Home FAQ History Fatimah al-Zahra

Frequently Asked Question

History Fatimah al-Zahra

This hadith is mentioned in the Musnad of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Istiyab Ibn Abd al-Barr and Al-Asabah.
The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said: "The best women of Paradise are: Khadījah bint Khuwaylid, Fāṭimah bint Muḥammad, Āsiyah bint Muzāḥim (the wife of Fir‘awn) and Maryam bint ‘Imrān."
It is stated in Tabaqat Ibn Saad, Volume II: Masrūq narrates that ‘Ā’ishah said: "All of us (the wives of the Prophet) were present when Fāṭimah arrived, and by Allāh, her manner of walking was the same as that of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ). When he (ṣ) saw her, he welcomed her and said, 'Welcome, my daughter!' then he made her sit to his right or his left and told her a secret, so she began crying uncontrollably. When he saw her great sorrow, he confided something else to her and she began to laugh. So I said to her, while all the women were present, 'The Prophet (ṣ) confided a secret to you and you began crying?' When the Prophet (ṣ) had left, I asked her, 'What secret did he tell you?' She replied, 'I cannot give away the secret of the Messenger of Allāh.'
After the Prophet (ṣ) had passed away, I said to her, 'I have come to you to seek my right (!) why do you not tell me [about that secret]?' Fāṭimah replied, 'Now, I can tell you about it.' Then she said, 'The first secret he told me was that Jibrīl would present the Qur’ān to him once every year, but that year he presented it to him twice. This meant that his time [of death] was drawing close so he advised me to fear Allāh and remain patient, for I am the best of his progeny. As I heard this I cried in the way that you saw. When he saw how sad I was, he confided a second secret to me and said: "O Fāṭimah, wouldn't you like to be the mistress of the believers and the women of this ummah?"'"
Similar to this hadith is also found in Ahmad's Musnad Volume 6.
The traditions that speak of her high status and superiority over the women of the world are too numerous to list, and most of them have been narrated from ‘Ā’ishah, ‘Imrān ibn Ḥaṣīn, Jābir ibn Samarah, Ibn ‘Abbās, Abū Buraydah al-Aslamī and others. Al-Bukhārī has narrated this tradition, as have many Sunnī scholars like al-Qasṭalānī, al-Qandūzī, al-Muttaqī, al-Haythamī, al-Nasā’ī, al-Ṭaḥāwī and others.
in other narrations from the book of Mustadrak Al-Sahihain of Hakim Nishapuri the Prophet informed her she was the 'Mistress of all Women of the World'.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
The Verse of Purification (āyah al-taṭhīr) wherein Allāh, the Most High, says: Indeed Allāh desires to repel all impurity from you, O People of the Household, and purify you with a thorough purification. (Q.33:33) This verse is considered one of the most important and highly significant verses due to the greatness of its meaning.
especially regarding the meaning of the phrase 'the Household [of the Prophet]' ‒ whom this refers to and whom it includes. One thing that is certain, and about which there is no doubt, is that one of the people included in the Verse of Purification is al-Ṣiddīqah al-Ṭāhirah Fāṭimah al-Zahrā’ (‘a) – and there is a consensus about this among the all the exegetes and traditionists of both the Shī‘ah and Sunnī schools, except for a negligible few who opine differently.
All the narrations that have been recorded about the revelation of this verse mention the inclusion of ‘Alī, Fāṭimah, al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn (‘a).
We will only mention twenty statements from well-known Sunnī scholars, exegetes and traditionists, and this should be sufficient for [convincing] any unbiased individual.
1) Al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī narrates from Abū Sa‘īd al-Khudrī, about the verse: Indeed Allāh desires to repel all impurity from you, O People of the Household, and purify you with a thorough purify-cation, that he said: "The Prophet (ṣ) gathered ‘Alī, Fāṭimah, al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn, and then he covered them with a cloak saying, 'These are the members of my household. O Allāh, remove all impurity from them and purify them with a thorough purification.' At that moment, Umm Salamah was at the door so she said, 'O Prophet of Allāh, am I not among them?' He replied, 'You are indeed upon good' or '[headed] towards good.'"
2) Al-Zamakhsharī narrate it from ‘Ā’ishah
3) Fakhr al-Rāzī narrates that when he (ṣ) went out in a black cloak and al-Ḥasan came to him, he covered him in it. Then al-Ḥusayn came to him and he covered him as well. Then Fāṭimah, then ‘Alī. Then he recited: Indeed Allāh wishes…
4) Ibn al-Athīr al-Jazarī relates from: ‘Umar ibn Abī Salamah [the foster son of the Prophet (ṣ)]
5) Sibṭ ibn al-Jawzī narrates from Wā’ilah ibn al-Asqa‘
6) Imām al-Wāḥidī, in his book Asbāb al-Nuzūl, narrates from Umm al-Salamah, the wife of the Prophet (ṣ)
a. Al-Tirmidhī has also narrated in his Ṣaḥīḥ, that from the time this verse was revealed, for up to about six months, the Prophet (ṣ) would pass by Fāṭimah's house whenever he was proceeding for prayers and say: "[It is time for] prayer, O Ahl al-Bayt! Indeed Allāh wishes to remove all impurity from you…"
7) Ibn Ṣabbāgh al-Mālikī narrates a similar tradition from al-Wāḥidī
8) Abū Bakr al-Suyūṭī has quoted this narration with numerous chains in his works, from Umm Salamah, ‘Ā’ishah, Abū Sa‘īd al-Khudrī, Zayd ibn Arqam, Ibn ‘Abbās, al-Ḍaḥḥāk ibn Muzāḥim, Abū al-Ḥamrā’, ‘Umar ibn Abī Salamah and others who said: The Prophet (ṣ) called Fāṭimah, ‘Alī, al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn when the verse 'Indeed Allāh wishes to remove all impurities from you the Ahl al-Bayt…' was revealed, and covered them with a cloak saying: "By Allāh! These are my Ahl al-Bayt so remove from them all impurity and purify them with a thorough purification."
9) Al-Ṭabarī narrates from ‘Umar ibn Abī Salamah, that this verse was revealed about the five lofty personalities. He relates from Umm Salamah that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) took a cloak and covered Fāṭimah, ‘Alī, al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn with it while he was also with them [under it], then he recited this verse: Verily Allāh wishes to remove from you all impurity, O Ahl al-Bayt, and to purify you with a thorough purification. Then she said: "I approached them seeking to enter [the cloak] with them, but the Prophet (ṣ) said to me: 'Remain where you are ‒ you are upon goodness.'"
10) Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Qurṭubī says that this verse was revealed about the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).
11) Ibn al-‘Arabī also mentions the same.
12) Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr al-Andalūsī says this in his book al-Istī‘āb.
13) Al-Bayhaqī says this in his Sunan.
14) Al-Ḥākim al-Nisābūrī narrates something similar to what has been related earlier from Umm Salamah, until the part where she said: "…The Prophet (ṣ) then said: 'O Allāh these are my Ahl al-Bayt.' [Then he narrates] Umm Salamah said: 'O Messenger of Allāh, am I not part of the Ahl al-Bayt?' He said: 'You, my [dear] wife, are upon goodness, [but] these are my Ahl al-Bayt…'"
15) Imām Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal mentions this in his Musnad.
16) Al-Nasā’ī says this in his al-Khaṣā’iṣ.
17) Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī notes this in his Tafsīr.
18) Al-Khwārizmī also mentions this in his work.
19) Al-Haythamī also mentions this.
20) Ibn Ḥajar al-Haythamī says this in al-Ṣawā‘iq.
We have chosen these select few from a vast number of exegetes and traditionists.
I do not feel the need to add anything more about this subject after the Verse of Purification has given testimony that al-Zahrā’ is pure – in the most complete sense of the word.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
This is the verse in which Allāh says: Say, "I do not ask you for any recompense except that you love [my] near ones;" and whoever performs a good deed we shall enhance its goodness; indeed Allāh is forgiving and appreciative. (Q.42:23)
As is evident, in this verse Allāh, the Almighty, addresses His Noble Prophet: 'O Muḥammad, tell them that you do not ask for anything as reward for conveying the divine message to them except that they should show love to your near relatives.'
There are also verified and authentic traditions in the books of both the Shī‘ah and the ‘Āmmah, which specify who these near relatives were and mention them by name. Among the narrations that have been relayed by the Sunnī scholars in their ṣaḥīḥ books and exegeses is the following tradition:
When this verse was revealed, the people asked: "O Prophet of Allāh, who are these near relatives of yours whom we have been commanded to love?" He (ṣ) said: "‘Alī and Fāṭimah and her two sons…"
This tradition has been mentioned by a group of Sunnī scholars, including:
• Ibn Ḥajar in al-Ṣawā‘iq.
• Al-Tha‘labī in his Tafsīr.
• Al-Suyūṭī in al-Durr al-Manthūr.
• Abū Na‘īm in Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’.
• Al-Juwaynī al-Shāfi‘ī in Farā’id al-Simṭayn.
There is another tradition that al-Ṭabarī and Ibn Ḥajar have also narrated wherein the Prophet (ṣ) said: "Indeed Allāh had placed my recompense from you in the love of my Ahl al-Bayt, and I will surely ask you about them tomorrow [on the Day of Judgment]."
These are some of the narrators who mentioned and transmitted this tradition in general.
In Ibn Ḥajar's al-Ṣawā‘iq: It is reported that ‘Alī (‘a) said: "[It was revealed] about us, the family of the Prophet, that no one preserves our love but the true believer." Then he recited the verse: Say, 'I do not ask you for any recompense except that you love of [my] near ones,' and whoever performs a good deed we shall enhance its goodness; indeed Allāh is forgiving and appreciative.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
the verses (5-12) of the Surah (76) AL-Insan (or Al-Dahr) are related to this subject.
These verses were revealed when al-Sayyidah Fāṭimah al-Zahrā’, her husband Amīr al-Mu’minīn and their two children al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn (‘a) gave charity [in the way of Allāh]. Al-Wāḥidī mentions in his book al-Basīṭ, al-Tha‘labī in his Tafsīr al-Kabīr, Abū al-Mu’ayyad Muwaffaq in Kitāb al-Faḍā’il, and al-Zamakhsharī in his exegesis (al-Kashshāf).
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
Al-Bukhārī has narrated that the Prophet (ṣ) said: "Fāṭimah is part of me; whoever angers her has angered me." He further narrates from Abū al-Walīd that the Prophet said: "Fāṭimah is part of me; whoever hurts her has hurt me." This same tradition has been reported in different words but with the same meaning and have been narrated by more than fifty individuals among the traditionists (muḥaddithūn), such as Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, al-Bukhārī, Ibn Mājah, al-Sijistānī, al-Tirmidhī, al-Nasā’ī, Abū al-Faraj, al-Nisābūrī, Abū Na‘īm, al-Bayhaqī, al-Khwārizmī, Ibn ‘Asākir, al-Baghawī, Ibn al-Jawzī, Ibn Athīr, Ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd, al-Suyūṭī, Ibn Ḥajar, al-Balādhurī and others.
One of the disturbances that they caused was spreading the rumour that ‘Alī had proposed to the daughter of Abū Jahl. The news reached al-Sayyidah Fāṭimah al-Zahrā’ that her husband had proposed to the daughter of the chief of polytheists and the leader of disbelievers, Abū Jahl. She was affected by this and went to her father the Prophet of Allāh (ṣ).
The source is the book Dhakhā’ir al-‘Uqbā which narrates that ‘Alī wanted to marry the daughter of Abū Jahl [as a second wife] after Fāṭimah, and that the Prophet got angry when he heard this and rebuked him for it from the pulpit, condemning him and denouncing him.
We shall not bother ourselves with examining the chain of narrators, as this narration is clearly corrupt in and of itself. Instead, we will ask: Why did the narrators specifically select the daughter of Abū Jahl for this honour? Why did they not claim that he wanted to take any other second wife, apart from the daughter of Abū Jahl? Is this because the daughter of Abū Jahl was more beautiful and perfect than any other young Arabian girl of her age? They chose her because they wanted it to be the gravest possible affront to the personality of ‘Alī (‘a), for he did not select anyone but the daughter of the worst enemy of the Prophet and of Islam, in order to anger the Prophet and his daughter Fāṭimah.
The fabrication thus reveals itself as such and exposes its forgers. They included in this fable of theirs, a quotation from the Prophet wherein he mentions one of his sons-in-law from the lineage of ‘Abd al-Shams and then praises him for being a good son-in-law ‒ one who was loyal and kept his word. This means that the other son-in-law of the Prophet (‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib) lied to him and betrayed him, and the Prophet thus censured him for being an undutiful son-in-law!
In this way, as we have mentioned, the lie has been exposed the falsehood has become manifest, without having to put ourselves into much difficulty [to produce further evidence for this]. There was another purpose for this false narration, in addition to demeaning the Prophet and disparaging ‘Alī and Fāṭimah, and that was to turn away the attention of people from the truth about those who had really angered Fāṭimah and show ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib to be the target of her anger.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
Prophet (ṣ) frequently said to Fāṭimah: "Indeed Allāh is angered by that which angers you and pleased by that which pleases you."
al-Mustadrak ‘alā al-Ṣaḥīḥayn, vol.3, p.167; Tadhkirat al-Khawāṣ, p.601; al-Muwaffaq ibn Aḥmad al-Khwārizmī al-Ḥanafī (d.568 A.H.), Maqtal al-Ḥusayn, vol.1, p.90; Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf al-Kanjī al-Shāfi‘ī (d.658 A.H.), Kifāyat al-Ṭālib fī Manāqib ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, p.364; Kanz al-‘Ummāl, vol.12, p.209; al-Ṣawā‘iq al-Muḥriqah, vol.2, p.507; Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Dhahabī (d.748 A.H.), Mīzān al-I‘tidāl fī Naqd al-Rijāl, vol.1, p.488; Ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī (d.852 A.H.), al-Iṣābah fī Tamyīz al-Ṣaḥābah, vol.8, p.57 among others.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
The Almighty says: Then give to the near of kin his due, and to the needy and the wayfarer. This is best for those who desire Allāh's pleasure, and these it is who are successful. (Q.30:38)
In this verse, Allāh is addressing his beloved Messenger Muḥammad (ṣ), and commanding him to give the near of kin his right. So who is the near of kin, and what is his right? We have mentioned when discussing the Verse of Qurbā or the Verse of Mawaddah, that the 'near of kin' refers to the close relatives of the Prophet namely, ‘Alī, Fāṭimah, al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn (‘a); so the meaning of this verse is: 'give your close relatives their due rights.'
Abū Sa‘īd al-Khudrī and others have related that when this verse was revealed to the Prophet (ṣ), he gifted Fadak to Fāṭimah, handing it over to her.
In al-Ḥamawī's Mu‘jam al-Buldān [we read]: 'Fadak is a village in Ḥijāz, two or three days away from Madīnah, that Allāh granted to His Prophet (ṣ) in the seventh year of the hijrah, as part of a peace pact. This was after the Prophet (ṣ) descended upon Khaybar and conquered all its fortresses, except the last three. When the siege that the Muslims laid on these fortresses became difficult for them (the enemies) to bear, they asked the Prophet to exile them instead, and he agreed. When the news of this reached the people of Fadak, they sent a message to the Prophet (ṣ) asking him to make peace with them in return for half of their produce and wealth. The Prophet agreed to this, so Fadak was taken without any war or fighting and thus became the personal property of the Prophet of Allāh (ṣ).'
To answer the second question, namely whether Fadak was the personal property of the Prophet (ṣ) or not, we turn to the verse of the Qur’ān wherein the Almighty says: And whatever Allāh bestowed to His Messenger from them, you did not press forward against it any horse or riding a camel, but Allāh gives authority to His Messengers against whom He pleases and Allāh has power over all things. Whatever Allāh has bestowed to His Messenger from the people of the towns, it is for Allāh and for the Messenger, and for the near of kin, the orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer… (Q.59:6-7)
"Whatever Allāh has bestowed to His Messenger from the people of the towns": meaning from the wealth of the disbelieving people of the towns; "it is for Allāh and for the Messenger": meaning that Allāh has made that wealth the property of His Prophet, "and for the near of kin": i.e. those who are closely related to the Prophet, "and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer" from the near of kin.
Al-Ṭabarsī narrates from Ibn ‘Abbās that the verse: 'Whatever Allāh has bestowed to His Messenger from the people of the towns…' was revealed about the property of the disbelievers among the towns-people. They were the Banū Qurayẓah and Banū Naḍīr who lived inside Madīnah. And Fadak, which was three miles outside Madīnah, Khaybar and the villages of ‘Uraynah and Yanbu‘a were all given by Allāh to His Prophet to do with as he pleased. When the people asked, "Will we not get a share of it?" the abovementioned verse was revealed.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
Ibn Ḥajar mentions in al-Ṣawā‘iq al-Muḥriqah and al-Samhūdī in Tārīkh al-Madīnah, that ‘Umar said: "I shall tell you about this matter. Indeed Allāh gave His Prophet from these spoils that which He did not give anyone else, and said [in the Qur’ān]: And whatever Allāh bestowed to His Messenger from them, you did not press forward against it any horse or riding a camel, but Allāh gives authority to His Messengers against whom He pleases and Allāh has power over all things. So this was the personal property of the Prophet of Allāh…"
Ibn Ḥajar says, in the second chapter of al-Ṣawā‘iq al-Muḥriqah, that Abū Bakr took Fadak away from Fāṭimah. This means that Fadak was in Fāṭimah's possession during the lifetime of the Prophet and Abū Bakr later took it away. ‘Allāmah Majlisī quotes from the book al-Kharā’ij that when the Holy Prophet (ṣ) entered Madīnah, after taking possession of Fadak, he came to Fāṭimah (‘a) and said, "O daughter, Allāh has bestowed Fadak on your father and has made it my personal property, to the exclusion of the other Muslims, to do with it as I please. And your mother, Khadījah, had a dowry that I was yet to pay, so I have made it (Fadak) yours in lieu of this, and I have gifted it to you and your children after you."
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
Al-Sayyidah Fāṭimah first sought Fadak using the argument that it was a gift, as al-Ḥalabī has mentioned in his Sīrah:
Fāṭimah came to Abū Bakr after the demise of the Holy Prophet (ṣ) and said, "Fadak is a gift from my father, he gave it to me during his lifetime." Abū Bakr rejected this saying, "I want witnesses who can attest to this." So ‘Alī testified, but he asked for another witness, so Umm Ayman came forward and confirmed it. He said to her, "Do you claim your right using the testimony of one man and one woman?"
Al-Ṭabarsī narrates in al-Iḥtijāj:
Umm Ayman said: I ask you, by Allāh, do you not know that the Holy Prophet said, 'Umm Ayman is one of the women of Paradise'?" "Yes," he replied. Then she said, "I bear witness that when Allāh revealed the verse: 'Then give to the near of kin his due…' to the Holy Prophet (ṣ), he gave Fadak to Fāṭimah [as a source of income for her] in accordance with the command of Allāh." Then ‘Alī (‘a) came and gave a similar testimony, so he (Abū Bakr) wrote it down for her and gave her the parchment [confirming her ownership].
In Sīrat al-Ḥalabī [it is reported]: ‘Umar took the parchment and tore it.
When al-Sayyidah Fāṭimah al-Zahrā’ (‘a) saw that they had nullified the testimony of her witnesses, who affirmed that Fadak was a gift, and her efforts were of no avail, she came and sought her right using the argument of her right of inheritance. She had made all the necessary. She claims Fadak as her inheritance in her famous Sermon.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
In al-‘Iqd al-Farīd, Tārīkh Abī al-Fidā’ and A‘lām al-Nisā’:
Abū Bakr sent a group under the command of ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb saying, "If they refuse [to give their pledge of allegiance] then fight them." ‘Umar came forward with a firebrand intending to set fire to the house. When Fāṭimah saw him, she said, "O son of al-Khaṭṭāb, have you come to burn our house?" "Yes," he replied, "if you do not accept what the ummah has accepted."
In Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī, al-Imāmah wal-Siyāsah and Sharḥ Ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd:
He called for some firewood saying, "By Allāh, your house will be burnt with you inside unless you come out and give your pledge of allegiance." Or he said, "Either come out and pledge allegiance, or I will burn it along with those who are inside it!" Someone said to him, "Fāṭimah is inside [the house]." He responded, "Even if [she is, I will still burn it]!"
Ibn Qutaybah mentions in al-Imāmah wal-Siyāsah:
[He was asked:] "How did ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (may Allāh honour his countenance) pledge allegiance?" He replied, "Abū Bakr found out that a group of individuals who had refused to pledge allegiance to him were with ‘Alī (may Allāh honour his countenance), so he sent ‘Umar there. ‘Umar called out to them while they were in the house of ‘Alī but they refused to come out. So he asked for some firewood to be brought and said, 'By the one in whose hand is ‘Umar's life, you will either come out or I will burn it down along with those who are inside it!' It was said to him, 'O Abā Ḥafṣ, Fāṭimah is inside!' He replied, 'Even so!'
So they all came out and gave their pledge of allegiance, except ‘Alī. He said, 'I have taken an oath that I will not come out or place my robe upon my shoulders until I have compiled the Qur’ān.' So Fāṭimah (may Allāh be pleased with her) stood at the door and said, 'I do not know any group that attended a worse gathering than you. You left the body of the Prophet of Allāh (ṣ) in front of us and decided your affair between yourselves. You did not seek our approval and did not give us our due right!'"
Al-Shahristānī has narrated from al-Naẓẓām that ‘Umar struck the stomach of Fāṭimah on the Day of Allegiance (yawm al-bay‘ah) until she miscarried her child (al-Muḥsin). He then screamed, "Burn her house along with those who are in it!" At that time, there was nobody in the house other than ‘Alī, Fāṭimah, al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn.
Something similar has been narrated by al-Balādhurī and al-Ṣafadī al-Shāfi‘ī. And in Ibn Ḥajar's Lisān al-Mīzān, we read: "‘Umar kicked Fāṭimah, so she miscarried [her child] Muḥsin."
In Mīzān al-I‘tidāl of al-Ḥāfiẓ al-Dhahabī, we find a similar narration. Ibn Khazzābah reports that Zayd ibn Aslam said: "I was among those who carried firewood with ‘Umar to the door of Fāṭimah when ‘Alī and his companions refused to give the pledge of allegiance. ‘Umar said to Fāṭimah, 'Come out of the house otherwise I will burn it along with those who are inside it!' At that moment, Fāṭimah was in the house with al-Ḥasan, al-Ḥusayn and a few of the Prophet's companions. Fāṭimah said, 'Will you burn my children?' He replied, 'Yes, by Allāh, unless you come out and pledge allegiance!'"
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
One of the commandments of Hazrat Zahra (AS) was that: I [also] do not want anyone amongst those who oppressed me to witness my funeral. So do not allow any of them, or their followers, to pray upon me; and bury me in the darkness of night, when the eyes are shut and people are asleep."
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
Ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd has mentioned it in his commentary on the Nahj al-Balāghah, quoting from the book al-Saqīfah by Aḥmad ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz al-Jawharī, with four different chains:
Aḥmad ibn Abī Ṭāhir [relates it] in the book Balāghat al-Nisā’
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
The following are the main themes of her sermon:
• Praising and glorifying Allāh and proof for the Oneness of Allāh.
• A discussion on Prophethood.
• A discussion about the age of ignorance (jāhiliyyah) and the achievements of the Prophet.
• A discussion about the Qur’ān and explaining the wisdom behind religious precepts and the philosophy of Islam.
• The events that occurred during the lifetime of the Prophet and The stance of her noble husband during those events.
• Explaining how the Muslims had abandoned the family of the Prophet.
• Addressing the 'head of state' in the matter of [her] inheritance.
• Presenting the proofs and evidence.
• Admonishing the Anṣār and reproving them.
• The answer of the 'head of state'.
• Countering his words and refuting his fallacious arguments
• The excuse of the 'head of state'
• Complaining to the Prophet of Allāh (ṣ).

Q14 –According to the reluctance of Hazrat Zahra (AS) to collect wealth and material issues, what was the reason for her protesting and complaining to Abu Bakr for capturing Fadak in her sermon? (this sermon is mentioned in Shia and Sunni sources)

1) What she really sought (and the real reason for her claim on Fadak) was the caliphate and her husband's right of leadership ‒ the same general leadership and overall authority that her father, the Prophet of Allāh (ṣ), had. Ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd says: "I asked ‘Alī ibn al-Fāriqī, a teacher in Baghdād's al-Madrassah al-Gharbiyyah, 'Was Fāṭimah right?' 'Yes,' he replied. I asked, 'Then why did Abū Bakr not give Fadak back to her if she was right?' He smiled and then said something beautiful that was befitting of his position and status. He said, 'If he gave Fadak to her on that day in response to her claim, she would have come to him the following day to claim the caliphate for her husband and would remove him from his post. Then he would not be able to make any excuses because it will have been recorded that he deems her to be truthful in her claims, whatever they may be, without any need for proof or evidence.'
2) Rights are demanded and are not bestowed [as favours]. Therefore, one whose rights have been usurped has to seek what is rightfully his, even if he does not need it or will not make use of it. This does not contradict one's asceticism or disinterest in this world, and it is improper to remain silent when one's rights are trampled upon.
3) Even if a person is abstemious in this world and desires the Hereafter, he still needs wealth that is befitting of his position and by which he can preserve his dignity, help his near kinsfolk and spend in the way of Allāh, as wisdom dictates. Do you not see how the Holy Prophet (ṣ), who was the most abstemious ascetic, made use of the wealth of Khadījah in order to strengthen Islam? We have already recounted this when discussing the wealth of Khadījah.
4) common sense dictates that a person should seek his usurped right. Here, two possible scenarios can be imagined: Either a person is successful in getting what he seeks, and this is the desired outcome, or he will be unsuccessful in getting his property. Nevertheless, by asking for it, he will have made the oppression manifest and declared that he has been oppressed and that his property has been usurped. This is especially the case when the usurper claims to be righteous and virtuous, and pretends to be pious
and religious. In such a case, by asking for his right, the
oppressed person demonstrates to the people and the future generations that the oppressor is not truthful in his claim.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
"He cannot be perceived by sight" – Since Allāh is not a body (jism), substance (jawhar) or accident (‘araḍ), and the eyes cannot see anything but bodies and 'accidents', which are themselves properties of a body like colour, height, width etc. because sight perception comes about through the reflection of light into the eye, thus Allāh cannot be seen with the eyes. Therefore, it is impossible for any creature to see Allāh, in this world or in the next, as He says: The sights do not perceive Him, yet He apprehends all sights, and He is the Knower of subtleties, the all-Aware; (Q.6:103). Moreover, He said [to Mūsā (‘a)]: You shall never see Me; (Q.7:143). This inability is not limited to sight; rather, it includes all the other five senses of hearing, smell, taste and touch.
"[Nor can He be] described by words" – How can a person describe a thing that he cannot see and understand? Just as ‘Alī (‘a) said: "His description has neither a defined limit nor an accessible characteristic." This is because His attributes are the very same as His essence, and since His essence cannot be comprehended, neither can His attributes.
"Or depicted by imaginations" – Allāh gave human beings certain abilities such as the five faculties of recollection, retention, imagination, contemplation and common sense. Imagination is the faculty by which the particulars of things may be grasped. For example, a person may imagine a beautiful woman, a magnificent palace, a lush garden etc. and whenever a person imagines or visualizes something, it is something created. Man is unable to imagine the Creator as He truly is, meaning that he can never know how He is, as the Almighty's essence cannot be visualized or imagined.
"He originated everything from nothing that existed before" – He created the universe from nothing i.e. He brought it into existence from nonexistence.
The materialists say it is impossible to create something from nothing since matter constitutes the building blocks of all things. Yet when you ask them: "What has matter itself come from? Where it was first found? Who created it?" You will find that they become dumb-founded and have no answer. Because if they say: "Matter came about from non-matter," we will respond: "Then what prevents other creatures from being created from non-matter?" And if they answer: "Matter came about from other matter," we will ask: "What did that other matter originate from?" And so on and so forth.
“and created everything without any previous model”
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
"I bear witness that my father Muḥammad is His servant and Prophet" – al-Sayyidah Fāṭimah al-Zahrā’ bore witness to the testimonies of faith (shahādatayn) and after sufficiently expounding upon the meaning of Unicity (tawḥīd), she turned to the belief in Prophethood and confirmed that her father was, firstly, a perfect servant who had totally submitted to the will of Allāh (and this is a stage that man must reach by his own volition, whereas prophethood is a level that a Prophet arrives at without striving). Then she bore witness that he was a Messenger, meaning that he was a Prophet sent by Allāh to the people, with divine law.
"He chose him even before sending him [with the Message]" – Allāh chose him from the people of knowledge, just as one of us would nominate the best and most suitable individual from a large group, or select a single fruit that we may choose from hundreds, after examining it to see if it has all the required qualities that are not found in any other, like the right size, colour, ripeness, taste, type etc. In the same way, Allāh chose Muḥammad (ṣ) before sending him as a Messenger. This means that his worthiness for this task was established and known to Allāh before He sent the Prophet into the arena of action, struggle, and invitation to [the path of] Allāh, and there was no need for any test to determine his merits, abilities and capacity to handle the responsibility. Rather, Allāh knew that the Prophet was capable of carrying this heavy burden.
"[He] named him before picking him [for prophethood]" – Allāh named him Muḥammad before creating him, or identified him in advance since it was in His knowledge that Muḥammad (ṣ) would be a Prophet. Alternatively [this phrase could mean that] He informed His Prophets about the coming of the Holy Prophet before He created him.
"And selected him before appointing him [as a Messenger]" – Allāh selected him before sending him as a Prophet.
"At a time when the creation was hidden in the unknown" – Indeed, Allāh chose Muḥammad at a time when the people did not exist and were concealed and hidden in the unknown, meaning that they were in the secret knowledge of Allāh and did not have any external existence that could be perceived.
"Covered by the curtain of uncertainty" – This phrase is an explanation of the previous one. The uncertainty being referred to here is one that is accompanied by fright and refers to the desolation of the darkness of the unknown.
"And close to the edge of non-existence" – The edge of something is its outer limit and its end. This phrase means that creation was far from existence i.e. it was non-existent.
"Out of the knowledge of Allāh about the final outcome of every matter"‒ Allāh chose Muḥammad (ṣ) because He knows the outcome of matters and how every affair will end. He knew what would become of mankind and the outcome of sending the Prophet to them. Allāh knew the capability of the Prophet and his merits, including his sublime character and praiseworthy traits, and it is for this reason that He chose him for the task from that time.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
"And obedience to us (the Ahl al-Bayt) a means of maintaining order in the community" – Another version reads "our obedience". Every nation that wishes to survive must have the ability to choose the type of administration that governs it. Government is a broad term that encompasses many meanings. The governing apparatus, the various ministries, and the legislative body that issues directives on various social matters all fall under the rubric of 'government'. It is obviously important for the government to have authority and for the people to submit to its authority and follow its directives. This is what we call 'regulation'. So if the government is righteous, it spreads righteousness within its domain and among its subjects, but if it is corrupt, then corruption becomes manifest in both land and sea.
The Muslim community, which considers itself the leader of all civilized and cultured communities, must be organized and Allāh has made obedience to the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) a means of maintaining order in the Muslim ummah. This means that Allāh has given complete and unrestricted authority only to the twelve Imāms of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), as they are the pure progeny of the Holy Prophet (ṣ), not to anyone else who takes over the reins of government or occupies the seat of power. It is not incumbent to obey such a person or comply with his orders as Allāh made obedience to the Imāms of the Holy Household incumbent for Muslims.
"And our leadership (imāmah) as a security from disunity" – Another version reads: "a means of reuniting the factions." Like the Book of Allāh, the Imām is a leader and a guide for the people. Look, for example, at the Imām of a congregational prayer – how he is followed by those praying behind him in his actions, from standing to bowing to prostration and so on. He is thus followed in his limited actions, and this is why he is called the 'leader of the congregational prayers' or the 'congregational prayer leader'. The great leadership (al-imāmah al-kubrā) is a divine appointment by Allāh because it comes after prophethood and is just as important. Look at how the close friends of Allāh constantly ask Allāh to raise them to the lofty station of imāmah.
Prophet Ibrāhīm (‘a), the Friend of Allāh, was told by the Almighty: I am making you an imām of the people (Q.2:124), meaning a leader whose words and actions are followed, and one who is responsible for managing the affairs of the community, keeping things in order, punishing wrongdoers etc. Imāmah here does not mean prophethood, because Ibrāhīm was already a Prophet and Allāh gave him the added position of imāmah. When we consider the words "I am making you…" it becomes clear to us that Allāh is the one who appoints the imām and it is not for people to decide who their leader should be, based on the opinions of certain individuals and their personal inclinations.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
"Allāh made faith (īmān) a means to purify yourselves from polytheism" – Another version reads: "Allāh made faith incumbent upon you…" The verses that command people to have faith in Allāh alone were revealed in order to purify people from the filth of ascribing partners to Allāh.
"He prohibited polytheism in order to make His Lordship exclusive" – Because polytheism is a form of disbelief, and it is incumbent on the servants to worship Allāh alone, putting faith in Him exclusively.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
"Satan raised his head from his hiding place and called out to you" – al-Sayyidah Fāṭimah al-Zahrā’ (‘a) considers those events to be a form of compliance with the accursed Satan, who had sworn to Allāh saying: By Your might, I will surely pervert them all, except Your sincere servants among them; (Q.38:82-83). Satan had been defeated during the lifetime of the Prophet when Islam was prospering and strong. Then he reared his head and came out of hiding, like the hedgehog that rears its head after its fear subsided. He called out to them, urging them to break the allegiance they had pledged on the day of Ghadīr and to usurp the rights from their true owners.
"He found you responsive to his call" – When Satan called you, he found you to be as he had expected and his estimation of you was correct.
"And attentive to his deception" – Satan found your reaction to be ardent and your acceptance of his deception was like the person who believes everything that he is told, and does whatever he is instructed to do – without thinking or deliberation.
"Then he enticed you and found you easy to arouse" – He commanded you to stand with him and found you rushing towards him without any sluggishness.
"He exasperated you and found you easy to anger" – He made you angry and provoked you, and found you easy to anger, or found you quick to lose your temper as he wanted and hoped. Thus Satan found in you followers who obeyed his commands in all situations.
"So you branded camels that were not yours" – As a result, you did what was not permissible for you to do, and chose one who was not worthy of being chosen. You gave the reins of government to one who did not deserve it, and you empowered one who was not entitled.
"And proceeded to other than your own watering holes" like the camel-herder who takes his camels to a watering hole that does not belong to him. The meaning of this is: that you took that which did not belong to you, namely, the caliphate. This is in reference to the improper conduct of the people in selecting the caliph, and the diversion of the caliphate from those who were its rightful recipients – because these decisions are not for the people to make; rather, it is the right of Allāh alone.
"This, while the era [of the Prophet] had only just ended" – All these changes took place only a few days after the demise of the Prophet (ṣ). It was possible for the religion to change or for Muslims to forget the instructions and teachings [of the Prophet] over time, but that was not the case here. Less than a fortnight had passed after the death of the Prophet before all this transpired.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
"O Son of Abū Quḥāfah" – Here al-Sayyidah Fāṭimah al-Zahrā’ (‘a) addresses the head of state by name.
"Is it in the Book of Allāh that you may inherit from your father yet I cannot inherit from mine?" – By what law do you inherit from your father when he dies yet I cannot inherit from my father when he passes away? Are you basing your judgment against my inheritance on any evidence from the Book of Allāh?
"You have certainly come up with a strange thing!" – You have come up with a grave falsehood and a serious lie against the Qur’ān.
"Have you purposely abandoned the Book of Allāh and cast it behind your backs?" – Is the Qur’ān not present amongst you? Why then have you discarded it and cast it behind your backs?
"When it says: 'And Sulaymān inherited from Dāwūd'" (Q.27:16).
It refers to the inheritance of wealth, not the inheritance of knowledge or sovereignty or the like. This is because Sulaymān was a Prophet during the lifetime of his father Dāwūd, as Allāh says in the story of the tillage when the sheep of some people strayed into it by night: We gave its understanding to Sulaymān, and to each We gave judgement and knowledge… (Q.21:79).
"And: '…if he leaves behind any property, he should make a bequest for his parents and relatives in kindness, an obligation for the God-wary,'" (Q.2:180). – This verse states that it is obligatory for a Muslim who is on his deathbed to bequeath his wealth to those mentioned. This is the general verse which makes no exceptions for Prophets and does not say that Prophets have no heirs [for their wealth].
"Yet you claim that I have no entitlement and inherit nothing from my father!" – You claim, while knowing full well that you are lying, that there is no share or inheritance for me from my father, the Prophet of Allāh (ṣ). By denying my inheritance from my father, you are denying my relationship to him and my close bond with him.
"Has Allāh revealed a special verse [of the Qur’ān] for you from which He excluded my father?" – The verses of inheritance are general and applicable to all Muslims, so has Allāh made an exception for my father, the Prophet, in these verses such that none can inherit from him?
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
Abu Bakr said: " I heard the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) say: 'We, the company of Prophets, neither bequeath gold nor silver, nor houses nor land; we only bequeath the Book, wisdom, knowledge and prophethood, and whatever we possess of [revenue generating] property, it is for the ruler who comes after us to dispense with according to his own judgment.'"
Praise be to Allāh! My father, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), never turned away from the Book of Allāh, nor did he oppose its injunctions. Rather, he followed its directives and abided by its lofty teachings. Do you add to your treachery by ascribing falsehood to him? And this [plot] after his death is similar to the pernicious plots that were staged against him during his lifetime.
"My father, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), never turned away from the Book of Allāh" – The Prophet never diverted from the Book of Allāh.
"Nor did he oppose its injunctions" by saying anything that contradicted the Qur’ān, and the statement "We, the company of Prophets, do not bequeath [any wealth]" contradicts the verses of the Qur’ān that explicitly mention the bequeathing and inheritance of Prophets.
"Rather, he followed its directives and abided by its lofty teachings." – Far be it for the Prophet of Allāh to go against the Qur’ān. Rather, he would act in accordance with the Qur’ān and abide by its teachings.
"Do you add on to your treachery by ascribing falsehood to him?" – Al-Sayyidah Fāṭimah (‘a) is saying: you have committed a double crime ‒ the crime of betrayal by usurping Fadak and the crime of lying against the Prophet of Allāh (ṣ). Do you compound your betrayal by justifying it with lies? This is like a person who kills someone unjustly and then justifies his action by falsely claiming that the murdered person was a thief, thereby combining the crime of murder with that of mendacity.
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
In response to Hazrat Zahra (AS), in two cases Abu Bakr confirmed Her honesty and wisdom with the following phrases:
"You, O best of all women and daughter of the best of Prophets, are true in your words"
"And foremost in the prodigiousness of your intellect. You will not be denied your right nor will your truth be contested"
"You are indeed a source of wisdom, a fountainhead of guidance and mercy, a pillar of faith and a wellspring of proof" – These are surprising admissions which indicate concession and capitulation.
Abu Bakr said: "I do not repudiate your apposite speech, nor do I reject what you say, but I heard from the prophet: “We prophets do not leave prosperity as an inheritance”
– Abu Bakr admits that what she said was correct and attests to the truth of her speech.
How Abu Bakr did hear the Prophet of Allāh saying this but his own daughter who is the only heir did not hear Him saying it?! The Prophet informed Abu Bakr but did not inform His daughter, to whom Fadak was given?!
How does Abu Bakr think that he heard this tradition and ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib does not know it, while he was the closest and dearest person to the Prophet by your own admission?
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’
some of the sources from Sunni sources that recount her sermon to the womenfolk:
Balāghat al-Nisā’ by Abū al-Faḍl ibn Abī Ṭāhir, narrating from ‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfī.
Ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd, in his Sharḥ Nahj al-Balāghah, has also narrated it from al-Jawharī.
Al-Sayyidah Fāṭimah is saying: "Indeed, I swear by my life, it has only just been fertilized," i.e. the germs and bacteria have just fertilized and settled in the Muslim ummah; soon discord will follow and spread.
"So wait until it bears fruit" – Wait until the microbes spread out in the body of the Muslim community. For after a righteous leader had led the Muslims, now an opposite, unbefitting leadership has taken its place. After the excellent and just law of Islam had been established in the Muslim society, laws that are based on vain desire and personal opinion have taken its place. This is how principles are changed and ideals altered.
"Then they shall milk it for copious amounts of blood" – When a camel gives birth, it is milked, but when sedition comes about [in the community], it is blood that flows from it, not milk. This means that the result of sedition is carnage and bloodshed. Islam is a religion of peace and harmony, but its true meaning is distorted by such people and it becomes a religion of devastation, destruction, ruin and carnage.
"And lethal poison" – they milked blood and lethal poison from it. This alludes to the evil consequences that were faced by Islam and the Muslims [because of what they did] and refers to the tribulations and calamities that befell them.
"It is at that point that the falsifiers will be the losers" – At this time the loss of the falsifiers will become apparent.
"And the succeeding generations will realize the consequences of what the earlier generations did" – Those who come later will know the consequence of the actions and deeds carried out by those who preceded them.
"Then be pleased with what you have attained of this world" – The literal phrase "Be pleased" means be content and calm yourself from anxiety. This is akin to telling an oppressor: "May your eyes be cool" or "Glad-tidings to you" or any such phrase that is actually intended to mean the opposite of its literal meaning.
"Be satisfied in your hearts with sedition" ‒ Let your hearts be content with sedition. This is also meant sarcastically, for hearts can never be content with disturbance and sedition. Rather, peace and contentment can only come with safety and security.
"Be happy with the sharp sword" – These words are inspired by the verse: So give them glad-tidings of a painful chastisement (Q.84:24), and are similarly sarcastic.
"And sweeping pandemonium" – Another version reads: "And never-ending pandemonium." Pandemonium [here] means sedition, rebellion, anarchy and disturbance.
"[Be ready for] the despotism of the oppressors" – Despotism here refers to dictatorship and acting against the prescribed limits and bounds, contrary to the system, the constitution, Islamic laws and religious injunctions.
"Who leave but little of your acquired spoils and harvested crops"
See the book Fatimatul Zahra’

Ask your Question Here: