SHAFAQNA-“Bi Ismillahy Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim – In the name of God the Beneficent the Merciful
Inna ‘atai’nakal Kawthar – Verily We have given thee (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad!) The Kawthar (Abundance)
Fa sally li Rabbuka wa inhar – So pray thou unto thy Lord! and offer sacrifice
Inna shani-aka huwwal abtar” – Verily your enemy shall be the one cut off (of his progeny)
This Holy verse was revealed to the Prophet (SAW) when the people of Quraish (particularly Omar Bin Aas and Hakam bin Aas) were taunting the Prophet and calling him “Abtar” (literarily speaking it means the animal whose tail is cut off, meaning here the one who has no one to inherit him, no descendent) because none of his male progeny (sons) lived. At the time Lady Khadija had given birth to a son, named Tahir, who had just died. In fact all of his children died at a very tender age, except Lady Fatima (AS). So to console the Prophet, this verse was revealed to him. It also stands for the stream in Heaven, called Kawthar, which has been exclusively reserved for the Prophet.
In the above verse, she is referred to as “Al Kawthar” (the fountain of Paradise).
When she was conceived, the Prophet (SAW) had been in the cave of Mount Hira where he had been praying, meditating and receiving instructions from His Lord. Angel Gabriel appeared to the Prophet and gave some fruit from Heaven. He said to him “Your Creator has sent you these fruits to eat and commands you to go back to your house and be with your wife. Your wife will then bear you a child that will be the fountain of your progeny. The child will be named Fatima”.
The Prophet obeyed His Lord’s command and Lady Fatima was born. And the Prophet has been repeatedly quoted as saying “when I long for Paradise, all I have to do is smell Fatima. She is made from Paradise”. The Prophet (SAW) had the utmost respect for his daughter, so much so that whenever she would enter a room, he would interrupt whatever he was doing, he would get up to greet her and sit her next to him. He had so much love and respect for her that he gave her the title of “Ummi Abuha” (the mother of her father). It is really a miracle that the people who called the Prophet “abtar” have been eradicated from the face of the Earth, whereas it is impossible to count the number of descendants (the Sadats) the Prophet has.
She was patience. Her patience was beyond limit. She grew up during the period when her Holy father was undergoing the harshest period of his life. She lived to witness the immense wealth of her mother Lady Khadija (AS) being dispersed amongst the poor and the needy without any discrimination (ie; beggars from all walks of life used to come to their house for food and shelter, regardless of their colour, race or beliefs). They went through the most extreme conditions, so much so that Lady Khadija (AS) who used to be the wealthiest woman of Arabia (ie; the princess of Arabia, as she had so much wealth) ended up sleeping on a straw mat, on the floor. This and the clothes she had on her back were the only possessions she was left with when she died.
She was courage. Her courage was an example to all, men and women alike. During the battles raged by the ‘Kufars’ (unbelievers) against her father and Islam, she was always present, by his side, attending to him and the injured soldiers.
In the battle of Uhud, where the Muslim forces suffered their greatest losses because the soldiers deserted the Prophet at the onset of the fighting, she was the only woman seen at her father’s side who had been seriously injured by the enemy.
She had the knowledge of Hal Lil Beit. Her father was the “City of Knowledge” and her husband was its “gate”. Lady Fatima (AS) lived her short life surrounded by this “Knowledge”. During her exchange with Abu Bakr, she contradicted every single one of his claims and arguments by extensively quoting the Holy Qur’an. Her whole sermon to Abu Bakr was reciting the verses of the Qur’an and explaining to him when they were revealed to her father, why they were revealed to her father and what they meant! She was barely 18 years old. When her mother died, Lady Fatima was about seven years old. Like all the Ma’soomeen, she did not have any formal or informal education. Yet Lady Fatima used to hold Qur’anic classes and lectures for women. She would teach them how to read it, what it meant, etc…
In her sermon to Abu Bakr, she started by praising and thanking the Lord, then she made the testimony about the uniqueness of God, she said the shahada: “I testify that there is no God except for Allah, and I testify that my father Mohammed is His slave and Messenger and I testify that I am his daughter Fatima”. She in fact identified herself to the audience before starting her lecture on Abu Bakr! When the people knew who she was, there was no escape for Abu Bakr. He had to let her speak. She concluded by cursing him and all those who had turned away from God’s religion and message.
She was justice itself. She taught her children to be just and she practiced what she preached. She had a maid called Fiddha. Lady Fatima would alternate the house chores with her. Fiddha would one day do the house work while Lady Fatima would cook and look after the children, and the next day Fiddha would cook and look after the children while Lady Fatima did the house work (remember in those days there were no vacuum cleaner, nor washing machines nor dish washers. It was all done by hand, every day).
She was generosity. Her generosity was without limit! One day a beggar came and knocked at her door. He wanted some food to feed himself and his family. She gave him the meal she had prepared for her family. That day, herself, Imam Ali and their children Al Hassan and Al Hussein had been fasting. It wasn’t Ramadan. But they had decided to fast for three days. So they had no food left to eat that night.
The next day, a similar thing happened and Lady Fatima gave them the meal she had prepared for her family. This mind you did not deter them from fasting the third day. On the third day, again the same thing happened and again Lady Fatima gave the meal away!
On her wedding day to Imam Ali (AS) her father bought her a new dress to wear for her wedding. When it was time to perform the wedding ceremony, the Prophet (SAW) asked to go and get changed. He asked her to wear her wedding dress. She replied “I’m wearing it”. The Prophet looked at her and said “but this is not the
dress I bought you. This is an old dress and you have been wearing for a long time. Where is the dress I have bought you?” She replied “hasn’t the Prophet taught me that when I give charity I should give things that are dearest to me and not things I no longer need or want”? The Prophet said “yes, that’s true”. She said “I gave it away this afternoon to a poor lady who came begging for clothes to wear”. The Prophet was deeply touched and said to her “go back to your room and you will find another dress for you to wear. This dress is sent to you from Allah (SWT)”. She went to her room and found a dress sparkling with precious stones and diamonds.
On another occasion, the Prophet and some of his companions were in the Mosque when a man entered asking for charity. He had no money to buy food for his children. It just happened that at the time no one seemed to be carrying any money with them (or if any one did, they did not want to part with it). The Prophet told the man to go to Fatima’s house, and to ask her for something. The man went and knocked at the door. Lady Fatima answered and the man requested some charity. All Lady Fatima had left was a neck less made of pearls. She gave it to the man. The man returned to the Mosque and told the Prophet what had happened and asked if anyone would buy the neck less from him as he needs to buy food for his family. Ammar ibin Yassir (one of the true companions of the Prophet) had in the meantime arrived at the Mosque and heard the story. He purchased the neck less from the man, gave it to his slave instructing him to take it back to Lady Fatima and that he also, the slave was a present from AmLady Fatima. TLady Fatima’s hoandid as instructed. Lady Fatima told him, “I release you, you are free”. The slave looked up to the sky and praising the Lord said “You truly are Merciful! You have satisfied a hungry man, you have freed a slave and you have returned the neck less to its owner, all this in the span of only a few minutes”. She was “Sayeedat Nisa-al Alameen” (the mistress of the women of the world).
In the “hadith-al Kisaa” (the tradition of the cloak) when God wanted to purify the Prophet and his household, Angel Gabriel asked God who was under the Cloak. God answered: “Fatima, her father, her husband and her children”! He did not say “My Messenger and his family”, He said “Fatima and her family”! Also in Karbala, Hur (the commander of Yazid’s armed forces) was asked by his companions why he looked so troubled. He said that what they were doing was wrong, they had cut off Imam Hussein and his party from food and water following Yazid’s orders. They were doing this to “Hussein the son of Fatima”! Of course Hur later on joined Imam Hussein’s camp and committed martyrdom fighting his previous soldiers in the army of Yazid.
Her “Iman” (faith) had no limit. Once a blind man came to see the Prophet (SAW). Lady Fatima (AS) veiled herself before opening the door and letting him in. When the blind man left, the Prophet asked her why she covered herself knowing that the man was blind. Lady Fatima replied: “it is true he cannot see me with his eyes, but he can still see me (ie; perceive me) with his other senses”. It has been scientifically proven that if we lose the function of one of our five senses the other four tend to be heightened (meaning they become sharper). So what Lady Fatima said, in other words, is that even though he is blind, he can still feel and sense my appearance through his other senses, therefore I have to cover myself.
On her death bed, she instructed Lady Zeinab (who was only five years old) to look after her older brothers (Imams Al Hassan and Al Hussein) and be a mother to them. She asked her to be with Imam Hussein at Karbala and convey to him his mother’s blessings before he is martyred by the enemy.
She instructed Amir Al Mu’mineen to marry her cousin Imama. She told him: “my dear husband, after I die I want you to marry my cousin Imama as our son Hussein is very fond of her. She is the only one he will let approach him. You know how sensitive he is and I fear for his safety”. Imam Hussein was very attached to his mother and when she died he was barely 6 years old. He would not have accepted any one to take her place.
The most accepted traditions relate that she had been struck by Umar ibinl Khattab and crashed with the door that was forced against her, breaking her ribs. It is important to remember one of the traditions of the Prophet here. Whenever he visited his daughter he would knock at her door and say “As-salaam ‘Alaykum ya ahel baity” (peace be on you o people of my house). He would repeat this three times and if nobody answered he would go away. He would not open the door and enter his own daughter’s house! Yet Umar forced the door on her knowing full well she was behind it as she had been talking to him. She was stabbed in her stomach. She was pregnant at the time. The wounds caused her to loose her unborn child and, eventually, she died a few days later. Having said her last goodbyes to her family, she requested that she be left alone so that she may perform her prayers. When Imam Ali returned to her bedroom a while later, he found her still on the floor, in the “sajda” (prostrating) position that we perform during our prayers. The same position Imam Ali (AS) will be when he in turn is murdered.
Like her father before her and like her husband and children after her, Lady Fatima always remembered her duties towards her Creator. Until the very last minute, the very last second of her life, she prayed to God, praised Him and thanked Him for His mercy.
She had instructed Imam Ali to bury her in secret. The Prophet had foretold that “whoever attends Fatima’s funerals will enter Paradise”. She did not want Abu Bakr and Umar and all those who were the cause of the split in Islam and who remained silent during the three months after the Prophet’s death to attend her funerals. She was angry with them and she did not want to reward them with Paradise. They have disobeyed the command of Allah, they had distorted the sayings of her father the Prophet, they had usurped her property and deprived her and her family from their rights.
Imam Ali acted according to her request. He buried her at night time and only his children were allowed to be with him. The next day, Abu Bakr, led by Umar and followed by an army came to Imam Ali and asked him to reveal her burial place as they wanted to pay their last respect and perform the required prayers “salaat-al maout” (the prayer for the dead) on her. See the hypocrisy; first they kill her, then they want to pray for her!
Imam Ali (AS) told them that was not necessary and that he had already performed all the obligatory rituals, like he did when the Prophet died (again reminding them of their guilt). But they would not listen to reason. As they persisted in their request and insisted so much, Imam Ali led them to the burial place where there were four tombs, not one. They asked which one was hers, and Imam Ali said he could not remember as Lady Fatima had been buried at night, it was dark, etc… Umar again (the cause of all the problems the Muslims are facing today and Abu Bakr being twice as guilty for allowing him to get away with it and not rectifying the wrong they both did when he had the opportunity) urging Abu Bakr got him to order that all four tombs be unearthed so that they can identify the one that belonged to Lady Fatima, then they would rebury her themselves and perform the prayers.
Imam Ali had been deeply grieved by the recent events that had taken place. Remember the Prophet had only passed away three months earlier. Then the events that led to his Caliphate being usurped had taken place, Fadak, etc… And finally the wounding and killing of his most beloved wife with her unborn child all these were weighing very heavily on his heart. Imam Ali could take no more. He drew his sword and said: “By Allah Who has created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in between, Fatima’s grave will not be desecrated by immoral people like you. I will hasten your journey to hell if you dare approach and touch her tomb”! The first one to back off was the “Farouk” Umar. He hid behind Abu Bakr! Nobody dared to approach. They all followed their leaders and left the burial site. And to this day Lady Fatima’s grave remain a secret. Nobody knows which one is her grave, except the Ahl Lil Beit of course.
When Imam Al Mahdi “ajjal Allah farajoo” (may Allah hasten his coming) reappears and after having rid the world of oppression and injustice, he will take the faithfuls to her grave. There he will lead the prayers with Prophet Jesus standing behind him so that the believers are all able to enter Paradise.
I pray Allah that He has mercy on us and forgives our sins and that we may be among the faithful ones.