ahlul Bayt. When she came to the Prophet, he asked her name and she replied that it was Maymunah, the Prophet told her, “From today your name will be Fidhdhah (silver)” so that she may not be embarrased by her dark colour, for colour and beauty are not a criterion for judging a person’s faith. This proves her excellent merits and high status near Allah, the Prophet of Allah and his Ahlul Bayt. The Prophet then sent her to his daughter Fatimah with the instructions that, “O Fatimah! Let Fidhdhah do the housework one day and the other day you should perform all the work.”

    All throughout her life Sayyidah Fatimah followed this advice of the Prophet and even during the days of her illness, she performed all of the tasks in the house every alternate day. Fidhdhah most obedienty and graciously served the Ahlul Bayt such that she herself was sometimes considered as ‘one of the household’. She learnt many Islamic sciences in the house of Ahlul Bayt, such that she spoke for forty (or according to some reports twenty) years in no other language but that of the Qur’an. After the death of Fatimah she remained at the house of Imam ‘Ali looking after and caring for their children Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn, Sayyidah Zaynab and Sayyidah Umme Kulthum. She even accompanied Imam Husayn at Karbala and bore all of the sufferings along with Sayyidah Zaynab and Sayyidah Umme Kulthum but did not leave their side even for a single moment. She is buried in the Bab al-Saghir Cemetery in Syria and people throng from far and near to perform her ziyarah. Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon her!

  • 10. Refer to the Qur’anic verse:

    “Whoever takes as his guardian, Allah and His Apostle, and those who believe, verily the party of Allah, they are those that shall (always) be triumphant.” (Suratul Ma’idah (5): 56)

  • 11. Refer to the Qur’anic verse:

    “Verily the Righteous ones shall drink a cup tempered at the fountain of camphor. The stream wherf shall drink the servants of Allah, they shall cause it to flow a desirable flow.” (Suratul Dahr (76): 5)

  • 12. Noble Qur’an, Suratul Mutaffifin (83): 25-28
  • 13. Noble Qur’an, Suratul Fatir (35): 34-35
  • 14. Noble Qur’an, Suratul Hijr (15): 43-44
  • 15. Noble Qur’an, Suratul Shura (42): 36
  • 16. This report cannot be relied upon, for the Ahlul Bayt and Sayyidah Fatimah remained aloof from the pleasures and never considered the possessions of this materialistic world. Numerous authentic reports have been related (in this book too) that prove their abstinence and detachment from this world and they are the ones for whom the following verse of the Qur’an was revealed,

    “And they give away their food out of love for Him, to the poor and the orphan and the captive, (saying) We feed you only for Allah’s sake, we intend not from you any recompense, nor (even) thanks.” (Suratul Dahr (76): 8-9).

    All the commentators of the Qur’an accept that this verse was revealed in praise and generosity and munificence of the Ahlul Bayt. Refer to al-Qurtubi, “al-Jami’atul Kamil Qur’an”; Nizamuddin al-Naishaburi, “Gharaibul Qur’an”; al-Khazin, “Lubab al-Ta’wil”; Husayn al-Baghawi, “Ma’alimut Tanzil”; al-Baidhawi, “Tafsir”; al-Alusi, “Tafsir”; Hafiz al-Kalbi al-Garnati, “Tashil al-’Ulum at-Tanzil”; to name just a few.

  • 17. Refer to the Qur’anic verse:

    “O Maryam! Verily Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Maryam! Be devout unto your Lord and prostrate yourself and bow down (in prayers) with those who bow down.” (Surah Ale ‘Imran (3): 42)

  • 18. Refer to the Qur’anic verse,

    “And soon shall know those who deal unjustly, what an (evil) turning they shall be turned into.” (Suratul Shu’ara (26): 227)

  • 19. Some say it was the wife of the Prophet, Umme Salma.
  • 20. It is related that in reality it was Jibra’il who came to meet the Prophet in the form of Dihyah al-Kalbi. The Prophet spoke to Jibra’il while those present presumed that he was speaking to Dihyah al-Kalbi and he (Dihyah al-Kalbi) was a handsome man and the foster brother of the Prophet and was among his companions.
  • 21. Anas b. Malik relates that Abu Bakr paid a visit to the Prophet, sat before him and said, “You know about my loyalty and my precedence in accepting Islam. I have done this and that and…” The Prophet asked, “What do you want?” Abu Bakr replied, “I have come to propose for the hand of Fatimah. The Prophet did not say a word and turned his face away from him. Abu Bakr came to ‘Umar and said, “I am condemned to death!” ‘Umar asked him why and he told him that he had proposed for the hand of Fatimah but the Prophet turned his face away from him. ‘Umar said, “You look after the things here and I shall go to the Prophet to propose for the hand of Fatimah.” He too proposed, however the Prophet turned his face away from him as well. (Muhibuddin al-Tabari, “Riyadhun Nazarah”; Imam al-Nisa’i, “al-Khasais”; Muttaqi al-Hindi, “Kanzul ‘Ummal”). The strangest case was the proposal of ‘Abdul Rahman b. ‘Awf. He came to the Prophet saying, “If you give Fatimah to me in marriage, I will give her a dowry of one hundred camels with loads of precious material from Eygpt along with ten thousand dinars.” Hearing this, the Prophet became enraged and threw a handful of gravel at him saying, “Do you think that I am a servant of wealth that you express pride in it (the dowry which you want to give to marry my daughter)?” (Sibt b. Jawzi, “Tadhkiratul Khawas al-Ummah”). Such a person is considered to be one of the “Asharah Mubasharah” (one of the ten men promised paradise by the Prophet) by the Ahlus Sunnah! The Prophet truly said, “If ‘Ali was not born, Fatimah would have not had any one (to marry her).” (al-Manawi, “Kunizul Haqaiq”).