6.3 - The 3rd Ma’soom – Fatimah Az-Zahra’ (‘A)

S. The Link Between Prophethood And Imamah

Birth And Character

The Prophet Muhammad ’s (S) daughter Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a), was born the year 8 BH/615 AD. Her mother Khadija (‘a) did not refrain from any of her support toward the Prophet (S) and the message of God until she passed away after a long period of sanctions when she and the Muslims were besieged in a valley in the outskirts of Mecca. Fatimah (‘a) was barely four years of age when she bid farewell to her mother, at the same age as the Prophet (S) when he bid farewell to his mother, Amina. Therefore, Fatimah (‘a) was raised in the loving hands of her father and was nurtured by his noble qualities and values.

Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) was very loving and considerate toward her father, to the degree that he called her ‘her father’s mother’. Similar to her father, Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) lived a humble life and was eager to help the needy.1 Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) prominent position, her morals and her knowledge were highlighted further by growing up in the house of revelations and being raised in a prophetic home. Consequently, Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) had an active role in helping with the Prophet’s (S) divine mission. She had a big responsibility in educating women in society and to highlight their qualities, as well as herself, being a role model for both women and men.

Fatimah’s (‘A) High Rank

Beloved By The Prophet (S) And Mistress Of The Women Of The Worlds

Fatimah (‘a) was very loved by the Prophet (S), it is said that the Prophet’s (S) mostly beloved was Fatimah (‘a) and Ali (‘a).2 Love and affection toward Fatimah (‘a), her husband and children have been ordained a command from God incumbent on all Muslims.3 Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) had such a high status that the Prophet (S) proclaimed in a very famous hadith that Fatimah (‘a) is the mistress of all the women of paradise, the mistress of all the women of the worlds and mistress of the women of faith.4

It is evident that the Prophet (S) ‘never spoke on own accords’ according to God’s statement5, his love for Fatimah (‘a) was beyond the love of a father to his daughter. In fact, Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) had a high position by the grace of God, which the Prophet (S) illustrated to people through his actions and sayings. The Prophet Muhammad (S) was infallible, which is a necessary condition for being a role model for the faithful to follow.6 Hence, his mannerisms and standpoints were of prophetic traits. This applied to his treatment of Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a), the respect and loved the Prophet (S) showed for her was of an infallible Godsend Prophet (S) to a Fatimah (‘a) highlighted by God.

The One Who Upsets Fatimah (‘A) Upsets The Prophet (S)

In a telling hadith, the Prophet (S) further shows the position of Fatimah (‘a) as he equates Fatimah’s (‘a) contentment and wrath as his own, which in turn is the contentment and wrath of God.

“O Salman, the one who loves my daughter Fatimah (‘a) is with me in paradise, and the one that incurs her wrath is of the people of hell. O Salman, the love of Fatimah (‘a) assists a person in a hundred situations. The easiest of the situations, in which assistance is obtained, is at death, in the grave, at the weighing of deeds on the Day of Judgment, when all gather on the Day of Judgment, at the bridge over hell and at the reckoning. The person my daughter Fatimah (‘a) is content with, I am also content with, and the one I am content with, God is content with. The person my daughter Fatimah (‘a) is upset with, I will be upset with, and the one I am upset with, God will be upset with. O Salman, woe to the one who oppresses her and her husband Ali (‘a), woe to the one who oppresses her offspring and followers.”7

Firstly, take notice that God’s contentment and anger are not of the nature that follows someone’s personal taste; rather, it is based on what is right and wrong. The Prophet’s (S) contentment coincides with that which God is pleased with, while the wrath of the Prophet (S) coincides with that which deviates from the will of God. Therefore, the Prophet’s (S) contentment and anger follow God’s measure. By means of acceptance and rejection in accordance with God’s provisions, which if abided by bring man closer to progress, happiness and prosperity and removes him from destruction and misery.8

