Chapter 4: Intense Grief and Lamentation of Sayyidah Fatimah al-Zahra in Separation of her Father

When the Prophet of Allah passed away, everyone - young or old, man or woman, were deeply affected and the entire city of Madinah fell into mourning, grief and lamentation. Floods of tears flowed from the eyes of the people, and from every quarter of the city the voices of weeping and lamentation could be heard. The sound of people wailing was similar to the pilgrims who adorn the ihram and recite the praises of Allah. There was no man or woman, except that they wept, and this heart-rending sorrow bore heavily upon the family of the Prophet - particularly for the Commander of the Faithful, Imam ‘Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and brother.

The grief of separation from the Prophet weighed down upon Imam ‘Ali to such an extent that if these sorrows had descended upon the mountains, they would not have had the power to bear them! Some of his family members were in such a bad state that they could not take care of themselves; grief and restlessness had worn away their patience and intellect and had deprived them of the power of hearing and speech. Others too, apart from the progeny of ‘Abdul Muttalib, also wept while some others became restless.

Among all of the people however, none could equal the grief and sorrow of Sayyidah Zahra. Her sorrow ran so deep that no one except Allah had the power to perceive it. Her sorrow would increase each hour and day, and her lamention would become severe, while the voice of her wailing would not stop, the scorching of her heart did not cool, and each day that dawned saw an increase in her lamentation more than the previous day.

Heart-Rendering Sigh of Fatimah by the Grave of her Father

It is related that Fatimah did not step out of her house for seven days after the death of the Prophet. On the eighth day, she stepped out to visit the grave of the Prophet and in a state of intense lamentation and wailing.

Her clothing was dragging upon the ground and her veil was coiled up in her legs (due to her intense sorrow). She could not see anything due to the constant flow of tears and it continued in this same fashion until she reached the grave. As soon as her sight fell upon the grave, she fell upon it and lost consciousness.

The women of Madinah hastened towards her and sprinkled water on her face to bring her back into consiousness. She regained consciousness and lamented while addressing the Prophet saying, “My strength has parted away and my patience has left me, I have turned restless while my enemies rejoice (due to it). Heart-rendering sorrow has taken hold of me. O respected father! I have been left lonely, in perplexion and without an aid. My voice has become silent and my back is broken, my life has overturned and has become dark. After you O father I do not have any companion in these times of fright and there is no one to pacify me.”

She then recited the verses of poetry with a touching lamentation, “O dear father! Verily my sorrow is (everyday) a new sorrow, and my heart by Allah, has turned restless; there is an increase each day in my grief, and your separation has not been easy for me; O father, who remains for the widows and indigent, and who remains for the nation until the day of Resurrection? O father, we have been weakened after you; O father, we have awoken in such a state that the people have turned their faces away from us; which tears are there that do not flow upon your separation, what sorrow is there that does not continue after you; what eye is there that shuts (into sleep) after you, O father, upon you came a gracious revelation.”

Then she said, “O father! Your sorrow is not less, your pulpit lies in perplexity after you and the voice of praises (of the Lord) does not come from the prayer-niche. But your grave is rejoicing after having acquired your sacred body. Woe upon my days until I unite along with you.”

Then Fatimah gave such a grievous cry that it was almost as if her soul was parting from her. She then said, “My patience has worn away and mourning has taken hold upon me, after the parting away of the seal of the messengers. Eyes, O eyes, shed tears abundantly, woe be to you, your flow should be blood instead of tears. O Prophet of Allah! O the chosen one of Allah! O the refuge of the orphans and the weak ones! The pulpit that you alighted beholds that darkness has descended upon it after the passing away of the light. O Lord! Hasten my end soon, for my life has turned dark, O my Master!”

Lamentation of Zahra During the Day and Night and the Complaining of the People of Madinah

Fatimah then returned back to her house, however kept weeping day and night. Her lamentation did not subside nor did the flow of tears end. A group of the elders of Madinah came to the Commander of the Faithful Imam ‘Ali and said, “Fatimah weeps day and night! We cannot sleep at night due to it and we cannot find respite during the day. We want you to tell Fatimah that either weep at night and remain silent during the day, or weep during the day and remain silent at night.” Imam ‘Ali replied, “I shall convey your message to her with due respect.”

‘Ali came to Fatimah and saw her engrossed in immense sorrow and when her sight fell upon him, she became calm. Imam ‘Ali said, “The elders of Madinah have requested me to ask you to either weep at night or during the day.”

Fatimah replied, “O Abul Hasan! My life among these people is very short, and soon I will be departing. By Allah! I shall weep constantly until I unite with my father the Prophet of Allah.”

Imam ‘Ali said, “You are at liberty, you may do as you wish.”

Imam ‘Ali then built a house for Fatimah at the cemetary of al-Baqi’, far away from the houses of the people and he named it ‘Baytul Ahzan’ (The House of Sorrows). Everyday, Fatimah would dispatch (Imam) Hasan and (Imam) Husayn before her to al-Baqi’ and then she would proceed towards it weeping. Then she would sit and weep among the graves, and when night would fall, Imam ‘Ali would come and take them back home.

Touching Verses of Poetry by Fatimah Beside her Father’s Grave

It is related that when the Prophet of Allah passed away and Fatimah faced oppression by the people, she became bed-ridden and sick. Her sacred body turned weak and feeble and the skin of her body withered away such that it stuck to her bones and appeared as an engraving upon a wall.

It is also related that Fatimah always tied a handkerchief upon her head as a sign of mourning for her father and day-by-day, she became more weak. Her tears constantly flowerd due to his separation and her heart burned (in his remembrance). She would remain conscious for an hour and then fall unconscious another hour and would always tell her sons Hasan and Husayn, “What happened to your father (meaning the Prophet) who cherished you so much? The one who sat you upon his back and was most affectionate towards you, where is he? What happened to your father who did not allow you to even place your feet upon the earth (but rather always lifted you up with affection)? He will never ever open the door of the house again to lift you two up and carry you in the way that he used to lift the both of you up.”

She always remained grief-stricken, just as her father had informed her (she would) and she often remembered that the revelation had stopped coming into her house, and would also recall the separation of her father. At night, she no longer heard the sweet voice of the Prophet reciting the Qur’an which she used to hear until midnight. Not hearing this (and only the sound of the deafening silence), she would become frightful. She (now) found herself to be full of sorrow, whereas during the days of the Prophet she lived with happiness and honour.

She came to her father’s grave and recited the following verses: “What will happen to the one who smells the sweet fragrance of the grave of Ahmad, then he would never smell any other fragrance of the world; such sorrows flowed upon me that if, it had descended upon the days they would have turned into nights (due to extreme sorrow).”

She would also say: “When someone dies, his remembrance lessens day by day, but by Allah the remembrance of my father increases everyday; I remember that death has made a separation between us, I console myself upon Prophet Muhammad; then I say to myself that death is our path; and if one does not die today, then he will die tomorrow.”

She would also say: “When I desire to see you I come to your grave, I weep and I complain, but you do not answer me; O the one occupying the grave! You have taught me weeping and your remembrance has parted away all other sorrows; and although you are concealed under the earth; you are not concealed from my grievous heart.”

When the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali gave the ceremonial bath to the body of the Prophet, he was wearing a shirt. Fatimah told him, “Give me the shirt of the Prophet.” When she smelled the shirt, she fell down unconscious and when Imam ‘Ali saw this, he hid the shirt from her.

Call to Prayer by Bilal al-Habashi and the Lamentation of Fatimah

It is related that one day Fatimah said, “I want to hear the call to prayers by Bilal, my father’s Muazzin (the person who calls the Adhan for prayers).” When Bilal al-Habashi was informed about this request, he decided to fulfil the desire of Fatimah and raised his voice in the call to prayer.

When he said, “Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great)”, Fatimah remembered the days of her father and could not control her tears. When Bilal said, “I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”, Fatimah screamed out and fell down upon the earth unconscious. The people told Bilal, “Stop the call to prayer - Fatimah has passed away”, and they thought that Fatimah had died. Bilal stopped offering the call to prayer and when Fatimah regained consciousness, she told him to complete it. Bilal did not do so and said, “O Mistress of the women! I believe that your life is in danger when you hear my voice (therefore pardon me).” Then Fatimah excused him.

Fatimah Beside the Grave of the Martyrs of Uhud

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq says, “Fatimah remained alive for seventy-five days after the death of the Prophet of Allah and during this period, no one saw her happy or smiling. Twice a week, on Monday and Thursday, she would go to the graves of the martyrs of Uhud. She would point and say, “Here was the Prophet and here were the polytheists (during the battle).”

It is related that Fatimah would say her prayers there and recite supplications and this weekly act continued until her death.

In a narration from Mahmud b. Lubayd it states that when the Prophet of Allah passed away, Fatimah would come to the grave of the martyrs of Uhud and stand at the grave of Hamzah and weep. He states that, “One day I went to the grave of Hamzah and found Fatimah weeping there. I left her alone until she had calmed down then I went to her, greeted her and said, ‘O Mistress of the women! By Allah! The cords of my heart break due to your lamentation and sorrow.’

She replied, ‘O Aba ‘Umar! It is befitting that I weep, for I have lost one who was the best of fathers, the Messenger of Allah. Alas! How I crave to have a glimpse of him!’ Then she recited the following verses, “When someone dies their remembrance lessons day by day, but by Allah, the remembrance of my father increases everyday.”

Prayer of Fatimah and Her Will

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir says, “Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet of Allah, fell sick sixty days after the death of the Prophet and her illness increased. Her prayer and complaints against the oppressors was:

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ. بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ فَأَغِثْنِي. أَللَّهُمَّ زَحْزِحْنِي عَنِ النَّارِ وَ أَدْخِلْنِي الْجَنَّةَ وَ أَلْحِقْنِي بِأَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ.

‘O the Alive! O the Upright! I seek help by Your Mercy, thus help me. O Lord! Keep me away from the fire (of hell) and enter me into paradise, and join me with my father Muhammad.’”

The Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali told her, “May Allah grant you well-being and keep you alive.”

Fatimah said, “O Abal Hasan! It is very soon that I will meet my Lord.” She willed to ‘Ali saying, “After my death you may marry Amamah, the daughter of ‘Abul ‘As, she is the daughter of my sister Zaynab1 and will be affectionate towards my children.”

It is related in another tradition that Fatimah told ‘Ali, “I want something from you.” Imam ‘Ali said, “Your desire is fulfilled, O daughter of the Prophet of Allah.” Fatimah said, “I request you in the name of Allah and the right of my father Muhammad the Prophet of Allah that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar should not pray over me (after my death), you know that I have never concealed anything from you and the Prophet of Allah told me, ‘O Fatimah! You will be the first one among my Ahlul Bayt to join me, and I dislike informing you about it (about your death).’”

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir says, “Fifty nights had passed after the death of the Prophet of Allah that the illness of Fatimah resumed and she perceived that this illness will lead up to her death. Thus she willed to Imam ‘Ali so that he may act upon it and requested him to implement it without fail. Imam ‘Ali, who was extremely grievous and restless promised that he would act upon every request of Fatimah. Fatimah said, ‘O Abal Hasan! The Prophet of Allah promised me that I would be the first one among his family to join him, and there is no other way than this, thus bear patiently the command of Allah and be pleased with the Divine decree. Give me the funeral bath (after my death) at night, shroud me and bury me.’” Imam ‘Ali followed the will of Fatimah.

Ibn ‘Abbas says that Fatimah said, “I saw the Prophet of Allah in a dream and I related to him all that befell me after his death and complained to him (about what had occurred after his passing away). He told me that there is an everlasting abode for me in the hereafter that has been created for the pious ones, and that very soon I will join him.”

Last Days of Fatimah, Her Age and Her Speeches and the Discourse Between Fatimah, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar

As Fatimah lay on her deathbed, she willed to Imam ‘Ali that he should conceal the events of her life and not inform anyone about her illness, and Imam ‘Ali accepted her requests.

‘Ali looked after Fatimah alone and Asma b. Umays (wife of Abu Bakr) would help him in secret to look after her so that the will of Fatimah (to conceal her illness) may be fulfilled. The Prophet of Allah had informed (her) about this illness, just like he told her about the oppression that she would face.

When the illness of Fatimah increased, Allah sent Sayyidah Maryam to look after her and accompany her.

Abu Bakr and ‘Umar came to know about the illness of Fatimah and they came to the door of the house on the pretext of visiting her. They asked permission to enter, however Fatimah refused to let them in.

‘Umar met Imam ‘Ali and told him, “Indeed Abu Bakr is an old man with a soft heart, he is the one who accompanied the Prophet in the cave and is among his companions. I came here many times with him and asked permission to enter however Fatimah refused to see us. If you deem it right, take permission for us from Fatimah so that we may come and visit her.” ‘Ali replied, “Alright I shall seek permission.”

Imam ‘Ali then came to Fatimah and said, “O daughter of the Prophet of Allah! You know that these two men have requested to come to your presence many times and you refused them. They have requested me to ask you to permit them to visit you.”

Fatimah replied, “By Allah! I shall not permit them, nor even utter a word with them until I meet my father the Prophet of Allah and I will complain to him regarding how they dealt with me.”

‘Ali said, “I have assured them that I shall seek permission.”

Fatimah said, “If you have assured them, then the house is your house, and women should obey their husbands, I will not disobey you in anything - you may permit whomsoever you desire.”

Imam ‘Ali came out and permitted Abu Bakr and ‘Umar to enter therein. They came in and when their saw her, they greeted her however Fatimah did not reply their greeting. She turned her face away from them and they came and faced her, but again she turned her face away from them and this was repeated several times.

Then she told ‘Ali, “Cover me (my face) with (another layer) of clothing” and she told the women present there, “Turn away my face”, and when her face was turned away (from them), they again came facing her and requested her to be pleased with them and forgive their past mistakes. Fatimah said, “I ask you in the Name of Allah! Do you remember the day my father the Prophet of Allah had asked you to come to visit him at midnight regarding what would come forth for ‘Ali?” They replied in the affirmative. Fatimah continued, “I ask you in the Name of Allah, did you not hear the Prophet say that Fatimah is from me and I am from her, the one who hurts her hurts me, and the one who hurts me hurts Allah and that the one who hurts her after my death is the same as one who hurt her when I am alive, and the one who hurts her during my lifetime is the same as one who hurt her after my death?” They replied in the affirmative.

Then she continued: “Praise and thanks to Allah”, then she directed her focus towards Allah and said, “O Lord! I hold you witness, and O those who are present here you too bear witness that these two men have hurt me in my life and during the time of my death. I swear by Allah! I will never speak to them even to the extent of a word until I meet my Lord, and I will complain to Allah regarding the oppressions that befell me at their (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar’s) hands.”

According to another tradition, Fatimah lifted her hands towards the heavens and said, “O Lord! These two men have hurt me, I complain in Your audience and that of Your Prophet regarding them. By Allah! I will never be pleased with you (two) until I meet my father the Prophet of Allah and inform him regarding your actions, then He may judge between me and you.”

Hearing this, Abu Bakr cried, “Woe be to me! Oh the punishment of Allah! I wish my mother had not given birth to me!” ‘Umar rebuked him, “I wonder how men chose you as their guide! You are an old and feeble man that turns restless upon the rage of a woman and rejoices at the pleasure of a woman, so what happens if one displeases a woman?” Then they stood up and left. Fatimah then told Imam ‘Ali, “Now did I fulfil your desire?” Imam ‘Ali replied in the affirmative after which Fatimah said, “Now if I desire anything from you, will you do it?” Again he replied in the affirmative and so Fatimah continued, “I request you in the Name of Allah, do something that these two men may not pray upon me (after my death) and not even stand near my grave.”2

A Concealing Bier

It is related that Fatimah told Asma b. Umays, “I do not like how they carry the corpse of women, they place a cloth upon their beir and their body is visible from underneath it. Whoever sees it, knows that it is the body of a man or a woman. I have turned feeble and the flesh of my body has melted, then will you not make something to conceal my body?” Asma replied, “When I was in Abyssinia, the people had a beir that would conceal the body, if you desire I shall make it for you.” Fatimah said, “Make it for me.”

Asma called for a plank and placed it down, then she called for some wood of the palm-tree and fixed it upon the plank. Then she placed a cloth upon it and said, “The beir of the people of Abyssinia was similar to this.” Fatimah was pleased and said, “May Allah save you from the fire of hell. Make a similar kind for me and conceal me in it (after my death).”

It is also related that when the sight of Sayyidah Zahra fell upon the beir, she smiled though she had never smiled after the death of the Prophet of Allah. Then she said, “What a fine beir is it that it prevents from recognition whether it (the body) is of a male or a female.”

Visit of the Women of the Muhajirin and Ansar to Fatimah and Her Speech

It is quoted in the book Al-Ihtijaj of Shaykh al-Tabarsi from Suwayd b. Ghaflah that, “As Fatimah lay on her death-bed, the women of the Muhajirin and Ansar came to visit her and said, ‘O daughter of the Prophet of Allah! In what state do you find yourself with this illness?’

Fatimah praised and glorified Allah and sent salutations upon her father and then said, ‘I entered into the morning, by Allah, while detesting this world of yours, displeased with your men. I tested them under my teeth and spitted them out, then I assessed them and hated them. How ugly is that a sharp thing (sword or dagger) may turn blunt (meaning that their fervour during the initial days of Islam and their present sluggishness)! How ugly is the game after great endevour (their resistance in the beginning and their indifference now). How ugly is the striking (of a sword) upon a smooth stone (they are striving futilely and wasting their energy). How ugly is the breaking of the point of the lance. How ugly is the entering of doubt and falsity in one’s views. How ugly is the lapse (wasting of time) in desires. Surely evil is that which their own selves have sent ahead for themselves, for Allah’s wrath is on them and they will abide in torment.3 There was no other way except to forego the reins (of caliphate and Fadak) into their necks, and its heavy load has been cast upon their backs, and I put its usurpation upon them. Thus, may devastation and destruction be upon them and away with the unjust people.4

Woe be to them! To where have they shifted the caliphate - from the firm and strong status of prophethood and the basis of apostleship and its proofs? This (the caliphate) is a place of the descending of the Trustworthy Spirit (Jibra’il)! The caliphate has been snatched away from the one who the was most experienced regarding the affairs of the world as well as the hereafter. That is a loss (which is) manifest.5 What was the reason for taking revenge upon Abul Hasan ‘Ali? They have revenged, by Allah, his sword that was lifted upon the fallacious ones, and because of the fact that he did not fear death and that he swept the deceptive ones off of their feet and due to the fact that he destroyed the enemies in the battlefield and for his valour in the way of Allah.

By Allah! If he (Imam ‘Ali) had attained this position (of caliphate), the people would not have declined to accept the right path and the apparent evidences of Allah, and he would have returned them back to the (straight) path and he would have prepared them to pave that road. He would have dealt with them with kindness and gentleness and people would never have faced difficulty, nor would they have been tired or dejected. He would have taken them to a pleasant and pure stream where they could have drank the water to their utter satisfaction, whose both banks are filled with abundant water free from any filth and he would have returned them satiated.

He would have councelled them both openly and in secret and he would have become their well-wisher and he would not have even spent the least amount from the treasury, nor multiplied his own wealth (through the wealth of others). He would not have gained any benefit from the world except to the extent (of a quantity needed) for quenching his thirst, and eating a morsel of food like a caretaker of the orphans (he would only have contended himself by utilising such water and food that would be necessary to quench his thirst and satisfy his hunger, as a caretaker of an orphan does).

It would have become clear who is abstinent and who is inclined towards the world and the honest person (would have been made clear) from the liar. If only the people of the towns had believed and guarded (themselves against evil), We would have opened up for them blessings from the heavens and the earth; but they belied, so We seized them for what they did earn.6 As (for) those of them who did injustice, soon shall befall upon them the evils of what they reaped.7

Then come and listen! The world shall show you vanity until you are alive, then if you doubt, it is because their talks are wonderful. I wish I knew upon what strong basis did these men act and upon what they relied and upon what pillar they rested on, and what rope have they clung to and towards whose family they committed disrespect and oppression. Verily evil is the lord, and evil certainly is the associate.8 Evil for the unjust will be the exchange!9

By Allah! They have clung to the low and base people and left the worthy and competent ones. May they be humiliated! They think that they have done something good after spreading mischief - be aware! Verily they are the mischief-mongers but they perceive (it) not.10 What then has befallen you, how (ill) you judge.11 Be aware! By my life! This evil character of yours has matured, then wait and watch the consequences thereof! Then you will milk blood and poison instead of milk, and here the evildoers will be the losers. Those to come will witness and realize the consequences of those who had established this (injustice and oppression).

Thus rejoice at this attainment of yours and await the advent of mischief and have the good news of the sharp swords and the severe oppression of the mighty ones and the pranks. I give you good news of the tyrants who will take control over the public property and leave but a little for you and because of them being wretched, no one will be able to spend from it! They will unleash a wave of mass slaughter,12 Alas upon you! Where are you wandering? It has been made obscure unto you, how can we compel you to (accept) it, while you detest it?”13

Conveying the Message of Zahra via the Women of the Muhajirin and Ansar

Suwayd b. Ghaflah relates, “When the women who came to visit Fatimah related her message to their husbands and men, a group from among the chiefs of the Muhajirin and Ansar came to her seeking an apology, ‘O mistress of the women of the world! If ‘Ali had presented himself earlier for the leadership, we would have pledged allegiance to him and would not have turned to anyone else! However Abu Bakr took the lead and we swore allegiance to him.’

Fatimah replied, ‘Get away from me, there is no other excuse for you. After transgression and negligence there remains no place for an apology.’”

Reply from Fatimah Upon the Enquiry of Umme Salama

It is related in Biharul Anwar from the Tafsir of al-’Ayyashi that Umme Salama came to visit Sayyidah Zahra and said, “O daughter of the Prophet of Allah! How did you begin the day with this illness of yours?”

Fatimah replied, “I began the day seeing myself between two sorrows. My heart has turned into a cloth of blood due to the sorrow of separation from my father; and my heart is ablazed after witnessing the oppression meted out to the vicegerent of the Prophet of Allah. By Allah! They disrespected the holy presence of the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali and he entered into the morning in a manner that the position of caliphate and Imamat was snatched away from him. They opposed the book of Allah and the traditions of the Prophet. The motive of their deviation is that their hearts were full of envy and enmity towards ‘Ali, for he had killed their men in the battles of Badr and Uhud. Thus they quelled the flames of rancour and envy by taking revenge upon ‘Ali by usurping his rights.

After the passing away of the Prophet, the arrows hit the target. The hidden and suppressed anger came to light and they arose to oppose us by aiding the seditious and slanderers. They made us the target of their revenge and at once they cut the rope of faith and severed the bow of faith with the arrow of (supposed) faith. They stumbled over the prophethood of the master of the Messengers and the guardianship of the Commander of the Faithful. After they had secured the interests of the charms of the world for themselves, they did not pay attention to the call of help from ‘Ali for he had killed their fathers in the battlefields.”

The Testimony of Fatimah to ‘Ali

It is related in Rawdhatul Wa’izin that Fatimah lay on her bed in illness for forty days and thereafter passed away. When she realized that her end was near, she called for Umme Ayman, Asma b. ‘Umays and the Commander of the Faithful. They came to the side of her bed and she told ‘Ali, “O cousin! News of (my) impending death has reached me and I perceive that I will meet my father very soon. I will to you whatever is in my heart.”

‘Ali said, “O daughter of the Prophet of Allah! You may will whatever you desire.” Saying this, he sat near her bed and said to those who were present in the house, “You may go out.”

Then Fatimah said, “O cousin! All throughout my life with you, you have never heard falsehood or (witnessed) betrayal from me, nor have I ever disobeyed you.”

‘Ali replied, “No, never. You are more informed, virtuous and honourable, while your fear of Allah is more than anyone else that I could reproach you for any disobedience. Your separation is very severe upon me but what can one do for there is no escape from death. By Allah! You have renewed the sorrow of the (separation from the) Prophet of Allah and your parting and bereavement is grand and hard upon me. Verily we are Allah’s and verily unto Him we shall return, upon the calamity that is tragic and heart-rendering. This is an adversity that has no comfort and is so serious that there is no replacement for it.”

Then they wept together for sometime, ‘Ali pressed the head of Fatimah to his chest and said, “You may will whatever you desire, certainly you will find me such that I shall fulfil your desire with goodness and endear your behest upon that of mine.”

Fatimah said, “O cousin! May Allah reward you fairly! Marry Amamah, my niece and daughter of Zaynab; create for me a beir, and ensure that whosoever has oppressed me and usurped my rights does not stand at my corpse, nor that they perform prayers upon me, nor should their followers be present there14 and bury me at night when the eyes are absorbed in sleep.”

It is quoted in Misbahul Anwar from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq who relates from his fore-fathers that, “When Fatimah’s end drew near, she willed to the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali saying, ‘When I pass away, you yourself give me the ceremonial bath, shroud me, pray upon me and bury me. Build my grave and sprinkle earth upon it, then sit at the head of my grave opposite my face and recite the Qur’an abundantly and supplicate, for it is at that moment when a dead person requires affection of the living ones, and I entrust you to Allah and request you to deal with fairness towards my children.’ She then pressed her daughter Umme Kulthum to her heart and said, ‘And when this daughter of mine reaches maturity, the household articles are for her, and may Allah be her support.’”

It is also related that when the end of Sayyidah approached she wept for sometime. The Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali asked, “Why do you weep?” She replied, “I weep upon the sufferings and persecutions that will befall you after me.” Imam ‘Ali said, “Do not weep. For by Allah, these sufferings are nothing for me in the way of Allah.”

It is also related that Fatimah told ‘Ali, “And when I pass away from this world, do not inform anyone except Umme Salama, Umme Ayman and Fidhdhah. And among men, inform my two sons, ‘Abbas (b. ‘Abdul Muttalib), Salman, Miqdad, Abu Dharr and Hudhayfah. I make it lawful for you (only) to see me after my death, then you may bathe me with the help of the above mentioned women and bury me at night and do not inform anyone so that they do not come to my grave.”

Suggestion of ‘Abbas - Uncle of the Prophet

Shaykh al-Tusi relates that when the illness of Fatimah increased, ‘Abbas (b. ‘Abdul Muttalib) made a visit to their house. He was informed that the state of Fatimah was quite bad and that no one was permitted to enter the room where she lay in her bed. ‘Abbas returned back to his house and sent a note to ‘Ali thru a messenger. The messenger came and related the communication saying, “O nephew! Your uncle sends you greetings and says that by Allah, this illness of the beloved of the Prophet of Allah and the light of his eyes and the light of my eyes, Fatimah, has aggrieved me to such an extent, that my existence is crushed. I perceive that she will be the first one among us to join the Prophet of Allah and he has chosen for her the best position of paradise and will take her to the presence of Almighty Allah. If you perceive that Fatimah has passed away, permit me tomorrow to gather the Muhajirin and Ansar to take part in her funeral proceedings and attend the prayers upon her and thus they may be rewarded for it, for this task is better for the grandeur of Islam.”

Imam ‘Ali replied to the messenger of ‘Abbas, who according to the narrator was ‘Ammar b. Yasir, saying, “Convey my greeting to my uncle ‘Abbas and tell him that, ‘May Allah not lessen your love for us! I understand your suggestion and your view is fair. But you know that they have oppressed Fatimah and usurped her rights and repressed her inheritance that she received from her father, and that they did not honour the recommendations of the Prophet regarding her nor did they consider the rights of Allah, and Allah is sufficient as a Judge and He will exact revenge from the oppressors. I, O uncle, seek apology from you and ask that you excuse me from neglecting your suggestion, for Fatimah has willed that I should keep her task (death) a secret.”

Martyrdom of Zahra and Her Burial

Tragic Moment of the Martyrdom of Fatimah

The Ahlus Sunnah and Shi’a narrators relate from Umme Salama, the wife of Abu Rafi’ that, “During the last days of Fatimah, I was attending to her. One day, her state became fine and her illness lessened. The Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali went out of the house to attend to some work and during this time, Fatimah told me, ‘Bring me some water so that I may take a bath and purify myself.’ I brought water and helped Fatimah, she rose up and took a bath and changed her clothes. She then told me, ‘Spread my bed in the middle of the room.’ Saying this, she lied down on the bed facing the Qiblah and told me, ‘I shall leave this world today, I have purified myself and no one should uncover my face.’ Saying this she put her hand underneath her head and passed away.”

It is related that Fatimah passed away between the time of Maghrib and ‘Isha and when her end drew near, her eyes turned red and she said, “Peace be upon Jibra’il! Peace be upon the Prophet of Allah! O Lord, (I am accompanying) Your Prophet! O Lord! (I will be) In Your garden (paradise) and in Your audience, and Your abode, the Abode of Peace.” Then she told those present, “Do you see what I see?” They asked, “O daughter of the Prophet of Allah! What do you see?” She replied, “I see the dwellers of the heavens along with their procession and forms, I see Jibra’il and I see the Prophet of Allah who tells me, O daughter! Come to us, for whatever has been reserved for you is the best.”

Zayd b. ‘Ali relates that Fatimah greeted Jibra’il, the Prophet of Allah and the Angel of Death - Izra’il. Those present could hear the elegant voices of the angels and smelt the fragrance that was the best of fragrances.

An Account from Asma’ b. ‘Umays Regarding the Death of Fatimah

Asma’ b. ‘Umays relates that, “When the last days of Fatimah drew near she told me, ‘When Jibra’il came to the Prophet during his final moments, he brought along with him some camphor and the Prophet divided it into three parts. He kept one part for himself, the second for ‘Ali, and the third one for me and its weight was equal to four dirhams.’ Then she said, ‘O Asma’! Bring that camphor which is kept at such place and keep it near my head.’ She said this and pulled her dress over her face and then said, ‘Wait for some time and then call me and if I do not answer you, know that I have been united with my father.’

Asma’ says, ‘I waited for some time and then called out to Fatimah but received no reply. I called out, O daughter of Muhammad al-Mustafa! O daughter of the most generous one borne by any woman! O daughter of the best one who treaded upon this earth! O daughter of the one who was near his Lord by the measure between two bows or closer still!15 I did not receive any reply. I uncovered her face, kissed her and said, O Fatimah! When you reach the presence of your father, the Prophet of Allah, convey my greetings to him.’”

Hasan and Husayn Beside their Mother’s Sacred Corpse

Then Asma’ tore her collar and came out of the house in a disturbed state and met Hasan and Husayn. They asked her, “Where is our mother?” Asma could not say anything and they ran towards the house and saw that their mother was laying down with her face towards the Qiblah.

Husayn shook his mother and understood that she had passed away and thus he turned towards his brother Hasan and said, “O my brother! May Allah reward you due to our mother!” Hasan threw himself upon his mother, kissed her for sometime and said, “O mother! Speak to me before my spirit leaves my body.” Imam Husayn stepped forward and kissing her feet said, “O mother! I am your son Husayn, speak to me before my heart breaks and I die.”

‘Ali is Informed about Fatimah’s Death

Asma’ told Hasan and Husayn, “Go to your father ‘Ali and inform him about your mother’s death.” Hasan and Husayn stepped out of their house calling, “O Muhammad! O Ahmad! Today your death has become more severe upon us as our mother has (just) died.” Then entered the Masjid and found Imam ‘Ali and shared the tragic news about the demise of Fatimah. Hearing this news, ‘Ali was so stunned that he fell down unconscious. Water was sprinkled on his face and when he regained consciousness, he called out it a grievous voice saying, “How should I console myself, O daughter of Muhammad! I found comfort in you while you were alive, but now where will I find comfort?”

‘Ali Beside the Sacred Corpse of Fatimah

The renowned historian al-Mas’udi relates, “When Fatimah passed away, Imam ‘Ali was extremely restless and wept bitterly and recited the following elegy, ’For every companion there is untimely separation, and every sorrow is forbearing after death; the departure of Fatimah after that of Ahmad, proves that (now) there is no companion left (for me).’”

The narrator says that Imam ‘Ali lifted up Hasan and Husayn and entered the room in which the body of Fatimah lay. They saw Asma’ seated near the bedside, weeping and she said, “O orphans of Muhammad! We were consoling ourselves with Fatimah after the passing away of the Prophet, but now who can we find solace with?”

The Will of Zahra

The Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali uncovered the face of Fatimah and found a letter underneath her head. He lifted it up and read the following, “In the Name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful! This is the will of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet of Allah. Fatimah bears witness that there is no other deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; paradise and hell are truth and there is no doubt regarding the arrival of the resurrection and Allah will raise the dead ones from their graves.

O ‘Ali! I am Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, whom Allah had united in marriage with you so that I may be linked to you in this world as well as in the hereafter, while you are more worthy of me than anyone else. Give me the ceremonial bath, shroud me, and give me the hunut16 at night, then recite prayers upon me and bury me at night, and do not inform anyone else.”

People in Intense Mourning over Fatimah

It is related that the people of Madinah raised a cry and the women of Bani Hashim came to the house of Fatimah weeping and wailing such that it was near that Madinah would shake due to their weeping. They were calling out, “O mistress! O daughter of the Prophet of Allah!”

In multitudes, the people of Madinah, which was around the number of hairs on a horse, came to Imam ‘Ali who was seated, while Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn were facing him and crying and everyone else was also crying due to their lamentation.17

Umme Kulthum stepped out of the house with her face covered by a veil and also had a covering on her head whose end was stretched until it touched the ground, while weeping had turned her restless. She was calling out, “O Father! O Prophet of Allah! Verily today we have lost you such that there is no meeting after this!”

The people gathered and were weeping and wailing and they were awaiting the beir of Fatimah to be brought out so that they could pray over her. At that moment Abu Dharr came out of the house and said, “You may leave, for the funeral of Fatimah has been postponed until the night.” Hearing this, the people rose up and dispersed.

Ceremonial Washing of the Body, Shrouding, and the Prayer upon Her Sacred Corpse

When night drew near, ‘Ali gave the ceremonial washing to the body and no one was present at that moment except for Hasan, Husayn, Zaynab, Umme Kulthum, Fidhdhah and Asma’ b. ‘Umays. Asma’ said, “Fatimah had willed that no one should perform the ceremonial washing of her body except ‘Ali and myself and I assisted him in doing so.”

It is related that while giving the ceremonial washing, Imam ‘Ali said, “O Lord! Fatimah is Your maid and the daughter of Your Prophet and chosen one. O Lord! Inspire her with her evidences and increase her reasoning, elevate her position and unite her along with her father.”

It is also related that Imam ‘Ali wiped the body of Sayyidah Zahra with the same cloth that he had used to wipe the body of the Prophet, and when he completed bathing the body, ‘Ali placed the body in the beir and told Imam Hasan, “Tell Abu Dharr to come here.” Imam Hasan informed Abu Dharr and both of them lifted the beir until the place of prayers. Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn were also with them and Imam ‘Ali led the prayers.

Hasan and Husayn in a Last Embrace with their Mother

Al-Waraqah relates that the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali said, “I was busy washing the body of Fatimah and had bathed her with her shirt on and by Allah, Fatimah was pure and chaste. Then I anointed her with the leftover camphor of the Prophet of Allah, shrouded her and just before tying the cord of the shroud I called out, ‘O Umme Kulthum! O Zaynab! O Sakinah! O Fidhdhah! O Hasan and O Husayn! Come and behold your mother for the time of separation has approached.”

Hasan and Husayn came and heaved a sigh and said, “O grief! The heat (of grief) for our grandfather Muhammad al-Mustafa and our mother Fatimah al-Zahra shall never diminish. O mother of Hasan! O mother of Husayn! When you meet our grandfather, convey our greetings to his presence and tell him that we have become orphans with your passing away.”

Imam ‘Ali said, ‘Allah is witness, she gave a cry and stretched her hands and pressed them to her chest. Suddenly I heard a caller from the heavens saying, “O Abal Hasan! Lift them up, for by Allah, their weeping makes the angels of the heavens weep.” Imam ‘Ali then lifted Hasan and Husayn off of her chest.

Shrouding of Zahra

It is related that Kathir b. ‘Abdullah wrote the following on the shroud of Zahra, “She bears witness that there is no other deity worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

It is quoted in Misbahul Anwar that the shroud of Fatimah was coarse and thick. It is related (in the same book) that when the end of Fatimah drew near, she called for some water and took a bath, then she called for a scent18 and anointed herself with it. Then she called for some cloth, they brought a coarse and thick cloth and she wore it.

It is also related that she was shrouded in seven pieces of cloth.

Prayer and Burial of Fatimah

It is quoted in Rawdhatul Wa’izin that when night came and the people were deep in sleep and a part of the night had passed, Imam ‘Ali along with Hasan, Husayn, ‘Ammar, Miqdad, ‘Aqil, Zubayr, Abu Dharr, Salman, Buraydah and a few chosen men among the Bani Hashim brought out the beir of Fatimah and recited the prayers upon it and buried her in the middle of the night, and Imam ‘Ali built seven more graves around the real grave so that her place of burial would not be known.

It is related in Misbahul Anwar that a man asked Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq, “How many takbir did the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali recite in the prayers upon Fatimah?” The Imam replied, “‘Ali would recite one takbir, Jibra’il would then recite the second one, followed by the angels near to Allah, thus Imam recited five takbir.” Another man asked, “Where did they pray?” Imam al-Sadiq replied, “In her house, then they brought the beir out of the house.”

‘Ali Greets the Prophet after the Burial of Fatimah

Shaykh al-Tusi relates, “Imam ‘Ali buried Sayyidah Zahra, smoothed the dirt over her grave making it level, and then cleaned his hands from the earth of the grave. He was in a deep state of grief and sorrow and tears rolled down his cheeks and in this state, he turned towards the grave of the Prophet of Allah and said, ‘Peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah, from myself and your daughter that has been laid (to rest) in your neighbourhood and who has united very quickly with you. My patience has parted away due to the separation of your daughter and my strength has faded. However, after facing the heart-rending grief of your separation, all sorrow that reach me are less (in comparison to that of yours). I cannot forget the moment when I laid your sacred body into the grave with my own hands, and at the time of death your head was lying on my chest and your sacred soul parted. Indeed we are Allah’s and indeed we will return back to Him. O Prophet! The trust (Fatimah) that you had bestowed me with has been returned to you, but my sorrow has become everlasting. I will spend my nights, sleepless until I too am united with you. Very soon your daughter will relate to you how the nation united to oppress us, and you may ask her (how this occurred) when a very short period of time had elapsed after your passing such that your remembrance had not even been forgotten.

Salutations upon you both, a farewell salutation - not from weariness or seeking respite. If I return away from you (your grave) it is not due to tiredness and if I remain at your grave it is not due to lack of belief in what Allah has promised the forebearing ones. Verily patience is more auspicious and fairer. If I had not feared the prevailing of those who have gained power upon us, I would have stayed near your grave and would have performed the spiritual sojourn (i’tikaf)19 near your tomb. Then I would raise a sorrowful cry similar to a woman who has lost her son!

Allah is witness that I have buried your daughter in secret fearing the enemies - the daughter whose rights had been usurped and whose inheritance was kept from her when after only a short time (after your passing away) and your rememberance had not yet worn out. I complain in your presence, O Prophet of Allah and in your obedience lies consolation of the heart, patience and fair fortitude. Allah’s benediction, blessings and abundance be upon you and your daughter.’”

A poet has rightfully stated, “Due to what circumstances should be buried in secret, the piece of al-Mustafa and her grave ne flattened; her sorrow was more than any other sorrow of men, and in the age her grave be in concealment, so that people may not find track of it, where is the sacred place that contains her grave?”

Imam ‘Ali’s Words Beside the Grave of Fatimah

It is related in Misbahul Anwar from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq that when the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali put the sacred body of Fatimah in the grave he said, “In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. In the Name of Allah and by Allah, and upon the nation of the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad b. ‘Abdullah! O the honest one (referring to Fatimah)! I submit you to the one who is better than me, and am pleased upon what Allah has chosen for you. From it (the earth) We created you, and into it will We return you.”20

When he prepared the grave and sprinkled water upon it, he sat down besides the grave with intense greif and was weeping. ‘Abbas (b. ‘Abdul Muttalib) came forward, and taking hold of his hand, took him home.

Strong Presence of Imam ‘Ali Against Exhuming the Grave of Fatimah

It is related that on the night when Fatimah was buried, forty (false) graves were made in the graveyard of al-Baqi’, and when the people were informed of the death of Fatimah, they hastened to al-Baqi’ and found forty fresh graves present. They did not find the grave of Fatimah and started weeping and wailing and reproached one another.

They said to one another, “The Prophet did not leave among you except one daughter and she passed away from the world and was buried, but you could not participate in her burial and funeral, nor can you recognize her grave!”

The elders of the community said, “Go and bring some believing women that they may come and exhume these graves so that we may find the grave of Fatimah. We may then pray upon her and visit her grave.”

When Imam ‘Ali was informed about their plan, he came out of his house in a rage wearing a yellow cloak which he would normally only wear during times of difficulty. He was in such rage that his eyes had turned red and the vein of his neck had swollen with blood! He was leaning upon his sword Dhulfiqar until he entered the graveyard of al-Baqi’ and warned the people about not exhuming the graves.

The people said to one another, “This is ‘Ali b. Abi Talib who has come in such a (mental) state that he swears that if even one stone is turned from upon these graves, he will kill all of you!”

At that moment ‘Umar, accompanied by a group of his adherents, met ‘Ali and said, “O Abal Hasan! What is this that you have done! We will indeed exhume the grave of Zahra and pray upon her!”

Imam ‘Ali grabbed him by his collar, twisted it, and threw him upon the ground. ‘Umar fell down and ‘Ali told him, “O son of the black Abyssinian! I left my right due to fear that men may leave the religion. But in case of the desecration of the grave of Fatimah, I swear by Allah in Whose Hands lies my life, if you do so, I will quench the thirst of the earth with your blood! Do not do it and save yourself!”

Abu Bakr came forward and said, “I request you, due to the right of the Prophet of Allah and by the right of the One who is upon the High Heavens, leave ‘Umar, we will not do that which displeases you.”

Hearing this, ‘Ali released ‘Umar and the people scattered away and resisted from desecrating the grave.

‘Ali’s Explanation to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar

It is related in ‘Ilalush Sharayi’ that a man questioned Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq regarding the decision to desecrate the grave of Fatimah and he replied, “Imam ‘Ali brought the beir out from the house at night and lit some branches of a palm-tree and paved the way in its light. Then they recited the prayers over Fatimah and buried her at night.

In the morning, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar met a man from the Quraysh and asked him where he came from. He replied, ‘I came from the house of ‘Ali. I went to offer condolences to him upon the death of Fatimah.’ They asked, ‘Has Fatimah passed away?’ He replied, ‘Yes and she was buried in the middle of the night.’

Hearing this, both of them were distressed and feared the reproach of the people. They came to ‘Ali and said, ‘By Allah! You did not refrain from any deceit and enmity with us, and all of this is due to the rancour that you hold in your heart against us. This action of yours is similar to when you bathed the body of the Prophet alone and did not inform us. Then you instructed your son Hasan to come to the Masjid and address Abu Bakr saying, come down from the pulpit of my father?’

Imam ‘Ali replied, ‘If I call you to witness in the Name of Allah, will you confirm my words?’ They replied in the affirmative and then Imam ‘Ali continued by saying, ‘The Prophet had willed to me that I should not let anyone participate in the ceremonial washing of his body and had said that no one except my cousin ‘Ali should look at my body. Thus I gave him the bath while the angels turned his sacred body, and Fadhl b. ‘Abbas gave me water while his eyes were blind-folded. When I wanted to remove the shirt of the Prophet from his body, I heard a caller saying, while I could not see him, ‘Do not remove the shirt!’ I heard this voice over and over again but did not see anyone, and thus I bathed him in his shirt. Then the shroud was brought and I shrouded the Prophet with it and only then did I remove his shirt from his body. In regards to my son Hasan coming to the Masjid and rebuking Abu Bakr, all of the people of Madinah are witness that (before the Prophet passed away) Hasan would pass by the ranks of men in the congregrational prayers and reach the Prophet of Allah. He would then climb upon his back (while the Prophet was in the state of prostration) and when the Prophet would rise up from the prostration, he would place one hand upon the back of Hasan and another on his legs and would thus take care (not to let him fall) upon his back until he ended his prayers.’

They replied, ‘Yes we have witnessed this episode.’

Imam ‘Ali continued, ‘Then you, the people of Madinah, are witness that one time, the Prophet was seated upon the pulpit and Hasan entered the Masjid. The Prophet stopped his sermon in between and rose up from the pulpit and seated Hasan upon his neck and put his feet on his chest and concluded the sermon while the people seated at the back of the Masjid could see the glitter of the anklet on the leg of Hasan. When Hasan had witnessed this sort of love from the Prophet and he entered the Masjid and saw someone else seated upon that very pulpit, it was hard for him and he said those words, and by Allah, I had not instructed my son to do so! As for Fatimah, she was the one from whom I took permission for you to visit her. You came to her and heard her words and became aware of her fury towards you. By Allah! She had willed to me that I should not allow you to attend her funeral, nor pray upon her, thus I fulfilled her desire.’

‘Umar said, ‘Keep aside these vain talks! I myself will go and dig the grave of Fatimah, remove her corpse, and then pray upon her!’ Imam ‘Ali said, ‘By Allah! If you do so or even think about doing so, I will remove your head, then the sword shall prevail between us and nothing else!’

Heated arguments took place between ‘Ali and ‘Umar and it was near that they would have attacked one another when a group from among the Muhajirin and Ansar approached and separated them and said, ‘By Allah! We are not pleased that such words are uttered to the cousin, brother and vicegerent of the Prophet.’

Had they not intervened, a major commotion would have erupted; however after this, everyone went their own ways.”

Verses of Poetry by Qadhi Abu Bakr

The eminent traditionist, ‘Ali b. ‘Isa al-Irbili writes in his book Kashful Ghummah that, “Some of my companions related the following verses of poetry by Qadhi Abu Bakr Abi Qari’ah (a scholar from the Ahlus Sunnah) to me, “If I had not feared the enmity of the subjects and the politics of the caliph, and the swords of the enemies that would roll off the heads - I would have propagated the secrets of Ale Muhammad word by word, so as to make you independent of the narrations of Malik and Abu Hanifah (two Imams of the Ahlus Sunnah); I would have informed you that verily (the martyrdom of) Husayn was initiated on the day of Saqifah, and under what circumstances was the honourable Fatimah buried at night; and why your two Shaykhs were not permitted (by her) to enter her room; Alas! the daughter of Muhammad died in rage and sorrow.”

Testimony of Fatimah from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq

The eminent traditionist, Shaykh al-Kulayni relates from Abu Basir who said: “Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq told me, ‘Do you not wish that I should read to you the testimony of Fatimah?’ I replied in the affirmative. Imam as-Sadiq pulled out a trunk and took a letter from it and read the following: ‘In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This is the testimony willed by the daughter of the Prophet - Fatimah. I give the right of custodianship of the seven gardens: al-’Awaf, ad-Dallal, al-Burqah, al-Maythab, al-Husna, al-Safiyah and al-Mashrabah Umme Ibrahim to the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali. After the death of ‘Ali, I will that it go to my son Hasan and after him to Husayn and after him it should be under the possession of the most eminent among my progeny. Allah is witness upon this testimony as is al-Miqdad and al-Zubayr – they are also witness and this testimony is written at the hands of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib.’”

The eminent scholar, Sayyid Ibn Tawus in his book, Kashful Mahajjah writes, “The Prophet of Allah and the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali were not indigent - for it is not necessary that indigence should be among the qualities of piety.” He addresses his son and says, “Your grandfather (Prophet) Muhammad handed over Fadak and the other gardens to your mother Fatimah willingly.” Know that the annual income and output of Fadak and the other gardens, according to the narration by Shaykh ‘Abdullah b. Hammad al-Ansari, was twenty-four thousand dinars, while other traditions relate that the income was seventy thousand dinars.”

Fatimah after the Death of the Prophet

There is a difference of opinion among the historians regarding the time period which Fatimah lived after the death of the Prophet. The majority of scholars state that she lived for a maximum of six months and a minimum of forty days; however the opinion that we accept is that Fatimah remained alive for fifty-nine days after the death of her eminent father and passed away on the third of Jamadi’ul Akhar, eleven years after the migration.

Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari al-Imami relates through reliable sources from Abu Basir that Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq said that Fatimah passed away on the third of the month of Jamadi’ul Thani in the eleventh year of the migration and that the reason for her death was that Qunfudh, the slave of ‘Umar b. al-Khattab, struck her with the handle of his sheath at the order of ‘Umar and that her child, Muhsin, was mis-carried. Thus Fatimah became severely ill, and when she lay on her bed, she did not permit anyone from among those who had troubled her to come and visit her.”

  • 1. One of the numerous concocted stories of the non-Shi’a historians who allege that the Prophet had three daughters through Sayyidah Khadijah b. Khuwaylid apart from Sayyidah Fatimah az-Zahra. The names of these ‘daughters’ are stated as Zaynab, Umme Kulthum and Ruqayyah, while in reality they were the daughters of Hala b. Khuwaylid (wife of Amr b. Hadam), who after her death, were brought up by their aunt Sayyidah Khadijah and Prophet Muhammad. The Shi’a scholars have put forward several proofs in refutation of this alleged claim which was raised simply to compete with Sayyidah Zahra’s personality and also because two of them were later married (consequently) to the caliph, ‘Uthman b. al-Affan.
  • 2. Ibn Kathir al-Damishqi, a student of Ibn Taymiyyah (the forerunner of Wahhabism) writes in his book al-Bidayah wal Nihayah in vol. 5, pg. 289 that, “If by denying the Prophet of Allah’s inheritance and the estate of Fadak, Fatimah became angry, one should point out that Fatimah was just an ordinary woman, and she got angry in the same way that ordinary women do, after all she was not infallible.” One can expect such bigotry from a student of Ibn Taymiyyah whose only aim was to lower the prestige of the Ahlul Bayt. Had Ibn Kathir not heard the numerous traditions of the Prophet in praise of Sayyidah Fatimah that are reported by numerous traditionists of the Ahlus Sunnah including the authors of the six authentic collections (Sihah as-Sittah)? However their rancour towards the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet of Allah blinded their eyes to the truth. Allah says in the Qur’an,

    “Say (O Muhammad) O Allah! Master of the Kingdom, You give the kingdom unto whomsoever You like and take away the kingdom from whomsoever You like, You exalt whomsoever You like and abandon whomsoever You like, in Your hands is all good, verily You are Powerful over all things.” (Surah Ale Imran (3): 26)

  • 3. Noble Qur’an, Suratul Ma’idah (5): 80
  • 4. Noble Qur’an, Surah Hud (11): 44
  • 5. Noble Qur’an, Suratul Hajj (22): 11
  • 6. Noble Qur’an, Suratul A’raf (7): 96
  • 7. Noble Qur’an, Suratul Zumar (39): 51
  • 8. Noble Qur’an, Suratul Hajj (22): 13
  • 9. Noble Qur’an, Suratul Kahf (18): 50
  • 10. Noble Qur’an, Suratul Baqarah (2): 12
  • 11. Noble Qur’an, Surah Yunus (10): 35
  • 12. How true Sayyidah Fatimah predicted - the Muslims from amongst the Muhajirin and Ansar remained silent spectators while the rights of Ahlul Bayt were being usurped! They did not oppose the tyrants either by word or deed, and willingly accepted their rule, but very soon they realized the error of their deeds. After the passing away of the first two caliphs, the Bani Umayyah came to power and gradually the period of bloodshed and slaughter of Muslims started and continues until today. One should not forget the battles of Jamal, Siffin and Naharwan and the command by Mu’awiyah to Busr b. Artat to slaughter the Muslims in Kufah and Basrah. Then the most heart-rending episode of Karbala, followed by the incident of Harrah where seven hundred memorizers of the Qur’an from amongst the Quraysh, Muhajirin, Ansar and ten thousand common people were slaughtered under the orders of Yazid b. Mu’awiyah! The same policy was adopted by the rulers of Bani Marwan and Bani ‘Abbas who shed the blood of many Muslims without any legal justification. This tyranny and bloodshed continues upon the earth until now and the responsibility of it lies on the neck of the foremost ones, who willingly accepted the rule of the tyrants and flung themselves into the pit of everlasting perdition and disgrace.
  • 13. Noble Qur’an, Surah Hud (11): 28
  • 14. These words of Sayyidah Fatimah should be pondered upon. She willed to Imam ‘Ali that those who oppressed her should not say the prayers upon her corpse or even stand near it - not only those two, but eventheir followers and adherents!
    It should be noted that although their followers did not hurt her directly, they certainly hurt her by following and supporting them with their tongues, hearts, or their silence. Thus it can be said that the followers of the oppressers stand in the same status as the oppressors themselves, are equal participants in the crime, and on the Day of Resurrection, they will shall be treated as oppressors themselves.
    In regards to this belief, refer to the Qur’anic verse,

    “Remember the Day (of Judgement) when We will summon all of the people with their Imam (Leader).” (Suratul Bani Isra’il (17): 71).
    Thus we recite in Ziyarat al-’Ashura, “O Allah! Curse the foremost tyrant who oppressed the rights of Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad, and the last one who followed him on that.”

  • 15. Referring to the Prophet’s mi’raj (ascension), refer to the Qur’anic verses of Suratul Najm (53),

    “While he was in the highest horizon, Then he drew nigh, and became pending, Thus was (he) the measure between two bows (facing each other) or closer still.” (v. 7-9)

  • 16. After bathing a dead body, it is obligatory to apply hunut - camphor - to the parts of the body which a person places on the ground during the prostration (Sajdah) meaning the forehead, both the palms, both the knees and the toes of both feet.
  • 17. When the daughter of the Prophet of Allah passed away, all of the wives (of the Prophet) except ‘Ayeshah came to console the Bani Hashim. She said that she was not feeling well and the message that she sent to ‘Ali clearly depicts her joy at this sad occasion. (Ibn Abil Hadid, “Sharh Nahjul Balaghah”, ch. 2, pg. 439)
  • 18. Probably camphor.
  • 19. Literally mean seclusion; applying oneself zealously for the service of Allah, for a given period, usually in a Masjid.
  • 20. Noble Qur’an, Surah Taha (20): 55