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Fatima al-Zahra (as)

1Jan 2010
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Fatima al-Zahra (as)

Fatima al-Zahra (as) was born in the holy city of Makkah on the 20th of Jumadi al-Akhir (615 AD), five years after the declaration of the final message of Islam. Of the titles given to Fatima (as) by the holy Prophet (pbuh) was Umm Abeeha (1), which means the mother of her father, recognising the immense sense of care and love she had towards him (pbuh).

She did not have a normal childhood like other children spent in play and recreation; rather she stored the energy of a child to prepare for the role of suffering and pain she would have in the Prophet’s lifetime. She was a child who lived with the characteristics of a mother and as such a role model for humanity.

At the age of nine, many companions asked for Fatima’s (as) hand in marriage but the Prophet (pbuh) rejected them saying he awaited the order of his Lord (2), until Imam Ali (as) approached him and asked to marry Fatima (as), whom he accepted. Tradition says, “Had it not been that Allah the Most High created the Commander of the Faithful for Fatima, there would have been no match for her on Earth” (3).

Ali and Fatima’s (as) marital life was unique and will remain unique for all times; their commitment to Allah (swt), sharing of responsibilities, love and respect they had for one another is an example for all married couples. They would share responsibilities in the house; the agreement between them was that she would grind, knead and bake and he would sweep the floor and bring water and wood (for the fire).

Lady Fatima (as), brought up in the house of revelation, would sit with Ali (as) before the Prophet (pbuh) as the verses were being revealed, learning and listening to their interpretations. The Prophet (pbuh) loved her so much for her piety, ascetic way of living and devotion to Allah (swt) that he would say to her: “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you” (4).

Fatima was so close to the Prophet (pbuh) that one of his wives said: “I have not seen anyone more similar to the messenger of Allah (saw) in straightness, guidance, and talking, in his sitting and standing than Fatima his daughter. When he used to enter, she would stand up for him, take his hand and kiss it and make him sit in her place.” (5)

Fatima (as) struggled to protect the principles of Islam, she is the link between prophethood and divine leadership – a role model for humankind. She was a shining diamond behind her veil of beauty, value and honour, from whom our women learn to protect their chastity, preserve their dignity and observe both physical and social Hijab.

During the last days of her life, tremendous calamities befell her and Ali (as). Not long after the Prophet’s demise these oppressions reached their peak and Fatima (as) accepted the invitation of her Lord and joined her father.

Allah (swt) raised the position of Fatima (as) above all the women in this world and has given her the special position of intercession for her true followers on the Day of Judgment.

Dr Ali Shari’ati describing Fatima (as) says: “I wished to say, Fatima is the daughter of the great Khadijeh; I sensed it is not Fatima. I wished to say, Fatima is the daughter of Mohammad (as); I sensed it is not Fatima. I wished to say, Fatima is the wife of Ali (as); I sensed it is not Fatima. I wished to say, Fa­tima is the mother of Hasan and Hussain (as); I sensed it is not Fatima. I wished to say, Fatima is the mother of Zainab; I still sensed it is not Fatima. No, these are all true and none of them are Fatima. FATIMA IS FATIMA”.

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References:

1 – Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 19

2 – Fatimah al-Zahra fil Ahadith al-Nabawiyyah, al-Sarawi, p. 86, 92;

3 – Al-Bihar, vol. 43, p. 141.

4 – Mustadrak as-Sahihayn, vol.3 p.156.

5 – Sunan of at-Tarmithi, vol.5

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