Secondly, it follows that the Prophet’s (S) contentment and wrath cannot be on a personal basis and cannot depart from God’s will. It cannot be equated to an ordinary person’s contentment and wrath as they are subject to personal inclination and can make mistakes. Therefore, in the aforementioned hadith, equating Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) wrath to the Prophets demonstrates her lofty position as an infallible human being.9

The Central Role In Islam – Daughter Of The Prophet (S), Wife Of Imam Ali (‘A) And Mother Of The Imams (‘A)

Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) was the Prophet’s (S) daughter, Imam Ali’s (‘a) wife and mother of the Imams (‘a). Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) held a unique position among Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a), she was the link between prophecy and Imamah. As previously stated, Prophet Muhammad (S) was the last prophet. The prophetic line continued with the leadership of Imam Ali (‘a), Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a). It was through Fatimah (‘a) that prophecy and Imamah were linked together and carried on the mission of human guidance.

Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) narrates that his mother Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) told him:

“When I gave birth to you, the Prophet (S) came to see me. He took you in his arms and said to me: ‘O Fatimah, take your Husayn (‘a), for you shall know that he is the father of nine Imams (‘a). From his descendants will come forth righteous leaders, among whom the ninth is our Qa’im [Imam Al-Mahdi (‘aj)].’”10

The position of Fatimah (‘a) is unique and held by no other than her. Simply put, Fatimah’s (‘a) bond with prophethood through her father the Prophet (S) as well as bond with Imamah through her husband Imam Ali (‘a) and the transfer of Imamah through her sons Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a), demonstrates Fatimah’s (‘a) high position in itself.

S1. Preparations For The Final Imam (‘Aj) – Stand Up For Your Imam (‘A)

There is a lot to be learnt from Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) and her stance in various contexts. One of her key stances was in relation to the event of Saqifa after the Prophets (S) departure and her role in defending Imam Ali’s (‘a) right. By way of not renouncing anything in the fight for haqq (right and truth), Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) was not only a shining example but also lit the path for all followers of haqq in all times. She demonstrated the importance and value of standing up for justice, and that it is worth all difficulties that come with it; even to stake your life to the cause if must, which she did.

Accordingly, Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) stance and position is a guide that prepares us for the final Imam (‘aj). She displayed how to stand up for your Imam, no matter what difficulties you face.

It is important to note that Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) stance for Imam Ali (‘a) was as that of a companion. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) viewed Imam Ali (‘a) as her Imam and leader. Consequently, she saw the support for the Imam (‘a) as the fulfilment of the Prophet’s (S) proclamation of God’s will. The Prophet (S) had said that “the truth is with Ali and Ali is with the truth”, and it was this truth that Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) had in view. Therefore, when Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) saw Imam Ali (‘a) stand-alone while the Islamic leadership was seized, it was her duty as a believer and a human being, not to merely witness oppression in silence, like many tend to do.

A leader without followers is like a leader with a severed hand and to rise up without support is like flying without wings11, and it is not adequate for a leader to assert his right by himself. Support is a premise for a leader and an imam. The Prophet (S) has said the following in this regard, “an Imam is like the Ka’ba, people ought to seek themselves to it, it ought not to seek itself to people”.12

In actuality, it was not merely the case that Islamic leadership was the Imam’s (‘a) right, but the Imam (‘a) was right for it, and humanity’s right was to grow under the guidance of the Imam (‘a).

At a time when the majority of people chose silence, a voice was needed to speak the truth. The light needed to be kindled in order for darkness not to take over. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) was that voice and light. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) knew that Imam Ali (‘a) was the one who could continue the Prophet’s (S) path and build a society based on justice. Therefore, she stood by Ali’s (‘a) side, and like her mother Khadija (‘a), she did not renounce from anything needed to support the truth.

Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) perceptiveness in recognizing the most important issue of her time, recognizing her duty and role in the matter, and acting after it wholeheartedly constitutes the foremost lesson that Fatimah (‘a) left behind. By studying and learning how Fatimah (‘a) stood up for her Imam (‘a), we can learn how to stand up for our Imam (‘aj).

Rises Up For Her Imam (‘A) And Gives It Priority Over Herself - Despite The Grief After The Prophet (S)

Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) tremendous grief over the Prophet’s (S) passing did not prevent her from focusing on the most important duty of her time; namely to support the Imam (‘a) of her time.

It is narrated that Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) sat at the Prophet’s (S) grave after his passing and cried day and night, to such an extent that a message was sent to Imam Ali (‘a) to plea Fatimah (‘a) cry either day or night. Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) grief over the Prophet (S) was not only in the form of grief held by a daughter for her father but the grief of a close companion. Not only that, but she also grieved over the oppression that was being committed against the Prophet’s (S) successor. In fact, Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) wanted to awaken the community through her crying. She was actually calling out to the community to make them aware of their atrocities against what the Prophet (S) had left behind. She also wanted to keep the Prophet’s (S) memory alive.

Rises Up For Her Imam (‘A) With Her Word – Spreading The Word Of Truth

In the period following Saqifa, Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) asked Imam Ali (‘a) to accompany her every night, along with Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a), to the Prophet’s (S) prominent companions, especially among Ansar. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) went to their home, knocked on their door and talked to them. She reminded them of the Prophet’s (S) will in regard to Imam Ali (‘a) and Ahl Al-Bayt’s (‘a) position. The position that Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) herself and Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) had as the Prophet’s (S) household was, in fact, a strong argument that no one could deny. The Prophet’s (S) ahadith about Fatimah (‘a) as well as Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) were known, coupled with the veneration and protection of the Prophet’s (S) household being of importance to the Muslims.

It was clear to all that the love for the Prophet’s (S) household was a divine injunction and Fatimah (‘a) and her sons were the Prophet’s (‘a) kin, left behind in the custody of the Muslims to safeguard and protect. In addition, the people constantly witnessed the Prophet’s (S) love for them with their own eyes and heard of his admonition regarding them with their own ears. Therefore, it gave a unique effect when Fatimah (‘a) herself went to the doors of the companions with Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a), who were still children. It was a tangible way to awaken their memories and touch their emotions in the hope that their slumbering souls would come to life. Apart from reminding the people of her and her sons’ positions, she also spoke of Imam Ali’s (‘a) right and the injustice that had been committed against him. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) warned of the consequences of leaving God’s command of the Imamah.

This was repeated every night, and many agreed with Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a). They vowed to stand for the Imam’s (‘a) defence but never showed up when it was needed.

Stands Up For Her Imam (‘A) With Her Eminence – Demands Back The Seized Fadak

In connection with Saqifa, one of the caliphate’s actions against Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) was an economic blockade that included seizing Fadak. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) had received Fadak from the Prophet (S) by the command of God, in connection with the revelation of a verse. She used its harvest and revenue, particularly to help the needy.

When Fadak was seized by the caliphate, the argument was that prophets (‘a) leave nothing in succession and that Fadak, therefore, belonged to the state. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) refused to accept this and demanded her right back. She noticed that this injustice was merely the first step in transgressing boundaries and that more important issues directly related to Imam Ali (‘a) were at stake.

When the caliphate refused to return Fadak, Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) gave a speech in the Prophet’s (S) mosque directed at Abu Bakr and Omar where she expressed her displeasure over them. In addition to giving testimony that it was not an inheritance but a gift from the Prophet (S), she clarified with Qur’anic evidence that prophets (‘a) could also leave an inheritance. She remarked that God speaks of several prophets (‘a) in the Qur’an, who left an inheritance, including Musa (‘a). But the core issue in her speech concerned Imam Ali (‘a) and his right to governance. For her, Fadak as the material property was not of great importance but Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) knew that it was used to weaken Imam Ali (‘a) further and undermine the Prophet’s (S) household. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) highlighted a very powerful and elegant speech that is documented until today.13

Rises Up For Her Imam (‘A) With Her Action – Meets The Perpetrators Who Came To Force The Imam (‘A) To Give Bay’a

When the dominant people of Saqifa scared the tribal leaders that were present to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr, and the news became official, the voices that questioned it was all silenced. False ahadith and loose arguments were used to convince the public.14 Oaths of allegiance were taken from tribal leaders and well-known personalities of the community in order for ordinary people to follow the flow. Some of the prominent personalities who had been with the Prophet (S) were more informed and not as naive. Some let themselves be silenced by bribes; others via incoming threats. There were also some who wanted to take revenge on Imam Ali (‘a) and therefore, did not resist.15 Others chose not to take sides, but in practice, the effect of their choice strengthened those who had taken over the governance, as they could implement their will without facing much resistance.16

The way in which society’s prominent and leading personalities chose to act in this critical situation led to the entire community, where the majority of people had a love for the Prophet (S) and Imam Ali (‘a), to follow the newly formed movement. Only a few of the Prophet’s (S) companions truly maintained their position and upheld the Prophet’s (S) command17 never to be separated from Imam Ali (‘a) as “haqq accompanies him wherever he turns.”18

The Prophet (S) had instructed Imam Ali (‘a) to have patience over the events that would occur after his passing and at the same time prevent fragmentation in the community. This, of course, was not a piece of advice to be silent in the question of haqq (truth), but rather that the fragile circumstances following the Prophet’s (S) departure could not endure internal strife. As such, an occurrence would pave the way for both internal hypocrites and external enemies to seize the opportunity and attack Islam. With the passing of the Prophet (S), the Prophet’s (S) ummah (community) had already lost their leader who held them together and after the Prophet (S) many of those who had resentment, but could not show it, would see their chance to emerge. The Prophet (S) was fully aware of this, as was Imam Ali (‘a).

Therefore, all of Islam was in direct threat and needed protection; and who else but the Imam (‘a) could bear that responsibility and best fulfil such a task?

In this way, Imam Ali (‘a) was not in a position to take up the sword, as he needed to prevent internal strife, and he did not have enough followers. Furthermore, such an act could have led to the assassination of the Imam (‘a), and this would put the whole religion at risk. The internal and external enemies who sat waiting for their chance to strike were not to be underestimated. These were the ones seeking internal strife within the Islamic empire. If their ambitions were met, the Prophet’s (S) venture would have been crushed. It was only Imam Ali (‘a) who could prevent this from happening.

Imam Ali (‘a) had never been silent to batil (falsehood) and always stood up for haqq. There was a clear truth that was being trampled on. Therefore, on the one hand, Imam Ali (‘a) was responsible for protecting Islam and the Prophet’s (S) ummah (community) and on the other, protecting and maintaining haqq. For this, the Imam (‘a) therefore had to avoid battle but stand for haqq with his stance. The Imam (‘a) did this, among other things, by refusing to give allegiance to Abu Bakr. Since Imam Ali (‘a) was known as the Prophet’s (S) closest companion, this stance had a strong effect in explaining Saqifa and its results as illegitimate.

Under the prevailing circumstances, the Imam (‘a) had limited opportunities to present his case. This is where Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) stepped forward to help her Imam (‘a). Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) was held in high regard among the people, not least as the Prophet’s (S) daughter but also for the high position she received from God. Therefore, there was a great signalling value in the fact that it was precisely Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) who spoke out the truth and defended the Imam (‘a) of her time. In addition to Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) crying, the speeches she held, her steadfast position in connection with Fadak and all that the seizure of Fadak led to, Fatimah (‘a) went to her Imam’s (‘a) defence when the Imam’s (‘a) house was besieged.

Following the Imam’s (‘a) refusal to pledge allegiance, Abu Bakr and Omar sent a bunch of people to Imam Ali’s (‘a) house to force him to the mosque to pledge allegiance. They surrounded the house of the Imam (‘a), collected firewood by the door and threatened to burn down the house and all who were in it. They were well aware that Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a), the Prophet’s (S) daughter, and the Prophet’s (S) grandsons, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a), were also in the house. They showed that they had no boundaries and that they were even prepared to kill the Prophet’s (S) households.

Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) went to the door to meet those who wanted to attack her Imam (‘a). The fact that Fatimah (‘a) herself went to the door made it clear to all people, to all of history and in all its future, that the Prophet’s (S) daughter was in the house, signalling that it was the Prophet’s (S) house that they wanted to attack. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) knew her position and saw it as her duty to meet these perpetrators at the door so as to reveal the truth and leave no room for anyone to distort and angle the event in the future.

When it was called ‘Fatimah is in there’, some backed away and dispersed while others were determined to implement their plan, no matter the cost. The fire was lit, and the door was kicked in while Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) was behind it. Fatimah (‘a) who was pregnant had her ribs broken and lost her child in that instant. Despite this, the perpetrators entered, tied the Imam (‘a) and pulled him out of the house in front of Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) sight.

Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) injuries indicate not only the degree of violence used but also how hard-hearted these perpetrators were, to the extent that they, so heartlessly and determined, could trample on the Prophet’s (S) most beloved treasure and heritage.19

Rises Up For Her Imam (‘A) Until Her Last Breath – Despite Being Injured And On Her Deathbed

Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) injuries were so extensive that she never recovered from them. When Ansar’s wives greeted Fatimah (‘a) during her last days when she was severely ill and asked her about her health, she replied:

“I am about to leave this life while bearing anger towards your men!”20

Fatimah (‘a) knew that everyone was aware that her anger was the equivalent to the wrath of God, as the Prophet (S) had proclaimed this to everyone. She clearly stated that she was angry and dissatisfied with how the community had treated Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) and that she would complain to the Prophet (S) about this.

In this way, Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) conveyed her message to the women who in turn, could influence their men and move the whole community. Therefore, Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) spoke haqq up until her last moments and tried once again to awaken the Muslim community.

Rises For Her Imam (‘A) Up Until Death – Will And Martyrdom (Year 11 Ah/632 Ad)

Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) did not survive from her injuries after the attack, which took place two to three months after the Prophet’s (S) death.

But even Fatimah’s (‘a) martyrdom was an uprising for her Imam (‘a) when she demanded to be buried in secret. In her last moments in this life, Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) asked Imam Ali (‘a) to bury her at night, without those who oppressed her knowing, and to hide her grave so that no one would know its place. In order for all future generations to witness that Fatimah (‘a), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S), died displeased and angry over the oppression to which Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) was subjected. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) wanted her hidden tomb to constitute a banner that proved the Imam’s (‘a) deprived right for future generations. By preventing the oppressors and the silent people from attending her funeral, a clear indication and stance were taken that no one could use to distort reality for all time.

To Rise Up For One’s Imam (‘Aj)

Would I Have Risen Up For My Imam (‘Aj) Despite Difficulties?

The victory of justice is for the benefit of all but those who stand on the side of injustice. Since each side wants something that goes against the wishes of the opponents, there will always be a fight between them. In other words, justice and injustice can never go together because as long as one has followers, the other cannot fully reach its ambitions and goals. The struggle between them also requires energy and resources. If one wishes justice and stands for it, one should know that the victory of justice costs. The question is, how much are you as a follower prepared to pay?

Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) is an exemplary follower and a model who fought for justice until her very last moments despite the cost of her and her unborn child’s life.

Am I prepared to rise up against injustice and fight for justice despite the difficulties it will entail? Do I believe in the fight for justice to the degree that I am willing to stand by it, no matter what it costs? And another higher step; would I rise up to justice even if I am in the middle of hardship and give preference to justice over my interests, my needs and myself? Would I defy my grief, illness, loss, comfort or other priorities and personal concerns for it?

Or would I hand the fight over to others and just settle for an illusion of justice inside of me? Or worse, will I have lots of excuses for taking the easy way out and neglecting my duty?

We always have to pick a side; it is inevitable! Either you are on the side of justice, or you are on the side of injustice. There is no third alternative or a so-called ‘neutral’ position because, in it, there is always a hidden affirmation.

Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) chose the path of justice and showed that no situation, obstacle or difficulty can stand in the way of standing up for one’s Imam (‘a). When a righteous leader is oppressed, in this case, an infallible Imam (‘a), he cannot assert his right without being accused of seeking power or having personal motives.21 Under such circumstances, the followers need to rise, surround the righteous leader and assert his right to defend haqq. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) demonstrated the awareness and correct judgment a follower needs to act in the right time, in the right way and in the right place. But first and foremost, Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) acts was a test to her belief in the truthfulness of the road and her Imam (‘a).

Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) demonstrated what obedience to an Imam means. She remains an example for the followers of the final Imam (‘aj). The final Imam (‘aj) must not be suppressed! Through his followers’ steadfast faith and purity, the Imam (‘aj) will be protected from oppression. His followers will have realized Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) example within themselves, and therefore, they will be more like the Imam (‘aj) they follow!

  • 1. The examples are many. One of them depicts when Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) received a new garment for her wedding day from the Prophet (S), when a woman in need knocked on her door and asked for help. Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) remained in her old garment and gave away the new one to the woman, following the example of the verse 3:92 of the Holy Qur’an “You shall not attain righteousness until you spend out of what you love (in the way of God).” As well as following her father’s example on another occasion. This event is narrated in among other Nuzhat Al-Majalis wa Muntakhab an-Nafaes by Safoori volume 2 p.175; Ihqaq Al-Haqq wa Izhaq Al-Batil by Shooshtari volume 10 p.401; Al-Waqaye’ wa Al-Hawadeth by Malboobi volume 4 p.186; Rayahin ash-Shari’a volume 1 p.102 and 105; Al-Kawkab ad-Dorri volume 1 p.251-254; Al-Kebrit Al-Ahmar p.283, et al.
  • 2. This was displayed clearly through the Prophet’s actions and sayings. This is narrated in among other Sahih Al-Tarmothi volume 13 p.247; Yanbi’ Al-Mawadda by Allamah Al-Qondosi p.172, et al.
  • 3. This is a given both in Sunni and Shi’a tradition, and connected to among other the “Mawadda verse”; see G4. Among other sources are Rawdh Al-Jinan wa Rooh Al-Jinan fi Tafsir Al-Qoran by Abu Al-Forooh Razi volume 17 p 122; Al-Borhan fi Tafsir Al-Qoran by Bahrani (published 1416 AH.) volume 4 p 815; ad-Dorr Al-Manthoor fi Tafsir bel Ma’thoor (published 1404 AH.) volume 6 p.7; Ershad Al-’Aql as-Salim ela Mazaya Al-Qoran Al-Karim by Abu Al-So’ood volume 8 p.30, et al.
  • 4. This hadith is among those which are frequently narrated, and its authenticity is confirmed in among other Sahih Al-Bukhari volume 4 p.183 and hadith 4819; Sahih Muslim volume 7 p.143-144; Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal volume 3 p.80; Dalail Al-Imama by Tabari Imami (published 1413 AH.) p.81; ‘Ilal ash-Sharaye’ by Sheikh Sadooq (published 1385 AH.) volume 2 p.182, et al.
  • 5. The Holy Qur’an 53:33.
  • 6. The subject has been discussed thoroughly in the book; see F3.
  • 7. This hadith is narrated in Maqtal Al-Husayn av Abu Al-Mo’ed Ahmad Ibn Moufaq p.59; Yanabi’ Al-Mawadda by Qondosi p.263 et al.
  • 8. It is important to observe the fact that God’s contentment and wrath are not like our joy and sorrow, nor are they based on lack of knowledge or temporary emotion and the like. This goes back to the fact that God’s attributes are fundamentally different from those of His creation, which has been extensively discussed in connection with the topic of “God’s attributes” earlier in the book; see C1 onwards. Consequently, God’s satisfaction lies in following His message and approaching His Rahma (mercy) and to adhere to and realize His attributes within oneself. In other words, one perspective of God’s satisfaction and wrath is regarding us humans and our salvation and transcends personal interests, agendas, feelings, gain or injuries.
  • 9. This topic has been extensively discussed in previous sections of the book.
  • 10. This and similar ahadith have been narrated in many sources including Yanabi ‘Al-Mawadda p. 441-443 and Montakhab Al-Athar chapter 1 part 7-8 which includes more than seventy ahadith in this regard. In addition, there are other ahadith that include this meaning, including a longer hadith known as “hadith Al-Lawh” (narration of the frame) whereby God gifted to Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) through the Prophet (S). This hadith states, inter alia, all the names of the Imams (‘a) and also that nine of them are of the family of Imam Al-Husayn (‘a).

    The Hadith is narrated in its entirety and in parts in many sources including A’lam Al-Wara be A’lam Al-Hoda by Sheikh Tabarsi p.258; Al-Kafi by Kulayni volume 1 p.527; Bihar Al-Anwar by Al-Majlisi volume 36 p.195, 202; Kamal ad-Din by Sheikh Sadooq volume 1 p.308; Ihtijaj p.41; Ikhtisas by Sheikh Al-Mufid p.210; Al-Ghayba by Sheikh Al-Tusi p.29; ‘Oyoon Akhbar Al-Ridha by Sheikh Sadooq volume 1 p.41; Jame ‘Al-Akhbar by Tajeddin Shueyri p.18 et al.

  • 11. Inspired by Imam Ali’s (‘a) words in Nahjul Balagha sermon 3 and 5.
  • 12. This hadith has been narrated by Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) and noted in Bihar Al-Anwar volume 36 p.353; Awalem Al-Ma’aref volume 11 p.228; Al-Ensaf fi an-Nass ‘ala Al-Aimma (persian translation) p.412 et al.
  • 13. The question of Fadak has been elaborately discussed in the book: see Q1.
  • 14. These include sayings such as “prophecy and caliphate cannot convene in the same household”, was used for instance in connection with Saqifa; see P and onwards.
  • 15. Some of these personalities’ motives have emerged later in the history, by reviewing the positions and wealth they received and how they acted on various issues. Some of these people like for example, Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Owf, Talha and Uthman became prominent under the first caliph’s caliphate, were elected to the second caliph’s assembly council and then came to share the riches of the caliphate during the third caliphate reign.
  • 16. The silent mass, who for various reasons refrained from taking a stance, essentially permitted the occurrences happening at the time. The importance of this group is evident throughout history.
  • 17. Amongst these companions were the Prophet’s (S) and Imam Ali’s (‘a) uncles Abbas, Salman, Abu Dharr, Miqdad and Ammar.
  • 18. This hadith has been mentioned earlier in the book with its respective sources.
  • 19. This event has been mentioned earlier in the book, in connection with the section “Attack on Imam Ali’s (‘a) house”; see P and onwards.
  • 20. This hadith is narrated e.g. in the book Dalail az-Zahra p.87 et al. There are many other ahadith and events that clearly demonstrated Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) standpoint on those who seized the caliphate and those who remained silent in assisting Imam Ali (‘a).
  • 21. Imam Ali (‘a) refers to this fact in sermon 5 in Nahjul Balagha in the following words: “… So if I utter [and demand my right] they [who seek division] say: ‘He is greedy [and seeking] power ‘and if I remain silent they say:’ He fears death! ‘Never; after one and the other. By God, [I] Abu Talib’s son is more attached to death than the [newborn] child at his mother’s breast; rather, I have been united [lodged] within with knowledge [though the hidden], [which] if I were to reveal, you would be gripped by concern by [the anxiety and fear that you would tremble like] a line in a deep well.” The whole sermon can be read in Nahjul Balagha. Online in English and Arabic at: