Fatima Al-Zahra (sa)

(Zulfiqar Ali, Lahore)

Fatima Al-Zahra (SA), Personality, Names, Titles, Birth, Rank

Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) belongs to the noblest family ever existing throughout the whole history of mankind. Her distinguished father Prophet Muhammad (saw) was the very last messenger of Allah (SWT), a personality that the Noble Qur'an introduces him as the Best Paradigm. The mother of Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was a pure noble lady named Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (sa), a godly woman with unparalleled virtues and merits, who dedicated all her life and wealth for the sake of Islam. Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) is the wife of the Leader of all Believers, Ameerul Momineen, Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), mother of the Masters of the youths of heaven (Syed-e-Shabab-e-Ahlul Jannah) and grandmother of the other nine Imams of Islam. Her name is as beautiful and as peaceful as the garden of heaven.

Her name is Fatimah and her other names are: Zahra, Seddiqah, Tahirah, Mubarakah, Batool, Radiah, Mardiah and Muhaddathah. The word Fatimah means separated. She is named Fatimah because her followers are separated from the Hell because of her. Zahra means luminous. Sixth Imam, Imam Sadiq (as) said: "When Fatimah prayed, she shined for the heavens as the stars shine for people on earth." Seddiqah means someone who says nothing except the truth. Tahirah means pure and clean, Mubarakah means full of favour and blessing, Batool means separated from uncleanness and Radiah means satisfied with Allah's (SWT) fate and destiny and Mardiah means laudable. Muhaddathah means the one spoken to by angels. The following are some of her titles: Ensiah (heavenly lady), Haniah (sympathetic), Shahidah (martyr), Afifah (chaste), Sabirah (patient), Alimah (learned), Madhloomah (oppressed), Ma'soomah (infallible), Umm al-Hassan (mother of Hassan), Umm al-Hussain (mother of Hussain), Umm al-A'immah (mother of Imams) and Umme Abiha. Umme Abiha means mother of her father. Prophet Muhammad (saw) has given her this title and this shows that Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) treated Prophet Muhammad (saw) as his mother. This fact was proved throughout the history as she cured her father during the wars and when she was at home and many other cases.

According to the Islamic Calendar, Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was born in Makkah on the 20th day of the Islamic Lunar Calendar month, Jumada Al-Thani (615 AD), five years after the declaration of the message of Islam by Prophet Muhammad (saw) and three years after Isra and Miraj (Night journey and ascension of Prophet Muhammad (saw) to heaven) and eight years before Hijrah (migration of Prophet Muhammad (saw) from Makkah to Medina). Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) lived eight years in Makkah with her father and then she immigrated to Medina. When Prophet Muhammad (saw) died in Madina, Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was eighteen years and few months old.

Pure noble lady Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (sa) and Prophet Muhammad (saw) bestowed all their natural love, care and devotion on their lovable child Fatima Al-Zahra (sa), who in her turn was extremely fond of her parents.

As a daughter, Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) loved her parents so much that she won their love and regard. The behavior of Prophet Muhammad (saw) toward his daughter Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was special. Prophet Muhammad (saw) showed unique respect to his dear daughter; whenever Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) came to see him, he (saw) welcomed her, stood up to show respect and even kissed her hand and made her sit at his own place. On every occasion that Prophet Muhammad (saw) decided to go on a journey, Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was the last one to whom he (saw) bade farewell, and as soon as he (saw) came back from his trip, Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was the first one whom Prophet Muhammad (saw) visited.
Ayesha, the wife of Messenger of Allah (saw), spoke about this physical, spiritual and moral relationship: "Never have I seen anyone more like the Messenger of Allah (saw) in his solemn way of standing and sitting, more than Fatimah, may Allah (SWT) grant her more honor. When she (Fatimah) came in to see him, he (Messenger of Allah) would rise to his feet, take her hand, kiss her and seat her where he was seated. And when he came to see her, she would stand up, take his hand, kiss him and seat him where she was seated."

Ayesha, the wife of Messenger of Allah (saw), was also reported to have said: "Never have I seen anyone resembling Prophet of Allah, in his way of speaking and talking, better than Fatimah."

The highest degree of humanity is Infallibility, where the consent and anger is based solely upon the anger and consent of Allah (SWT). An infallible person shows content to whatever Allah (SWT) is content with, and shows anger to whatever angers Allah (SWT). Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) is one whom the Almighty Allah is content when she is satisfied, and is angry when she is angry. This position has astonished many people.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) demonstrated to the people the lofty status of women in Islam. One day when a person asked Prophet Muhammad (saw) as to why he showed such respect to his daughter, he (saw) was told: "You do not know Fatima. She has the fragrance of paradise. Do you know that Allah (SWT) is pleased when Fatima is pleased and Allah (SWT) is displeased if Fatima is displeased?"

Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was virtue personified. In fact, she is considered the greatest lady that ever graced Planet Earth. Whatever Prophet Muhammad (saw) said about her was to make people aware of her position and status that would serve as an example for women of all time.

Messenger of Allah (saw), who spoke only what was revealed to him, told her that she [Fatima Al-Zahra (sa)] was the chief and the best of women: "Won't you be pleased to the chief of believers' women and the chief of the women of this Ummah (Nation)?"

To acquaint the Muslims with Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) and her high rank, he (saw) said to them: "The best women of Paradise are Khadijah, daughter of Khuwailid, Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad, Maryam, daughter of Imran, and Asiyah, daughter of Muzahim, the wife of Fir'on (Pharaoh)."

Fatima Al-Zahra (SA) the Little Supporter: Umme Abiha (mother of her father)

The tenth year after Besat-e-Rasool (The year Prophet Muhammad (saw) began his mission) was a very hard period for Muslims. The respected Hazrat Abu Talib (as) and Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (sa) had passed away within a short span of time. Prophet Muhammad (saw) had lost two of his best and kindest supporters both at home and in the society.

Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) had a very difficult time as well. She had lost a mother like Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (sa) while she was only six years old. However, this was not the only difficulty she had to face; as a matter of fact, every time she would come out of the house, she was faced unpleasant events. She would see the enemies cursing Prophet Muhammad (saw) or even hurting him physically. Nevertheless, she had understood the new situation and despite her young age she had realized that supporting her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw) was of her new responsibilities. Hence, she became a great contributor and supporter of Islam and Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Once she saw a number of people had gathered around in Masjid al-Haram to plan the murder of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) returned home with tearful eyes, and told her father about the plan; as a result the enemies had failed to carry out their plan. At another time, one of the polytheists, who had apparently come to visit Prophet Muhammad (saw), threw dirt and garbage on Prophet Muhammad (saw). Prophet Muhammad (saw), owner of the greatest morality, acted as if nothing had happened, forgave him, and returned home. When Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) saw what had happened to her father, ran to him with some water and washed his father's head and face. She began to cry at the harsh act the enemies had done to her father, but Prophet Muhammad (saw) told her:

"O my daughter! Do not cry. Be sure that Allah (SWT) will protect your father from all evils and will make him successful in his mission."

At another incident, when some polytheist poured the waste of a slaughtered Camel and sheep on Prophet Muhammad (saw) during his prostration, again, it was Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) who went to help Prophet Muhammad (saw) with love. She helped her father clean the waste, and with her act caressed her father's soul.

These affectionate moralities of Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was so much that Prophet Muhammad (saw) called her "Umme Abiha (mother of her father)" implying the deepness of love and care little Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) showed her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw).

As a wife, Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was deeply devoted to her husband, Imam Ali (as) and had never asked him for anything in her whole life. As a mother, she cared for and brought up the most wonderful children who have left their marks in history that time will not be able to erase.

Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was very intelligent, accomplished and cheerful. She had inherited the genius and wisdom, determination and willpower, the piety and sanctity, the generosity and benevolence, the devotion and worship of Allah (SWT) as well as other great qualities like self-sacrifice and hospitality, forbearance and patience, and the knowledge and nobility of disposition from her illustrious father, Prophet Muhammad (saw), both in words and deeds. Her generosity and compassion for the poor was such that no destitute or beggar ever returned from her door unattended.

We, Muslims believe that Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) is the most superior woman through all the centuries and eras. This belief is inferred from Prophetic narratives. In one of these statements (on which both Shiites and Sunnites agree) the Great Prophet Muhammad (saw) says: "Sayyidati Nisa il Aalameen (Fatima is the master of all the women of the worlds.)" Although it is mentioned in the Noble Qur'an that Maryam [Mary, mother of Prophet Jesus (pbuh)] is the best woman in the worlds and has high position and is considered to be chaste and continence and is one of the four greatest women, she was the best woman of her life's period, but Fatima Al-Zahra's (sa) superiority is not restricted to her life's period and is history time. That is why Prophet Muhammad (saw) named her as the greatest women of all the women from the first to the last in another saying. Another point that can be inferred from these narratives is that because Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) is the greatest woman and no other has competence with her, knowing and recognizing all her life and every moment of her life is extremely valuable, as we can reach high spiritual states by deliberating it. Furthermore, by referring to the Noble Qur'an we find out that several verses are descended to state her position: (33:33, known as Ayat-e-Tatheer), (3:61, known as Ayat-e-Mubahila), (17:26), the beginning verses of chapter 76 (al-Insan) , the whole chapter 108 (al-Kawthar).

Fatima Zahra (SA): Bidhatur Rasool and Sayyidati Nisa il Aalameen

Prophet Mohammed (saw) has said, "Fatima is part of me, whoever harms her, harms me." Prophet Mohammed (saw) has also said, "Fatima is part of me, whoever disappoints her, disappoints me."

In these traditions, the statement that 'Fatima is part of me', has an in-depth meaning. It shows that Fatema Zahra (sa) is not only the daughter of Rahmatul Lil Aalameen (Mercy to all the Worlds); No wonder that where Prophet Mohammed (saw) declared Fatima (sa) as part of himself, he (saw) also announced, "Verily my daughter Fatima is the leader of the women of the worlds."

Fatema Zahra (sa), by virtue of being 'Bidhatur Rasool' [part of Prophet Mohammed (saw)] and 'Sayyidati Nisa il Aalameen' [Fatima is the leader of the women of the worlds for all times] is an excellent role model particularly for the Muslim women, because the Prophethood of Mohammed (saw) would not have been everlasting without her. Prophet Mohammed (saw) is the perfect example for men but could not be so for women. For all Noble Qur'anic verses revealed for women, Fatema Zahra (sa) has been the perfect model, who translated every verse of Noble Qur'an into action. In her lifetime, she was a complete woman, being daughter, wife and mother par excellence.

As a true role model of women's rights and respect, Fatema Zahra (sa) cares for her father when everyone else ignore him, encourages her husband when everyone else rebukes him and tends to and raises such children as Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain, Hazrat Zainab and Hazrat Umm Kulthum (pbut). She fights for her right (Fadak) in front of the caliphate at that time, all while maintaining her dignity and modesty. She portrays excellence in all her character, whether it be as a daughter or as a wife or a mother, or as a leader of women, humble yet strong.

All the children of Fatema Zahra (sa) are a jewel in the crown of Islam and Fatema Zahra (sa) is the reason behind it. Both religious and secular scholars agree that a child begins learning in the womb of his mother and the foundation laid by the parent is essential in the future character and morals of the child. Fatema Zahra (sa) displays a model for all the God-fearing parents in the upbringing of her four children. It has been narrated by a companion of Prophet (saw) in Bihar al-Anwar that one day, he saw Fatema Zahra (sa) busy grinding some grain. In the meanwhile, her older son Imam Hassan (as) became impatient and started crying. The companion of Prophet (saw) offered help to Fatema Zahra (sa), asking her whether she would like him to take over the grinding of grain or comforting the child. She answered by saying that it would be better for her to take over the grinding, since she would be better at comforting her child. This proves the importance of a mother being present around her child as much as possible, since only a mother can truly comfort and soothe her child and no one else can be as much of a comfort as a mother.

Fatema Zahra (sa) was the perfect human being that was infallible, according to the verse of Hadith al-Kisa (cover), and which talks about the infallibility of the five people who were under the cover in the house of Umm Salama (sa). Prophet Mohammed (saw) used to remind the people of this Ayah nearly every morning. Where he (saw) used to pass by Fatima Al-Zahra's (sa) house and say: "Assalamu Alaika Ya Ahle Baite Naboowah (Peace be upon you O people of the house of Ahlul Bayt of Naboowah). Allah (SWT) only wishes to remove uncleanness from you Members of the Family and to purify you."

Thus, when we talk about Fatema Zahra (sa) we are talking of an infallible human being whose manners were superior to the extent that she could be considered a role model not only for Muslim women, but also for all Muslims being a perfect image of the prophet. Following her means, following her role model in our practice and not just crying for her fate, because she is not an object for our crying and mourning.

Lady Fatimah Zahra (PBUH): A Role Model

A role model can be defined as a guide, pattern, and as a leader. The term "role model" seeks to identify a person who possesses certain characteristics, which people admire and choose to follow. Different people choose different role models in their lives and try to live their life in accordance to what they see in that role model. A role model may have impact in a single aspect of one's life, or it may have impact on many or all aspects of a person's life. Naturally one's life, goal, and motive may then be shaped and constructed based on his/her role model.

One, who chooses Islam as his school of life, has actually chosen a way and goal that has been based on human nature. Thus such a person will search for a character that possesses all the special characteristics that the school of monotheism has offered in each aspect of life in order to reach his goal of perfection.
In the following verse, the Noble Qur'an introduces Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the prophet of Islam, as the best and perfect role model:

"Certainly there is in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much." (Noble Qur'an, 33:21)

Through a deep study of the life of Lady Fatemah Zahra (pbuh), one can slightly understand her exalted human personality. She is similar to her father, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in terms of her divine and humane character. Her similarity to her father is a truth that can be easily understood through her father's sayings about her. As the narrator quotes, Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came out while holding the hand of Lady Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) in his hand. He said:

"(For) him, who does not know her, she is Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, she is a part of me, she is my soul, which is (located) between my two sides. Certainly, him who harms her has harmed me; and him who harms me has indeed harmed Allah."

Other than being similar to the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), which in itself is a complete and perfect proof of her being a role model, there are many other examples that prove her as a perfect and excellent model.

For example, Aisha bint Abu Bakr and some others have narrated that the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said:

"O Fatimah! Glad tidings be upon you, for the almighty Allah (SWT) has selected you above the women of the worlds and the women of Islam, which is the best religion."

Let it be noted that the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) holds such an esteemed character that all of his sayings, behaviors, and manners are proof for us. He talks according to what is revealed to him and through his deep knowledge and insight. If he is silent about a person, or when he praises, or disgraces another, it is thoroughly true. As the Noble Qur'an notes:

"Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed." (Noble Qur'an, 53:3-4)

The messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has honored his daughter and has greatly praised her. Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) praises of Lady Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) is not out of a fatherly love and affection. As a matter of fact the praises are due to the actual existence of such valuable moralities in Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (pbuh). She is really great and pure; by praising her, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) seeks to make her real personality clear for others.

Allah (SWT) has selected Prophet of Islam and the Infallible Imams (pbut) as perfect human beings, role models, and guides for all. Similarly, Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (pbuh) is a model for all people of the world, be it man or woman. Truly, following her footsteps is following the Messenger of Allah and the Infallible Imams (pbut).

Moral Virtues and Simplicity of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (SA)

Fatema Zahra (sa) lived in a two room house made out of clay, wore the simplest garments from head to toe, grinded wheat and barley with her bare hands to prepare meal for her family, and attended to her four children with utmost love and mercy. Yet, she was no ordinary woman. Fatema Zahra (sa) had high moral virtues and her life is full of spiritual behaviour. Even on her marriage day, Fatema Zahra (sa) did not forget about those in need. A girl's wedding dress is probably one of her most cherished belongings. However, in the case of the noble Lady Fatema Zahra (sa) it is not.

Prophet of Islam, Mohammed (saw) bought Fatema Zahra (sa) a new dress for her marriage ceremony. Fatema Zahra (sa) owned a patchy dress before. A poor woman came to her house and asked for a used cloth. Fatema Zahra (sa) decided to give her the old patchy dress as the woman had asked but remembered the verse: "By no means shall you attain to righteousness until you spend (benevolently) out of what you love." (Noble Qur'an, 3:92) So she gave her the new wedding dress, while she wore her old dress to her wedding.

When asked by Prophet of Islam, Mohammed (saw) why she did not donate her old dress, Fatema Zahra (sa) replied "Because she followed the teachings of Noble Qur'an. The lesson of selfless love and helping those in need remains clear in every story.

Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa): Learning, Applying and Teaching Knowledge to others

With regard to knowledge, Islam teaches us three things: Learn, apply and teach others. In the life of Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa), we find that she gave importance to all these three stages of Knowledge.

Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa): Learning and Applying Knowledge

One day Prophet Muhammad (saw) came to the house of his beloved daughter Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa). She (sa) asked him a number of questions on religious rights. Among them was a question regarding a wife's duty towards her husband?

One of the many things that Prophet Muhammad (saw) told her was, "O Fatimah! A woman who demands things, which are outside the means of her husband, is removed from the pale of divine grace."

After her marriage to Imam Ali (as), we will find that Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) never asked or demanded anything from her husband - lest he (as) cannot afford and is embarrassed to say so!

One day Imam Ali (as) insisted that his wife Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa), ask him for something. After much insistence, she (sa) agreed and asked for a pomegranate. As Imam Ali (as) bought one from the market and was walking towards home, his eyes fell upon a poor man who was ill. He (as) asked the poor man what he wanted and the poor man expressed his desire to eat pomegranate. Without any hesitation, Imam Ali (as) gave away the pomegranate he had bought for his wife.

Now, as Imam Ali (as) walked towards his home, he (as) felt guilty and thought that this was the first time ever Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) had asked for a pomegranate and I have been unable to fulfill her wish.

Although Imam Ali (as) was certain that Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) would be happy to know that the pomegranate was given away in good cause, nevertheless, he (as) still felt guilty. Meanwhile, Jibril (Gabriel) came to Prophet Muhammad (saw) with a tray of pomegranates from the Paradise and informed him as to what had happened. Prophet Muhammad (saw) gave the tray to Salman Al-Farsi (ra) and asked him to deliver it to Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) before Imam Ali (as) reached home.

Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) asked, "O Salman! Where has this tray come from?"

Salman Al-Farsi (ra) said, "O Daughter of Holy Prophet! You expressed your desire for a pomegranate from Imam Ali (as), he (as) bought it and gave it to a poor beggar. For his sincere action, Allah (SWT) has sent this tray from the Paradise so that your wish is fulfilled and Imam Ali (as) is also saved from any embarrassment."

Imam Ali (as) arrived home with his head down due to guilt. As soon as he (as) entered, he (as) asked, "O Fatima! What is this smell of pomegranates I am feeling?"

Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) said, "O Ali! These pomegranates are what you sent. You gave away one to a beggar and in return Allah (SWT) has sent them from Paradise."

The above incident indicates, how Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) was learning from his father, Prophet Muhammad (saw) and applying the same knowledge practically into her life.

Remember: One may say this is irrelevant today! Because men and women both work and earn, and as such there is no need for a workingwoman to ask for anything from her husband. As a matter of fact, in some cases workingwoman may end up financially supporting her husband - then what?

Perhaps Prophet Muhammad (saw) was also aware of this. In the advices, which he (saw) gave to his daughter Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa), one was also this: "A woman who says to her husband: You eat and clothe yourself from my wealth, will not have even the glimpse of Paradise."

Fatima bint Muhammad (SA): Teaching Knowledge to others

With regard to teaching others, Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) had a role too in teaching the society. She used to find time, despite all her duties, to gather all the wives of the believers and teach them the principles of their religion, and she used to narrate the sayings and traditions of her father. One of these traditions is "A believer is not a believer, if his neighbors do not feel assured that he will no hurt them. He who believes in Allah (SWT) and the Day of Judgment does not hurt his neighbor. He would either say what is good or remain silent. Allah (SWT) is good and loves those who are good, chaste and tolerant. Allah (SWT) hates the backbiter and those who say obscene words."

Allama Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi (ar) has narrated in Bihar Al-Anwar that: One day, a lady came to Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) and said, "I have an old weak mother who has some problems related to her Salaat (prayers). She has sent me to ask you some questions about them."

Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) asked her to put the questions to her. The number of questions, one after another, reached ten and Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) answered all of them patiently.

Eventually, the lady said, "O Daughter of the Prophet! I do not wish to trouble you and put you to further inconvenience."

Thereupon, Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) said, "Come to me and ask me what you know not? Does a person who has been hired on wages of 1000 dinars to carry a heavy thing from ground to roof-top ever feel tired?"

The woman said, "No!"

In other words, however tiring a work may be, if the reward is very good, one may not feel tedious and continue to work harder.

Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) said, "Well! Allah (SWT) has hired me and my wage for answering each question is equal to pearls filled between the earth and the sky - therefore, it does not befit me to exhibit any exhaustion."

From this above incident, we learn three things:

1. Allah (SWT) has charged Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) by virtue of being 'Bidhatur Rasool' [part of Prophet Muhammad (saw)] with the responsibility of guiding Muslim women and solving their problems.

2. Muslim women have been encouraged to ask and learn what they know not of the Shariah (Islamic Laws).

3. Those women who have been blessed with knowledge must put efforts in imparting the same to other women.

Fatimah bint Muhammad (SA), the Manifestation of Kindness and Self-sacrifice

The Tradition (Hadith) related below is said to be responsible for the revelation of the following Noble Qur'anic verses:

"... and prefer (them) before themselves, though poverty may afflict them." (Noble Qur'an, 59:9)

It is related that: One day a poor, hungry man came to Prophet Muhammad (saw) to ask for some food. Prophet Muhammad (saw) guided him to go to the homes of his wives and get something to eat. All of them had no food in their homes and thus could not offer the poor man anything. He returned to Prophet Muhammad (saw) who then asked his companions (Sahabah), "Who is going to invite this guest to his home?" Imam Ali (as) immediately offered to take the man as his guest and soon they proceeded towards Imam Ali's (as) home.

On reaching home, Imam Ali (as) informed his wife Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) that they had a guest and also enquired as to what they had at home for food. Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) said that they had just enough food to feed the children, but that they would give priority to the poor guest. Imam Ali (as) then offered to turn off the lamp in the house, asking Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) to put the children to bed. Imam Ali (as) thought of making the home dark so that their guest would not notice that his hosts had very little food and get embarrassed. Imam Ali (as) accompanied the guest on the dinner mat but the guest did not notice that Imam Ali (as) had not eaten, since the house was dark.

The night passed by in this manner. The guest ate comfortably and the members of Fatima Al-Zahra's (sa) home slept hungry.

It has been confirmed by numerous exegetes of the Noble Qur'an that those Qur'anic verse mentioned above refers to the incident that demonstrated the kindness and self-sacrifice of Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) and her family.

Jabir ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari (ra), a prominent companion (Sahabi) of Prophet Muhammad (saw) has reported that:

One day, we were with Prophet Muhammad (saw) after Asr (after noon) prayer when an old immigrant man came by who was wearing worn out clothes and was barely able to walk because of his old age and weakness. Prophet Muhammad (saw) inquired him about his welfare and the old immigrant man said, "O Prophet of Allah! I am starving, so feed me; I am naked, so cloth me; and I am poor, so help me!"

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, "Surely I have nothing to give you, yet, he, who guides to goodness is equal to one who performs it. So go to the house of one (she) who loves Allah and His messenger, and Allah and His messenger love her. The one who prefers Allah over herself; I mean Fatima (sa)."

Fatima Al-Zahra's (sa) house was near to that of Prophet Muhammad (saw). He (saw) asked Hazrat Bilal (ra) to lead the old immigrant man to her house. As soon as they reached her house, the old immigrant man cried out loudly, "Peace be upon you O people of the house of Ahlul Bayt of Naboowah, where the angles frequent their visits; where Roohul Amin (Jibril) descends bringing what the Lord of the worlds reveals." Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) responded to his greetings and asked who he was, to which, the old immigrant man replied, "I am an old Arab man. I have emigrated from a distant land. O Daughter of Prophet Muhammad! I am hungry and in need of clothing - so console me and may Allah bless you."

This incident occurred at a time when Prophet Muhammad (saw), Imam Ali (as) and Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) had not eaten anything for three days. Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) looked around. The only thing she could see in the house was a goatskin on which his two little children, Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain used to sleep. She picked up the goatskin and came to door. She extended that goatskin to the old man from behind the door and said: "Please take this and fulfill your needs." However, the old man said, "O Daughter of Prophet Muhammad! I complain to you of hunger and you give me a goatskin? How can I eat this?"

Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) thought and then she realized that she was wearing a necklace which was the wedding gift from Fatimah the daughter of Hamzah bin Abdul-Muttalib. Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) took the necklace off and gave it to the old man saying, "Sell this and Allah (SWT) will grant you with a solution to your problem". The old man took the necklace, brought and showed it to Prophet Muhammad (saw). Prophet Muhammad (saw) looked at the necklace and his eyes filled up with tears. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, "Indeed Allah (SWT) will grant you a solution, for Fatima, the Mistress of all the women has given to you this necklace."

Hazrat Ammar bin Yasir (ra), who was present among the companions (Sahabah) said, "O Messenger of Allah! Do you allow me to buy this necklace?" Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, "Buy it Ammar, surely if all men and women participate in its purchase, Allah (SWT) will protect them from Hellfire". Hazrat Ammar bin Yasir (ra) asked the old man for its price and he replied, "A meal of bread and meat, a Yemeni shirt to cover myself and a dinar to return to my family." Hazrat Ammar bin Yasir (ra) gave him 20 dinar and 200 dirham, a Yemeni shirt, wheat bread and meat, and a horse to take him to his home. Prophet Muhammad (saw) asked the old man if he was satisfied with all that and he replied in affirmation. "So reward Fatima for her kindness", said Prophet Muhammad (saw). The old man prayed, "O Allah! Give Fatima that which no eyes have ever seen and no ears have ever heard."

Hazrat Ammar bin Yasir (ra) perfumed the necklace with musk and sent it to Prophet Muhammad (saw) with a slave named Sahm whom he had purchased with the booty he received from Khyber, saying, "Give this necklace to the Messenger of Allah and tell him that I gift you to him too." When the slave delivered the necklace and the message, Prophet Muhammad (saw) said to him, "Take this necklace to Fatima and I gift you to her". When the slave came to Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa), she took her necklace back and set the slave free. When the slave was set free, he laughed loudly.

People who had been watching the whole thing, asked Sahm for the reason of his laughing. Sahm replied: "I laughed when I thought of the abundance of goodness in this glorious necklace - it came out of the house, fed a hungry man, clothed a naked man, and provided for a lost wayfarer. It then freed a slave from his bond and then returned to its rightful owner/mistress."

The above incident once again demonstrate the kindness and self-sacrifice of Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) and Prophet of Islam, Mohammed (saw) taught us, the Muslims at large, to be grateful to anyone who provides any kind of help. The best expression of that gratitude is doing a Dua for your benefactor. Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) did not need any Dua/Prayer from a stranger, but that was the teaching of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammed (saw) and his methodology.

Hazrat Fatimah Zahra (SA) and Hijab Issues

Imam Ali (as) is quoted to have said:

Once we were sitting with Prophet Muhammad (saw) when he (saw) asked: "What is the best thing for a woman?" No one could answer his question. I approached Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) and discussed the issue with her and she immediately claimed to know the answer. According to her, the answer was, "The best thing for a woman is that she is protected from the sight of strangers such that neither does she have to see them nor do they get to see her."
I returned to Prophet Muhammad (saw) and gave him the answer. He (saw) asked at once, "Who taught you this answer?" I told him that the answer had come from Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa). Prophet Muhammad (saw) was delighted and said: "Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) is my flesh and blood."

Numerous Traditions (Ahadith) have been related regarding the personality, dignity and responsibility of women. One Prophetic Tradition relates that once Prophet Muhammad (saw) asked one of his companions, "When are women closest to Allah (SWT)?" Again no one could answer this question. Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) finally answered, saying: "When they are in their home." According to exegetes, in all probability, this answer refers to a verse from the Noble Qur'an that says:

"And stay in your home and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorant of yore..." (Noble Qur'an, 33:33)

It needs to be emphasized here that although in the Noble Qur'an, this verse is addressed directly to Prophet Muhammad's (saw) wives, but it is also applicable to all Muslim women. In the same Chapter "Al-Ahzab", Allah (SWT) says:

"O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments that they may be known, and thus they will not be given trouble; and Allah is Forgiving, the Merciful." (Noble Qur'an, 33:59)

The above verse has discussed the philosophy of Hijab (Islamic dress code) for women, as a kind of protection for them from being followed, teased, and disrespected from evil and lustful eyes.

One day Prophet Muhammad (saw) was sitting in the house of his daughter Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) when they heard a knock on the door. The housemaid comes to Prophet Muhammad (saw) and says: "Oh! Prophet of Allah (saw) your companion Abdullah ibn Umme Maqdoom (who was blind) has come to visit you."

Prophet Muhammad (saw) immediately told the housemaid to let him in. In the mean time his daughter Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa), chief of the women of the world and head of the women in Paradise, gets up to go to her room.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) questions her "Oh! My daughter Fatima, where are you going?"

Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) replies: "Since your companion (Sahabi) is coming to see you I am going to my room to observe my Hijab from him."

Prophet Muhammad (saw) replies: "But my daughter Fatima the companion of mine is blind and cannot see you."

Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) replies: "My father, he cannot see me but I can see him thus I must go inside."

This is not to say that Prophet Muhammad (saw) was not aware of the matter but this question was posed to inform the women, whose chief is Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa), of the importance of Hijab. And that it is not sufficient to think that we are capable of controlling our desires and will not think or look badly at someone. Who can say that Nauz Billah (God Forbid) Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) could not have had such a control on herself and yet she followed the Shariah (Islamic Law) very strictly.

Islam considers the protection of the dignity and character of women for their happiness and sincerity. However, here we need to clarify that Islam does not advocate that women should never be allowed to see the light of the day. In fact, when we study the life of Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa), we find that she was very active in her personal and social life. At the same time, she was so careful in safeguarding her dignity and self-respect that in spite of her activities, she never intermingled with any strangers.

Not only has the presence of women not been prohibited in the areas of culture, politics, defense, etc. rather wherever necessary they are obliged to participate actively in these areas. For example, whenever the society requires the services of female doctors, nurses, teachers etc., the women in that society are obliged (wajib) to obtain the necessary skills and qualifications.

The sermons of Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) in the Prophet's Mosque (Medina), her serving alongside Imam Ali (as) in the Holy Wars (Jihad) and during their migration from Makkah to Medina and also the roles played by her great daughter Hazrat Zainab (sa) in the Battle of Karbala, followed by her famous speeches in Kufa and Sham - all these reflect on the active and powerful roles played by these great Islamic female personalities.

Fatima Al-Zahra's (sa) legacy to all the Muslim women of her Ummah (Community/Nation) is purity of faith and character. Her vision for all Muslim women for all times to come is that they keep themselves chaste and pure like angels, as per Islamic values and ethics. One Prophetic Tradition (Hadith) says: "The alms (Zakat) of the beauty of a woman are her dignity and chastity."

Thus, if a woman does not guard or protect her beauty and exhibits herself to strangers, neither does she attain salvation, nor does her husband experience peace of mind and spirit.

It is to be remembered here that Islam regards women like a beautiful and delicate flower that needs to be protected from hardships and dangers. Moreover because only if a woman is well-protected and well-secure, can she offer happiness and peace to her family and home and in this way only would the society be safe, secure and progressive.

Lady Fatimah Zahra (SA): Neighbors First

The child had made it a habit to rise regularly in the small hours of the night and join his mother, Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) in her nightly prayers called Tahajjud. He observed that his mother prayed for all Muslim men and all Muslim women. She remembered them by name and prayer for their prosperity and well being.

O Allah (SWT), pardon them their sins and let Your grace embrace them in all their dealings.

On this particular morning, the child decided to ask. When the prayers were over, he asked: Mother, you pray for all every day. Not a word for yourself or any one in the family?

Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa), blessings and salutations to her, said: 'O my son Hassan, remember one thing. Neighbors first and then the house.'

In the end, we would like to recite a supplication that Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) used to call Allah (SWT) with.

O Allah (SWT), make me content with what you have given me. and keep me in good health as long as you keep me alive.

Forgive me and have mercy on me when I die. O Allah (SWT) don't make me exhaust myself in seeking what you did not mean to me, and let what you have destined to me easy to get. O Allah (SWT), reward my parents and everyone who did well to me. O Allah (SWT) dedicate me to what you have created me for to worship you, and follow your commands. O Allah (SWT) makes me look humbly at myself and make me feel how great you are...

O Allah (SWT) guide me to obey you and to do what pleases you and avoid what angers you .You are the Most Merciful.

Hazrat Fatima Zahra (SA) on the Prayer Rug of Servitude

History has witnessed many amazing worships from devoted and faithful people to Allah (SWT). However, the worship of a great young lady Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) has added significant beauty to the rest of worships and it has become an honor for the rest of worshippers. Her worships are described in the following manner:

There is no worshipper like Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) in this world; her foot had swelled because of standing for prayers. Indeed, what has been narrated about Fatimah Zahra's (pbuh) worship and prayer is far beyond what we have seen or heard of other worshipers.

It is impossible for anyone to describe the quality and quantity of her worships in words except for Allah (SWT) and His especial selected servants. In order to recognize the greatness of Fatimah Zahra's (pbuh) prayer it is enough to note that the Creator of the universe praises and regards the worships of Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) and her husband, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (pbuh).

After Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) migration (Hijrah/Hijrat) from Makkah to Medina, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (pbuh) accompanied Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) and a number of other women and some weak people to migrate to Medina in a small caravan according to what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had ordered him. The infidels of Makkah who had failed to capture Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in his migration decided to take family as captives as an alternative to catch him. Nonetheless, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb's (pbuh) bravery kept their goal as illusive as it was. The caravan reached Medina safe and sound after a number of battles during the path from Makkah.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) rushed to see Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (pbuh) and Hazrat Fatima Zahra (pbuh) with indescribable happiness. He hugged Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (pbuh) and said: "Before you arrive, the angel Jibril (Gabriel) descent on me and told me all about your journey; he told me all about your prayers on the way; your late night and continuous worships; your thought and ponderings and your battles on the way until here. Jibril (Gabriel) brought these verses from the Almight Allah (SWT):

"Those who remember Allah standing, sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth (saying): Our Lord! You have not created this without purpose, Glory be to You! Give us salvation from the chastisement of the fire." (Noble Qur'an, 3:191)

The spiritual scent of these verses made Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (pbuh) and Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) forget about the long and exhausting trip they had. For Allah (SWT) had accepted their continuous prayers, worships, remembrance and ponderings.

The quality of her devotion to Allah (SWT) was incomparable; as Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) worshiped Allah (SWT) in every moment of her life and worship was rooted in her daily life. Her deeds, words, glances, efforts, breaths and all of her day and night were worships. Every night, Fatimah Zahra's (pbuh) home was her prayer rug; after putting the children to bed and finishing the housework, she stood for praying so long so that her feet were sore and swollen.

The first night of her marriage is narrated as follows:

Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (pbuh) found his wife in tears, he then sought the cause of it, Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) responded, "I thought of my state in the end of this life and in purgatory, since the transition from my father Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) to my own house reminded me of my transition to the grave. By the grace of Allah (SWT), let's rise for prayer in the first hours of our married life and spend the night in worshiping the Lord."

Indeed, in the sweetest and most memorable moment of her life, the very example of human excellence and the gems of women in heavens and on earth, Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) remembers the reason of her creation and asks her husband to accompany her in spending the night seeking closeness to Allah (SWT). And the day after, when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), asks the commander of faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (pbuh), "How did you find your spouse?" Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (pbuh) does not waste a split second and answers immediately "the best companion and aide in obeying and worshiping Allah (SWT)." This is how the personality of Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) is presented in the view of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (pbuh), at the first night of their marriage.

Hazrat Fatima Zahra (PBUH) and Hazrat Maryam mother of Isa (PBUH)

Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari has narrated:

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had not eaten anything for several days. Hunger was making him suffer. He went to the houses of his wives, but found nothing there to eat. He then went to the house of Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) and told her, "O my daughter! Do you have anything for me to eat as I am very hungry?"

Hazrat Fatima Zahra (pbuh) replied, "No my dear father."

As soon as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) left her house, one of the neighbors brought Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) some bread and meat. She accepted the offer, put it in a dish, and covered it. Although Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) and her family were in much need for food she said, "I consider the Messenger of Allah as being prior to me and my family in this meal."

Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) then sent Imam Hassan (pbuh) and Imam Hussain (pbuh) after Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) returned, Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) said, "Allah (SWT) has sent us some food that I have put aside for you." Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) asked her to bring the food. Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) brought the dish. When she uncovered it, she found it full of bread and meat. Being surprised, she realized that it was Allah's (SWT) blessing. She thanked Allah (SWT) and praised His Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) saw the dish, he said, "From where have you gotten this food?" She said: It is from Allah. Surely Allah gives sustenance to whom He pleases without measure. (Noble Qur'an, 3:37) Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) praised Allah (SWT) and said, "Grace be to Allah who has made you similar to the best woman (Maryam) of the world during the time of the tribe of Israelites. When was asked about who sent her the food, she (Maryam (pbuh) would reply, "Allah gives sustenance to anyone he wants without counting."

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) then sent someone after Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (pbuh). Then Prophet Muhammad, Imam Ali, Fatimah Zahra, Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain (pbut) and all the wives and family of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ate from that food, but still the dish remained full. Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) said, "I gave some of that food to all the neighbors. Allah (SWT) has blessed that food, just like the one of Maryam's (pbuh).

Hazrat Fatima Zahra (PBUH) and Proper prayer before sleep

Hazrat Fatima Zahra (pbuh) is known to have recounted this interesting true story: One day, as I was preparing myself to sleep, suddenly I saw my father, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) entering our room. He (pbuh) said: "My beloved daughter, Fatimah Zahra! Never sleep at night, unless you have accomplished four things!"

First, you have to read entire Noble Qur'an from the beginning to end.

Second, you have to ask for the great Prophets of Allah to intercede in your favour after your death.

Third, you should remember that, you have to make all the faithful believers happy and pleased with you.

And finally, you have to go to Makkah, and accomplish the Pilgrimage of Hajj [Hajj Tamattu and Umrah Tamattu].

Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) said: "After having said that, my father, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) began to perform his prayer and I had to wait until he finished his prayer to ask more information from him."

I said most confused: "O Messenger of Allah! You have ordered me to do four things before sleep. But beloved father, I cannot see myself executing such things! I am unable to accomplish them at this late hour!"

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) smiled graciously and answered: "If you say three times the Surah Ikhlas, it is as though you have read the entire Noble Qur'an from the beginning to end. If you say greetings and salutations to me and to the other great Prophets, you make us intercede in your favour. If you pray for the faithful believers, you have made them happy and content. And at last, if you say (dhikr) "Subhanallahe, Walhamdulillahe, Wala Ilaaha Illallahe, Wallahu Akbar" it is as though you have accomplished the Pilgrimage of Hajj [Hajj Tamattu and Umrah Tamattu]."

Tasbeeh of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (PBUH)

Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) whole life was shaped by thoughts of the hereafter. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) loved his children, but not in any worldly way. Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) used to run her house without much help; Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) could see how hard his daughter worked at home.

Imam Ali ibn Talib (as), Fatimah Zahra's husband, once told Ibn Wahid a story about Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) most beloved daughter. Imam Ali ibn Talib (as) said, Fatimah Zahra's (pbuh) hands were blistered from constant grinding; her neck had become sore from carrying water; her clothes would become dirty from sweeping the floor. When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had received an influx of servants from some place, Imam Ali ibn Talib (as) suggested to his wife that she approach her father and ask for a servant. Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) went, but could not speak to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) because of the people who were surrounding him. Next day, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came to their house, and asked Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) as to why she wanted to see him. Imam Ali ibn Talib (as) told the whole story to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and said that Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) went to him on his advice. "Fear Allah (SWT), Fatimah," Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, "Fulfill your obligations to the Lord, and continue with your housework."

Then, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said he would give her something that would be better than a helper or anything else she wished in this world, this is when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) gives Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) the gift of this Tasbih/Tasbeeh and its is known as Tasbih/Tasbeeh of Fatimah Zahra (pbuh). And said when you go to bed at night, read the following:

34 times - Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)
33 times - Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah)
33 times - Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah)

This would be much better than having a servant.

"If that is the will of Allah (SWT) and His Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)," Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) replied "then so be it." This was Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) only reply. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not provide her a servant.

This Tasbih/Tasbeeh is recommended to be read after every Namaz/Salah. The Salah is like a beautiful flower and the Tasbih of Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) gives that beautiful flower a beautiful fragrance. So after every Salah we should say the Tasbih/Tasbeeh of Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) because we want our Salah to be like a beautiful flower with a beautiful fragrance.

Imam Baqir (as) says whoever performs the Tasbih/Tasbeeh of Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) and asks Allah (SWT) for forgiveness, Allah (SWT) will forgive him or her a hundred times, will add a thousand good deeds to their scale, repel Shaitan/Satan and be pleased with him or her.

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) says whoever does Tasbih/Tasbeeh of Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) before they move their legs or unfold their legs from the position of sitting in Wajib Salah, Allah (SWT) forgives them and makes Jannah Wajib upon them. Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) also says that Tasbih/Tasbeeh of Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) after every Wajib Salah is more loved then praying a thousand Rakats everyday. Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) continues to say whoever does the Tasbih/Tasbeeh of Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) after every Salah and ends it by saying La illaha illalah, Allah (SWT) will forgive his or her sins.

When Hazrat Hamzah (ra) was martyred in the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (pbuh) took some earth (Turba) from his grave and moulded it into beads and she used that as her Tasbih/Tasbeeh. Before this event Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) would use a blue woollen string that was knotted and that was the customary Tasbih/Tasbeeh before the martyrdom of Hazrat Hamzah (ra). After that it became customary to make beads from clay.

Hazrat Hamzah (ra) was knows as Sayyid al-Shuhada the "Chief of Martyrs." Today we call our 3rd Imam, Imam Hussain (as) Sayyid al-Shuhada and we try to use the earth from Karbala (Khak-E-Shifa) from near his grave to use in our Tasbih/Tasbeeh so that we remember the sacrifice and we remember what Tawheed (Oneness of God) is all about.

Visage of Hazrat Fatima (PBUH)

As he neared the city in the burning heat of the midday sun, he shaded his eyes with his hands and cast a look at the green date palms of Medina behind which were a row of modest houses. He breathed a heavy sigh as a waft of air blew from the direction of Prophet Muhammad's (saw) city. The fresh air brought a familiar scent. It was the fragrance of the Almighty's Last Messenger to mankind, Prophet Muhammad (blessing of Allah be upon him and his progeny). Although Prophet Muhammad (saw) was no longer physically present, having passed away a couple of months ago, the fragrance was obviously from Masjid an-Nabi or Prophet's Mosque, where for years he had recited the Azan (Adhan, Athan) or 'the call to the faithful to assemble for the daily prayers'. On entering the city he stood silently for a while, dusting off his clothes and casting a look at the people around. The people of Medina were engaged in the hustle and bustle of daily life and it seemed none had noticed his entry. He slowly made his way to the quarters of the city where stood the houses of Prophet Muhammad's (saw) clan, the Bani Hashem. He entered the narrow lane where he used to stand every day to greet Prophet Muhammad (saw) before going to the mosque. He advanced toward the house, at whose door it was the habit of Prophet Muhammad (saw) to salute every morning. It was the house of Prophet's daughter Hazrat Fatema and her husband Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (peace be upon them). He was eager to meet Prophet Muhammad's (saw) family, although he had decided after the passing away of Prophet Muhammad (saw) not to return to the city that had turned its back on the blessed Household of Prophet Muhammad (saw). He approached the closed door and said in a gentle tone: "Greetings to the Ahlul Bayt, the blessed household of Prophet of Allah (SWT)."

His voice was familiar to the People of the House. The door suddenly opened as Prophet Muhammad's (saw) two young grandsons, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (peace be upon them) rushed out. There was joy on their faces as they said in an enthusiastic tone: "It is Belaal! It is Belaal! He has come back."

Hazrat Belaal, the black Abyssinian, who had the honor of serving Prophet Muhammad (saw) as the official Muezzin or Caller to Prayer, embraced the boys and broke into tears at their affection for him. Their sight brought to him memories of the past as he could feel the fragrance of Prophet Muhammad (saw) from his grandsons. A moment passed and Hazrat Belaal enquired about the lady of the house, Prophet Muhammad's daughter who had been deprived of her inheritance. The two boys held the hands of Hazrat Belaal and ushered him into the courtyard of their small house. Everything appeared like in the past in the modest home of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as). Inside the house in a small room, Prophet Muhammad's (saw) grief stricken daughter, Hazrat Fatema (sa) lay bedridden. She heard the familiar voice of her father's Muezzin as he saluted her respectfully from the courtyard. From inside she answered: "Greetings to you O' the Muezzin of my father, Prophet of Allah (SWT)."

The voice was weak. Hazrat Belaal felt concerned and asked whether the noble lady was ill. There was no reply. After a few moments of silence, the voice from inside the room told Hazrat Belaal to go to Prophet Muhammad's Mosque and recites the Azan (Adhan, Athan) as he used to do in Prophet Muhammad's lifetime. Hazrat Fatemeh (sa) said: "O Belaal, before I depart from the mortal world, I want you to recite the Azan (Adhan, Athan) so that I can reminisce the good old days of Prophet Muhammad (blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny)."

Hazrat Belaal was struck with deep sorrow. He knew before he left Medina two months ago that Hazrat Fatema (sa) had been denied her inheritance by the new rulers who had also usurped the political rights of her husband Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as), Prophet Muhammad's divinely designated successor. But he was not aware that matters had reached such a state that she was about to leave the world. He obeyed and hastened toward Prophet Muhammad's Mosque. Hazrat Belaal climbed to the roof of Prophet Muhammad's Mosque and cast a look around the city of Medina, which now appeared to be different from what it was during the days of Prophet Muhammad (saw). His gentle voice pierced the atmosphere as he recited Allaho Akbar or "God is the Greatest." The people stopped work when they heard his familiar voice. Has Belaal returned, were the queries. He then recited: Ashhado An La Ilaha IllAllah, which means "I bear witness there is no deity except Allah (SWT)." People rushed enthusiastically toward Prophet Muhammad's Mosque. Hazrat Belaal continued the Azan (Adhan, Athan) and recited the next phrase: Ashhado Anna Muhammadan Rasoul Allah, which means "I bear witness that Muhammad is Prophet of Allah (SWT)."

Tears rolled from the eyes of the people. As Hazrat Belaal was about to recite the next phrase of the Azan (Adhan, Athan), he saw Prophet Muhammad's two young grandsons rushing towards him. Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (peace be upon them), said with one voice: "O Belaal, do not recite the Azan (Adhan, Athan) anymore. Our mother recalling the days of Prophet Muhammad (saw) has fallen unconscious on the prayer mate."

Hazrat Belaal came down and with tears in his eyes embraced the two young boys.

Before her passing away, Hazrat Fatema (sa) asked for water. She took ablution, put on neat clothes, faced the Qibla or the direction of the prayer and supplicated: "O Allah make death appear like a dear one coming from journey whose return I have been longing for. O Allah, shower Your mercy and blessings upon me, place my soul among the ranks of the souls of pure, my life among the life of the virtuous, my body among the bodies of the ritually clean, and accept my deeds."

Hazrat Fatemeh (sa) was a mine of knowledge and wisdom. Her famous sermon on the seizure of her inheritance and the usurpation of her husband's rights by the new rulers of Medina is testimony to her eloquence and knowledge. This sermon that is preserved in its original Arabic to this day and has been translated into the major languages of the world, presents the gist of the Islamic tenets of monotheism, divine justice, prophet hood, Imamate and the Final Judgment. It is also an excellent explanation of the timeless concepts of the Noble Qur'an and how peaceful and virtuous people should behave in life for the progress of mankind and for salvation in the Hereafter. She says that her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw) who was sent by the Almighty as the final Prophet, enlightened the human race and delivered mankind from the worship of idols and set them on the path towards paradise.

Hazrat Fatemeh (sa) had been promised that she would be the first one from among the family to join her father in afterlife. When she heard these words from her father on his deathbed, her tears gave way to a smile. Now, ninety-five days later she was all prepared to depart for the heavenly abode to join her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw). Hazrat Fatema (sa) was happy for the final journey but sad at the circumstances leading to her departure. She was in the prime of her youth and suffered untold calamities in this short period after her father had passed away. Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to show the utmost respect to her, but after him she found that her inheritance was seized by the new rulers on the pretext that whatever Prophets leave is charity and not inheritance. Hazrat Fatima (pbuh) defended her rights, not for some paltry materialistic things, but to show to all humanity that Islam guarantees the rights of women. In support of her rights she cited verses from the Noble Qur'an, where Almighty Allah (SWT) says Prophet Solomon inherited David. The people had no answers to her logic but worldly greed prevented them from restoring her rights. However, the greatest blow she suffered was the usurpation of the rights of her husband, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as), the divinely designated successor of Prophet Muhammad (saw). In a memorable sermon, rich in Arabic metaphors, Hazrat Fatima (pbuh) tried to show the new rulers the folly of their action in deviating from the principle of Wilayah or Islamic Leadership, but to no avail.

Hearts had hardened and the sequence of sufferings was so fast that she was not even allowed to weep for her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw) in her home, because it seemed, her wailing was disturbing the sweet dreams of the new rulers. Hazrat Fatemeh (sa) had to go outside Medina to remember her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw) at a small room built by her beloved husband, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as) to protect her from the torrid heat of the Arabian sun. It was called "Bayt al-Hozn / Bayt al-Huzn" or "House of Grief". The magnitudes of her sufferings were so much that she would recite at the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (saw): "O Father after you such great calamities have fallen upon me, that the sorrow is enough to turn bright days into dark nights."

This was the elegy of Hazrat Fatima (sa), in whose honor Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to stand to his feet whenever the beloved daughter entered his presence. He would salute at her doorstep in the mornings, but alas, this very threshold had been desecrated by a mob of miscreants who came with fire and iron bars, threatening to burn the house if her husband does not come out and swear allegiance to the new rulers. Hazrat Fatema (sa) refused to surrender Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as) and told them her four little children were also in the house. The thugs refused to hear the words of the daughter of their Prophet Muhammad (saw) and beat down the door, which tragically fell upon her and pinned her to the wall. As a result she suffered a miscarriage. But despite this pain, she defended her husband, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as) when the rogues tried to drag him out of the house.

Hazrat Fatema (sa) now lay on her deathbed, prepared to leave behind the world and its tribulations. She had spent 95 awful days after her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw) and was now looking forward to join him in heaven. Those who had oppressed her sought permission to see her in the last moments of her life. But she refused, since she was aware of their hypocritical nature. She told her dear husband, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as) to tell them that she was displeased with this group. She reminded them of her father, Prophet Muhammad's (saw) famous Hadith, which says:

"Fatema is a part of me, whoever displeases her has displeased me and whoever displeases me has displeased Allah (SWT)."

People acknowledged her words. Finally the moment came, when her soul flew to the ethereal heavens leaving behind a grief-stricken husband, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as) and four young children. What a sad moment was this day for her sons Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain and daughters Hazrat Zainab and Hazrat Omme Kolsoum (peace be upon them). As per her will, Hazrat Fatemeh (sa) was laid to eternal peace in an unmarked grave in the dead of night, with only her immediate family and few close confidantes attending the funeral. What a great tragedy it was!

Here we present to you part of the statement of her grief-stricken husband, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as) while laying her to eternal rest. The words are preserved in the valuable book Nahjul Balagha or Peak of Eloquence, read:

"O Prophet of Allah, peace be upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O Prophet of Allah, my patience has been exhausted, and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heart-rending event of your separation. I laid you down in your grave when your last breath had passed while your head was resting between my neck and chest. Surely, we are from Allah and unto Him shall we return.

Now the trust - i.e. your daughter - is being returned and what was given is being taken back. As to my grief, it knows no bounds, and as to my nights, they will remain sleepless till Allah chooses for me the house in which you are now residing

Bibi Fizza (RA) the maidservant of Bibi Fatima Zahra (SA)

Bibi Fizza (ra) had come from Abyssinia to Arabia as a slave. She was freed by Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and afterwards served Bibi Fatimah (sa) as her maidservant. Bibi Fizza (ra) was only 11 years of age when she came to serve Bibi Fatimah (sa). It is believed that she knew how to make Gold and she also knew Noble Qur'an by heart. Bibi Fatimah (sa) divided her house work equally between herself and Bibi Fizza (ra) and they would take turns to do the chores. She remained faithful to the household of Ahlul Bayt (as) and even accompanied them to Karbala and the prison of Sham. She also had the honour of taking part in the "Three Days Fast". Once, when Imam Hassan (as) and Imam Hussain (as) fell sick, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) suggested that Imam Ali (as) make a vow (Nazr) to fast for three days when the children recovered. When they were better, Imam Ali (as), Bibi Fatimah (sa), Imam Hassan (as), Imam Hussain (as) and Bibi Fizza (ra) all fasted to fulfill the vow.

However, on each of the three days, when they sat to break their fast, a hungry person called at their door. The first said he was poor, the second said he was an orphan and the third said he was a freed captive. Each time, the big-hearted members of the house, including Bibi Fizza (ra), gave away their food and broke their fast with water. In praise of this selfless action Allah (SWT) revealed the 76th Chapter Ad Dahr (Surah al-Insan) of the Noble Qur'an.

Abdullah Mubarak has related a very interesting dialogue between himself and Bibi Fizza (ra). He states, I saw a woman passing through the desert who had fallen behind the caravan and asked her, "Who are you and where are you from?"

Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [And say, "Salaam" for they shall soon know! Noble Qur'an, 43:89]

I learned that she expected me to greet her and say "Assalaamu Alaykum" first, before any question. I did as she reminded, and then enquired why she was in the desert.

Bibi Fizza (ra) answered: [And whomsoever Allah guides, there can be none to lead astray! Noble Qur'an, 39:37]

On hearing her reply, I asked her, "Are you from mankind or from the Jinn?"

Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [O Children of Adam! Look to your adornment at every place of worship. Noble Qur'an, 7:31]

I understood that she was human and then asked her, "Where are you coming from?"

Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [Those who are called to from a place far off. Noble Qur'an, 41:44]

I asked her, "Where are you intending to go?"

Bibi Fizza (ra) said: [And (purely) for Allah, is incumbent upon mankind, the Pilgrimage of the House. Noble Qur'an, 3:97]

I asked her how many days she had been traveling.

Bibi Fizza (ra) told me: [We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in Six Days. Noble Qur'an, 50:38]

I asked her, "Do you feel hungry?"

Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [We (Allah) did not make them such bodies that ate no food. Noble Qur'an, 21:8]

I gave her food and asked her to hurry up to catch the caravan but she replied:

[Allah does not task any soul beyond its ability. Noble Qur'an, 2:286]

I suggested that she sit on the camel behind me, but she said:

[Had there been gods therein besides Allah, there would have been disorder in both (the heavens and the earth). Noble Qur'an, 21:22]

I realized that, because we were not husband and wife, it was Haram (forbidden) for both of us to ride the camel. So I got off and mounted her on it. As she sat on the camel, she said:

[Glory to Him Who has subjected these to our (use). Noble Qur'an, 43:13]

When we reached the caravan, I asked her, "Do you know anyone among them?"

Bibi Fizza (ra) called out in reply: [O Dawood, Verily, We have appointed you a vicegerent in the earth. Noble Qur'an, 38:26]

[And Muhammad is not but a Messenger. Noble Qur'an, 3:144]

[O Yahya! Hold the book with firmness! Noble Qur'an, 19:12]

[O Musa! Verily I am Allah, the All-Mighty. Noble Qur'an, 27:9]

I began to call out these four names at which four youths came out of the caravan and ran towards Bibi Fizza (ra). I asked her who they were and she replied:

[Wealth and children are the adornment of the world. Noble Qur'an, 18:46]

I realized that they were her sons. The woman turned to the youth and said:

[O my Father, employ him, verily the best of those who you can employ is the strong man and the trusted one. Noble Qur'an, 28:26]

Bibi Fizza (ra) thus made them understand that I had helped her. Then she told them:

[And verily God increases manifold to whosoever He wills. Noble Qur'an, 2:261]

The sons understood their mother's hint and paid me well. I asked them who this noble lady was, and they replied, "She is our mother, Fizza, the maidservant of Bibi Fatimah (sa). She has conversed in nothing but Noble Qur'an for the last 20 years."

Woodcutter's Wife is the Woman to enter the Paradise first

Bibi Fatimah (sa) was Prophet Muhammad's (saw) most loving daughter. Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa) used to help out Prophet Muhammad (saw) in most of her daily affairs. She had this feeling that she should be the first woman to enter the paradise. However, she had a grain of doubt. Unless Prophet Muhammad (saw) himself assured her, she would not believe it. She was eagerly waiting for an opportunity to know the reality from her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw).

One day finally when they were chatting together and both were in high spirits; she could not resist her eagerness anymore and enquired from her father as to who would be the first lady to enter the heavens. Prophet Muhammad (saw) was perplexed and was in two minds whether to disclose the truth. Finally he revealed the fact that one woman; wife of a woodcutter and living close by would be the one to enter the paradise first. Bibi Fatimah (sa) was shocked and was almost in tears. But Prophet Muhammad (saw) consoled and sympathized with her and asked her to visit the woman at the earliest.

The very next day Bibi Fatimah (sa) visited her, not only to chat with her but also to assess her and to find out as to in what ways she (woodcutter's wife) was superior to herself. She knocked on the door. Hearing a female voice, the woodcutter's wife, without opening the door, enquired as to who she was? Bibi Fatimah (sa) replied that she was so and so and the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Immediately the woodcutter's wife replied, I am sorry I cannot admit you since I have not taken permission from my husband. I would suggest you to come tomorrow, by that time I would take permission from my husband.

The next day almost the same time, Bibi Fatimah (sa) intentionally carried her kid Imam Hassan (as) with her and knocked at the door. When asked as to who she was, Bibi Fatimah (sa) replied that she was so and so and she was accompanied with her kid Imam Hassan (as). Promptly came the reply that I am sorry my husband had permitted to let in only yourself and how can I admit two of you, so it is better you come tomorrow.

The next day Bibi Fatimah (sa) accompanied by two of her kids Imam Hassan (as) and Imam Hussain (as), visited the woodcutter's wife and knocked at the door and requested the women to open the door and that she is accompanied by two of her kids. The woodcutter's wife was jubilant and opened the door instantly saying that her husband has permitted her to open the door to anyone and any member from Prophet's family and it is a great honour for her. They sat together and chatted for some time and during that process Bibi Fatimah (sa) was able to glean the various humane and Islamic qualities in the woman. Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa) was very much satisfied with all that she noticed and returned home to report the matter to her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said to Bibi Fatimah (sa) that when you enter the heavens through the main gate riding on a horse, you will find that woodcutter's wife is holding the reins of the horse in front of you. That means the woodcutter's wife will be the first woman to enter the heaven.

A Kindness a day: Follower of Bibi Fatimah (sa) / Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa) example

It was a normal week day and her husband was at work. After finishing her duties at home, Umm Salamah was busy as usual helping her neighbors, today washing their clothes. Her friends were surprised at her selfless kindness but she always told her friends: "A kindness a day keeps the devil away. I try to do one act of kindness everyday in hopes that it will eradicate a sin I may have unconsciously committed in the Book of Life."

One Sunday Umm Salamah's husband said, "May I ride with you today when you go to do the grocery shopping?"

Umm Salamah was obviously surprised, but she didn't question his request and said, "Sure why not, then we can spend some time together as you are always busy."

So Umm Salamah and her husband left and spent the whole day together. When they got home and put away the groceries, Umm Salamah thanked her husband for being so kind as to come with her.

He answered, "Umm Salamah, the real reason that I went with you is because you always tell people to do just one act of kindness, like eating an Apple a day, keeps the Doctor away, so I asked to ride with you to see just how kindly you act with people every day."

Umm Salamah asked with astonishment: "Why?" He replied, "Because I wanted to see how do you practice kindness, and I wanted to see if you practiced what you preach. And trust me; I will never doubt anything you say again."

He continued and said to his wife, Umm Salamah:

(1) "When we got in the Van, you let the car across from us go first while watching that no car was coming from behind and you signaled him to go.

(2) "When we reached the stop, you signaled for people to cross the street saying that this way you protect them at least when you are at the stop sign because most drivers don't care about people, they just want to be on their way.

(3) "On the freeway you signaled the trailer trucks when you were letting them take the lane and slowed down to give them space to change lanes, saying that they had a delivery to make on time and that you had all the time in the world.

(4) "When we arrived in the store parking lot as you went to take a spot, someone else just swiped in front of you and we had to go all the way to the back. You never got angry. You said, "Well, maybe he has sore legs and needs to be closer," and you laughed.

(5) "As we arrived at the entrance door, you opened the door and let an elderly couple in saying, "Beauty before age."

"Well when I counted up 25 acts of kindness I stopped counting because your one act of kindness just rolls into many more. I couldn't believe it; you are so kind that I am sure that in the Book of Life it will outweigh whatever you do wrong. From now on I will also do one act of kindness a day, and I will never doubt anything you say you do ever again."

Umm Salamah laughed and said, "Kindness is like a box of chocolates, when I open the box, I can never eat just one. I finish the box! And this is true, that is why I don't buy a whole box; it doesn't last the day. But I am so used to being kind that I don't even notice I am doing it. I just loves my fellow human beings. It is just following Bibi Fatimah (sa) who said: "(Help) the neighbor first, before your own self."

Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah), Umm Salamah was indeed a true follower of Bibi Fatimah (sa) who was so kind that:

(1) Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa) gave her new marriage dress to a poor person and wore her old dress instead, in the wedding. The next day when Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (saw) asked why she was wearing an old dress, she replied that she gave the new dress to a poor person. Can we get such example of kindness anywhere?

Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (saw) asked: "Why didn't you give your old dress instead?"

Bibi Fatimah (sa) replied: Because the Noble Qur'an says: "You will not achieve piety until you give out what you love the most." (Noble Qur'an, 3:92)

(2) Bibi Fatimah (sa) and her whole family remained hungry for three days but offered the evening meals after three long days' fasting to the beggar, the orphan and the prisoner.

Noble Qur'an, praising this kind act, says: "And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive." (Noble Qur'an, 76:8)

(3) Bibi Fatimah (sa) was so kind to her servant Bibi Fizza (ra), that Bibi Fizza (ra) worked one day and the other day Bibi Fatimah (sa) would work so that Bibi Fizza (ra) could rest. Such example of kindness can only be found in the family of Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (saw), Ahlul Bayt of Naboowah.

Alas, such a kind and benevolent lady was so much terrorized after the death of her father, Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (saw), that she had to say addressing her father, standing before his grave: "Oh! Father dear! After you, fell on me such miseries that had they fallen on bright days, the bright days would have turned into darkest nights."

Wedding / Marriage of Hazrat Fatima al-Zahra (SA) and Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS)

Many of us have probably placed ourselves and even others in difficult conditions and unnecessary expenses only to pass through the regular routines of life. Interestingly enough if we think clearly, many of these hardships we put ourselves through are rootless, and derive only from an unnecessary norm and culture that have found its way into society affecting our lives either willingly or unwillingly.

During the era of Prophet Muhammad (saw) there lived a rich man by the name of Abdur Rahman ibn Awf, whom as the custom of the pre-Islamic era believed a large dowry [Dowry, also known as Sidaq refers to a wealth that a husband offers his wife as a gift to show his true intention.] to present a woman's value and her husband's superiority in society. Abdur Rahman ibn Awf visited Prophet Muhammad (saw) and said, "If you give Lady Fatimah's (sa) hand in marriage to me, I will put as her dowry a hundred camels covered with expensive Egyptian cloth followed by a thousand gold Dinars!"

Prophet Muhammad (saw) asked, "Do you think I am the servant of wealth and money that you try to impress me with these things?"

Other than Abdur Rahman ibn Awf, there were many other men like Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Uthman from the companions (Sahabah) of Prophet Muhammad (saw) who would ask Lady Fatimah's (sa) hand in marriage for reasons ranging from her well-known virtues to her relation to Prophet Muhammad (saw) and a noble family. However, all suitors were refused for as Prophet Muhammad (saw) had said, Lady Fatimah's (sa) marriage had been decreed by Allah (SWT). And with the descent of the angel of revelation, Hazrat Jibril (Gabriel) Prophet Muhammad (saw) had been commanded to marry Lady Fatimah to Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as). Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said in this regards, an angel came to me from Allah (SWT) and said, "The Lord sends his greetings unto you and has said, I have wedded your daughter Fatimah in the heavens to Ali ibn Abi Talib; you too therefore wed Fatimah to Ali ibn Abi Talib!"
It is mentioned in the narratives that Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "If Ali didn't exist, there would be no mate for Fatimah."

This Prophetic attitude, connected to providence, Divine inspiration and will, draws our attention and makes us stop to ponder a little. It raises very critical and significant questions. Why didn't Prophet Muhammad (saw) leave the matter of Lady Fatimah's (sa) marriage to herself? Why was the Messenger of Allah (saw) not allowed to give Lady Fatimah (sa) to any of those who sought her hand until Allah (SWT), the All Wise, had ordered him to do so?

Why was Lady Fatimah's (sa) marriage so distinguished by these characteristics? There must by a Divine secret and wisdom related to this marriage, and connected with this critical human relationship between Lady Fatimah (sa), the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (saw), and Ali bin Abi Talib (as), his cousin, "brother and self", as the Messenger of Allah used to refer to Imam Ali (as).

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) was raised by Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) from infancy. He lived with the Messenger of Allah (saw) and Lady Khadija tul Kubra (sa). He was brought up in the shade of Divine inspiration and graduated from the prophetic school. While still a boy, he was the first male believer in the mission and message of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). It was this unique relationship that Imam Ali (as) describes in these words:

"You know that due to my close relationship, and my special rank I enjoyed with the Messenger of Allah (saw), I have a distinguished position with him. He took me in his lap when I was a baby. He often kept me embraced to his heart. He used to make me sleep next to him. We used to be so close to each other that I felt the warmth of his body and smelled the fragrance of his odor. When I was a baby, He fed me from his mouth, chewing hard bits for me. He never found me lying or making a mistake."

Imam Ali (as) continued in the same speech,

"I followed Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) step by step as a baby camel follows its mother. He used to place a fresh code of behavior before me daily and used to order me to follow it. Every year he used to stay in the cave of Hira. Nobody used to be with him but me. No single house gathered, at the time of early Islam, but the Messenger of Allah's (saw), with Lady Khadija tul Kubra (sa) and me, the third of them. I used to see the light of revelation and smell the fragrance of prophethood."

The secret of this training was not vague. Nor was this care merely out of the blood relationship. It is a matter related to the life of the whole Ummah (Community/Nation). The relationship went as far as the branches of prophethood and Imamat went. Thus Allah (SWT), the Eternal, gave the best woman of this Ummah, in marriage to the best of its men. Glory be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!

Imam Ali (as) was the one Prophet Muhammad (saw) praised before Hadrat Fatimah (sa) saying: "I asked my Lord to marry you to the best of his creatures."
And he said to Imam Ali (as): "Aren't you satisfied that you are holding, in respect to me, the rank of Haroon (Aaron) to Musa (Moses) (as) except that there is no prophet after me?"

Similarly, he asked Lady Fatimah (sa): "Aren't you satisfied that you are the believing women?" So, both of them were the most loved by Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the closest of people to him.

Ayesha, the wife of Messenger of Allah (saw) is reported to have been asked: "Who is, from among all people, most loved by Prophet of Allah (saw)?"

"Hadrat Fatimah," she said.

"And from among the men?" they asked. "Her husband," she replied, "for I know him to be a fasting and praying one."

With the consummation of the marriage, the household of the relatives of Prophet of Allah (saw) was established. Prophet Muhammad (saw) cared for this household and often spoke about it, stressing that Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, Lady Fatimah and their descendants were his family and that from Imam Ali bin Abi Talib and Lady Fatimah his offspring and children would descend.

It was Allah's (SWT) Will that the offspring of the Messenger of Allah (saw) descend from Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) and Lady Fatimah (sa), and that Imam Hassan (as) and Imam Hussain (as), and the pure progeny be Imams and guides for this Ummah. That is why the marriage of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) and Lady Fatimah (sa) was achieved upon a Divine order.

Although it is true this marriage is a divine marriage, however Lady Fatimah's (sa) character and in general women rights in Islam for choosing their own husbands provided that Prophet Muhammad (saw) not proceed to this act without having his daughter's word in this matter. When Prophet Muhammad (saw) discussed Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib's (as) proposal to her, he clearly explained his characteristics. Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), a man whose worldly goods and wealth were to the least, and who did not meet the criteria for marriage that the pre-Islamic era required of him, had however a character that was full of faith and religious virtues. This time, unlike the previous cases Lady Fatimah (sa) agreed. Once Prophet Muhammad (saw) saw Lady Fatimah's (as) agreement in marriage, he asked Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) if he has anything to place as his wife's dowry.

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) replied, "May my parents be sacrificed for you, you are well aware that my belongings are nothing more than a sword, a shield, and a Camel."

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), who believed a small dowry to increase a woman's value as opposed to a large one, replied, "You are correct. You will need your sword for battles with the enemies. And with your Camel you must water the palm trees and travel with it on your trips. Thus you can only give your shield as her dowry."

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) ordered to sell Imam Ali's (as) shield. He divided its money into three sections. He gave a part of it to Hazrat Bilal (ra) to purchase a decent perfume, and he spent the other two to purchase some household items and clothes for Lady Fatimah (sa). Obviously with the money from the shield the material that could be bought were very cheap and simple!

History has recorded the material that were purchased with the money consisted of these items: a large scarf for four Dirham, material for a dress for seven Dirham, a bed made of wood and leaves from a date palm, four pillows made from sheep skin and filled with leaves from an aromatic plant, a woolen curtain, a small mat, one hand mill, a leathern sac for water, one copper flat wash, a container for milking the Camel, and a pitcher made from clay.

Lady Fatimah's (sa) simple dowry and its usage for purchasing necessities of the home can be the biggest lesson for decreasing our expenses and remaining satisfied with what we are capable of purchasing.

A marriage so divine, yet so simple? What are its criteria? Where then can virtues be found? And amidst all these, how should we act? Let us be the judge?

Hence during the second year after the migration, marriage of Imam Ali (as) with Lady Fatimah (sa) took place. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) did not send Lady Fatimah (sa) the same day to Imam Ali's (as) house. Imam Ali (as), on his part, started preparing his house for Lady Fatimah (sa) and furnishing it in a simple and neat way. He covered the floor with soft sand and placed a wooden bar between two walls for hanging their laundry on. He decorated Lady Fatimah's room with a sheep skin and a pillow, stuffed with palm leaves. He got his house ready and was awaiting Lady Fatimah's arrival.

Twenty-nine days (in another narration more than five months) passed, but Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) had not moved to her new house yet. Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) was too shy to discuss the matter with the Messenger of Allah (saw). So he asked his brother Aqil to go with him to the house of the Prophet of Allah (saw). On their way, they met Umm Ayman, the maidservant of the Prophet of Allah (saw). They explained to her Imam Ali's (as) desire. Umm Ayman conveyed Imam Ali's (as) request to Umm Salamah, the wife of the Messenger of Allah (saw). She also told the rest of Prophet Muhammad's (saw) wives about the matter. They got together and decided to go, all of them, to the Messenger of Allah (saw).

Informed of Imam Ali's (as) request, Prophet Muhammad (saw) consented. On an occasion like this, a mother has place which cannot be filled by another. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was very eager to make compensation to Lady Fatimah Zahra (sa) for the absence of her mother. He (saw) himself took part in the preparations for the nuptials.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) ordered his wives to prepare Lady Fatimah (sa) for her husband as any girl should be. They did it with happiness and joy. The Messenger of Allah (saw) called for a festival. Imam Ali (as) prepared a befitting feast. Both Muhajirs (immigrants) and Ansars (helpers), shared in the blessed occasion with their Prophet Muhammad (saw).

And thus the married life of Hazrat Fatima al-Zahra (sa) and Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) began. The establishment of the new house was completed, and its firm pillars were fixed by the Messenger of Allah (saw). By them he had secured the basis of the new legislation, life and philosophy of marriage and family. It was an example set for the coming generations to follow.

The Messenger of Allah (saw), throughout his lifetime personified the principles of his message, and the values of his Shariah (Islamic Law), which specify the position of woman and her worth and rights in life through the person of Hazrat Fatima al-Zahra (sa). The father loved his little girl and filled her with tenderness and affection. He (saw) took the responsibility of the marriage, the purchase of her needs, her nuptials and the festival. What kind of extraordinary care Prophet of Islam (saw) displayed towards women? How high is the position of the family, woman and marriage in his noble, eternal Shariah (Islamic Law)?

These are the lessons, pioneering social ideals, and the Islamic system for the behavior of the Muslim family which would produce the high principled generations.

They are the practical applications of the social and family ties, and the sound relationships and conduct ordered by Allah (SWT), and personified by His noble Messenger (saw).

Hazrat Fatima al-Zahra (sa) and Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), had 4 children: Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain, Hazrat Zainab and Hazrat Umm Kulthum (pbut). Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (pbut), who are trained by such mother, are of the 12 Imams and the other 9 Imams [except Imam Ali and Imam Hassan (pbut)] are of Imam Hussain's (pbuh) progeny and are related to Prophet Muhammad (saw) by Lady Fatimah (sa). This is the reason we call her Umm al-A'immah (Mother of Imams).

Hadrat Fatimah (sa) was pregnant one other time, after the death of her dear father, Prophet Muhammad (saw). This child, however, never was given the chance to live. Mohsin, the stillborn son of Hazrat Fatima al-Zahra (sa) was aborted when the door of her house was pushed down upon her by those opposing her husband regarding successor ship after the death of the Messenger of Allah (saw).

So all of Lady Fatimah's living children were four. She herself didn't live long. She passed away while still in the prime of her life. She joined her father, the Messenger of Allah (saw) in the other world. She left behind her little children, the oldest was hardly seven years old.

Fatima Zehra (SA) and the Future of History / Shahadat Fatimah Zehra (SA)

To some it may be unclear as to whether Fatima Zehra (sa) was oppressed and hurt after the demise of her Father, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). The answer to this question can be clearly and completely found in the Sunni and Shia authentic history books that have recorded the events after the demise of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). These books clearly state that Fatima Zehra (sa) had continuously complained about the tyranny of the ruler and his government in her short life time after Prophet Muhammad's (saw) demise.

For example, when Fatimah Zehra (sa) heard the forged narration from the first Caliph, she became very angry. She knew that this forged narration, which even contradicted the verses of the Noble Qur'an was only said to prevent her from receiving her right. Sunni scholars such as Bukhari, Ahmad Hanbal, Ibn Sa'd, Ibn Kathir and others have recorded that Fatima Zehra (sa) remained angry at the first Caliph until the end of her life.

As Prophet Muhammad's (saw) body was being buried, so were his words about Imam Ali's (as) role and leadership in governing the Islamic Society. With eloquent speeches Prophet Muhammad (saw) introduced Imam Ali (as) as the "Imam of the pious (Mu'minin)," not as the "Imam of Muslims." Prophet Muhammad (saw) implied that those who accepted Islam under political pressures will not come to accept the leadership of Imam Ali (as). But for those who accepted the leadership and Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (saw), it is expected that they accept the leadership of Imam Ali (as).

Fatima Zehra (sa) would see that both Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his words have passed away. She saw that his message was being stepped on by a stampede of new thoughts and ideas. She felt that she needed to do something against this flood; otherwise everything would be forgotten, forever!

It was here that with firm faith she entered Masjid an-Nabi or Prophet Muhammad's Mosque in Medina and said to those who had submitted to the new power and had rejected Prophet Muhammad's (saw) orders, "We will stand firm and patient against you like a person whose body has been torn to pieces by spears and knives..."

If we take a brief look at her sermon (Fadakiyah Sermon/Khutbah Al-Fadakiyah, both Sunni and Shia scholars have narrated it) given in Masjid an-Nabi or Prophet Muhammad's Mosque in Medina and in the public presence of Muhajirin (Immigrants) and Ansaar (Helpers), we can observe that she questions the ruler and reproaches him with sharp speeches. At this point a question may occur to the mind: can the speech of Fatima Zehra (sa) be an implication and reaction of her being hurt and angry at the oppression of the first Caliph and his helpers? This implication can also be inferred by the famous saying of Prophet Muhammad (saw) who has said: "The satisfaction and anger of Fatima causes the satisfaction and anger of Allah (SWT)." According to this narration, surely Allah (SWT) is angry with that person whom Fatima Zehra (sa) is angry at. Obviously one who has angered Allah (SWT) does not have the right to rule the Islamic Community.

That sermon had their impact as they thundered down upon the first Caliph and his followers. With her speech Fatima Zehra (sa) changed the view of the people towards the tyranny. However, after she delivered the sermon in Masjid an-Nabi or Prophet Muhammad's Mosque in Medina, a series of sorrowful events took place, which all caused Fatima Zehra (sa) to remain in bed?

In the last days of her life when Umm Salamah (sa) asked her about her overall situation, she explicitly announced, "I am grieving the loss of the Messenger of Allah, and I am saddened by the usurping of his successor's right." In another occasion she declared the same expressions in further detail to the women of Medina who had came to visit her in her sickbed. She told them, "By Allah I began my day while I am disgustful of your actions in this world and angry of your husbands . Woe onto you. Why did they reject this divine position (the succession of the Messenger of Allah), as defined by Prophet Muhammad (saw)? (And why did they) usurp the right of the one who was more beneficial and aware of their worldly and hereafter affairs? What was their rancor towards Ali? By Allah (SWT) if they had helped him take the reins of government, he would control it well. If they had done so, indeed the doors of blessings of the heavens and the earth would have opened upon them."

Fatima Zehra (sa) would use every opportunity to warn and inform people, but they would ignore her calls, but what about the future? Who would inform them? How would she speak to them? What can be done for them? And how could the message be delivered to the future generations when "after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (saw), his message was stepped on by seekers of power, who wanted Islam only for their own worldly benefits, and who took advantage of people's ignorance." And how can our objections reach history? How did Fatima Zehra (sa) convey her objections to the later generations? Because, in her time, she did not even have the freedom to cry for the loss of her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his message.

Martyrdom of Fatima Zehra (SA) and the Last day of her life

The account of the last day of her life clearly shows what kind of a lady was this daughter of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). It was 3rd day of the Islamic Lunar Calendar month, Jamadi al-Thani, year eleven after Hijrah. Fatimah Zehra (sa) told the household that she was feeling better, the pain in her ribs and in her hand was not so severe and that her fever had come down. Then she started bathing the children, immediately Imam Ali (as) and Bibi Fizza (ra) came to her assistance. She got those children bathed, dressed and fed, then sent them away to her cousin.

Imam Ali (as) was surprised to find that his dear wife, Fatima Zehra (sa) had left her bed and had started doing the housework; he asked her about it and she replied: "This is the last day of my life. I wanted to wash my children's hair and clothes, because they will soon be orphans, without a mother!"

Imam Ali (as) then asked her about the source of knowledge of this news (the day of her departure). Fatima Zehra (sa) told him that she had seen the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (saw) in her dream and he had told her that she was going to join him that night. She then asked Imam Ali (as) to execute her will.

Imam Ali (as) said: "Instruct me to do anything you wish, daughter of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw)." Imam Ali (as) then asked everyone to leave the house and he sat next to her.

Fatima Zehra (sa) started: "Cousin, my dear husband, you know very well why I did all that. Please excuse my fussiness; they have suffered so much with me and during my illness that I want to see them happy on the last day of my life. I am happy and also I am sad. Happy I am that my troubles will shortly be over and I shall meet my father and sorry I have to part with you."

Fatima Zehra (sa) continued: "Cousin, my dear husband, you are not accustomed to me being a False teller, not devoted, or have I disobeyed you since I have become your companion?"

Imam Ali (as) said: "Allah (SWT) forbids! You are more knowing of Allah (SWT), more devoted, more pious, more honorable and more fearing of Allah (SWT) than (to give me a reason) to reprimand you for disobeying me. Surely it is very painful for me to be separated from you and to lose you; but it is an inevitable destination. By Allah (SWT), you have renewed the sorrow I have just encountered with the death of Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (saw); surely your death and departure will be a great calamity, but to Allah we belong, and to Him is our return. (Noble Qur'an, 2:156)

What a painful, bitter and sad calamity. Surely this is a calamity for which there is no console and a disaster for which there is no compensation."
Then they both cried and Imam Ali (as) embraced her head and said: "Instruct me to do anything you wish; you certainly will find me devoted and I will execute everything that you command me to do. I shall also put your matters over mine."

Fatima Zehra (sa) said: "May Allah (SWT) reward you with the best of goodness. Cousin, firstly I ask you to marry anybody you like after my death, but you must marry my niece Umamah; surely she will be to my children as I was. Besides, men cannot do without women. She loves my children and Hussain is very much attached to her. Let Fizza remain with you even after her marriage, if she so desires, she was more than a mere servant to me. I loved her like my daughter."

Fatima Zehra (sa) then added: "I ask you not to let anyone who did injustice to me to witness my funeral, for they certainly are enemies of mine, and the enemy of Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (saw). Also don't give them the chance to pray over me, nor to any of their followers. I want you to wash me at night, put the shroud on me, perform the prayer upon my body, and bury me at night when eyes are rested and sight is put to sleep. And after my burial, sit beside my grave and recite Noble Qur'an for me."

Let my death do not dishearten you, you have to serve Islam and humanity for a long time to come. Let not my sufferings embitter your life, promise me cousin, my dear husband." Imam Ali (as) said, "yes Fatima, I promise" "Cousin, my dear husband", she continued, "I know how you love my children but be careful of Hussain. He loves me dearly and will miss me sadly, be a mother unto him. Till my recent illness he used to sleep on my chest, he is already missing it." Imam Ali (as) was caressing the broken hand, his hot and big tears dropped on her hand. She looked up and said, "Do not weep cousin, my dear husband; I know with a rough outward appearance what a tender heart you possess. You already have borne too much and will have to bear more.

Fatimah Zehra (sa) was ready to meet her Lord. She bathed, than lay down in her garment. She then instructed Asma bint Umays to wait awhile and then to call her name; if there was no answer, this would mean that Fatimah Zehra (sa) had departed towards her Lord.

Asma bint Umays waited awhile, then called Fatima's name, but there was no answer; Asma bint Umays repeated the call: "O daughter of the chosen Muhammad! O daughter of the most honorable of them whom women bore! O daughter of the best of those who have walked on gravel! O daughter of him who 'was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer.'" (Noble Qur'an, 53:9)

There is no answer, silence overwhelms the house, Asma bint Umays then proceeds towards Fatima Zehra (sa) and finds her dead, the soul had departed to join her Father, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) in the realm of Grace, Mercy and Might.

At that point, Imam Hassan (as) and Imam Hussain (as) entered and asked Asma bint Umays: "Where is our mother?" "Our Mother did not used to sleep at this time of the day!"

Asma bint Umays replied: "O sons of the Messenger of Allah! Your mother is not sleeping, she has passed away!"

While Imam Hassan (as) heard such words, he fell on the body of his mother and kissed her face and addressed her: "Dear mother! Please talk to me before I pass away."

Imam Hussain (as) came near and kissed her mother's feet and said: "Dear mother! I am your son Hussain, talk to me before I pass away."

Then, Imam Hussain (as) turned towards Imam Hassan (as) and said: "May Allah console you for our Mother!"

There are two different narrations about where Imam Ali (as) was at the time of Fatima Zehra's (sa) death? One of them says he was with Fatima Zehra (sa) at the time of her death. And another says as follows:

Imam Ali (as) was at the Mosque. Imam Hassan (as) and Imam Hussain (as) went to the Mosque and broke the news to their father. As soon as Imam Ali (as) heard their words, he fell unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he said: "Who will console me now, daughter of Muhammad? You used to console me, so who will take your place now?" Fatimah Zehra (sa) died very young as Imam Ali (as) says, "A flower nibbed in the bud, it was from Jannat (Heaven) and it went to Jannat, but has left it's fragrance in my mind."

The Hashemite women were then gathered to receive the news of the great calamity. Yes, the calamity befell them once more, while the blood was still flowing from the wound of losing Prophet Muhammad (saw).

When people of Medina realized Fatimah Zehra's (sa) martyrdom, they gathered in front of her house and waited for the burying ceremony. But it was announced that the ceremony was delayed. At night, when all people were asleep, Imam Ali (as) started to wash Fatima's (sa) body and shroud her, in absence of the people, who had oppressed her greatly, according to her will. When ablutions was finished, he told Imam Hassan (as) and Imam Hussain (as) - who were only two little children at that time - to call some of Prophet Muhammad's (saw) true companions (Sahabah) whom Fatima Zehra (sa) was satisfied with, to participate in the burying ceremony. They were not more than 7 as it has been narrated. After they arrived; he said prayers and then buried her while his children were sad and were secretly crying for losing their mother.

There is one narration with 2 interpretations that the demise of Fatima Zehra (sa) occurred either 75 days or 95 days after demise of Prophet Muhammad (saw). As we know 28th Safar is the day of demise of Prophet Muhammad (saw). So, if it was 75 days assuming that Safar, Rabi al-Awwal, Rabi al-Thani, Jamadi Al-Awwal could be 30 days so 75 days would 13th, 14th or 15th of Jamadi Al-Awwal.

And as for 95 days count then Shahadat falls on the 3rd Jamadi al-Thani. Because we do not know the exact date we call this period between 13th, 14th, 15th Jamadi Al-Awwal to 3rd Jamadi al-Thani as Ayyame Fatimiyya.

Quiet Funeral of Fatima Zahra (SA), the daughter of Messenger of Allah (saw)

A small procession of devoted ones, sobbing with grief, with their faces covered, is quietly moving towards an unknown location to bury someone special, someone they loved. It was a dark night of the third of Jamadi al-Thani, 11th Hijrah in the city of Madina, the city of Prophet Muhammad (saw) just few days after passing away of Prophet Muhammad (saw).

They were Kids with their father and his close friends walking quietly with patience and happy with their Lord over what they went through during last few days. But they were sobbing suppressing their voices, tears were flowing but without a sound, concealing their grief, so that no one can hear them in the dark quiet night they wanted no one in Madina to know about what they were going through.

Yes, their father is none but Imam Ali (as); Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain, Hazrat Zainab and Hazrat Umm Kulthum (pbut) are quietly walking behind their father and Abu Dharr, Ammar Yasir, Miqdad ibn Aswad and Salman Farsi.

When eyes were asleep and voices were silent, a Heavenly procession left Imam Ali's (as) house while carrying the Messenger of Allah's daughter Fatima Zahra (sa) to her final abode. Yes, Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain, Hazrat Zainab and Hazrat Umm Kulthum (pbut) were walking in the quiet funeral procession of their beloved mother.

But, where are the thousands who inhabited Madina? What has happened why nobody why funeral and burial in dark night. Yes Fatima Zahra (sa) had requested Imam Ali (as) that they are not allowed at her funeral, she wished to be buried in the dark night quietly and her grave be hidden from everyone.

There was dead silence. So long, with no word, dead silence just tears just sob just grief. But wait a sobbing sigh was heard somebody was weeping. Yes it was Imam Ali (as), the hero of Badr, Ohud, Khayber, Khandaq and several other battles. Don't you realize that he is weeping? Why would he not weep for being separated from the leader of all women? The lady of light passing away so oppressed and after so many painful events!

Weeping tears flowing from his eyes his heart full of grief he was saying, O' Messenger of Allah, peace be upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O' Messenger of Allah, my patience about your chosen (daughter) has been exhausted and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heartrending event of your separation.

To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return. (Noble Qur'an, 2:156)

Now the trust has been returned and what had been given has been taken back. As to my grief, it knows no bounds and as to my nights, they will remain sleepless till Allah (SWT) chooses for me the house in which you are now residing. Certainly your daughter would apprise you of the joining together of your Ummah (community or nation) for oppressing her. You ask her in detail and get all the news about the position. This has happened when a long time had not elapsed and your remembrance had not disappeared.

My Salaam be on you both, the Salaam of a grief stricken and not the one who is fed up; for if I go away it is not because I am weary (of you), and if I stay it is not due to lack of belief in what Allah (SWT) has promised the patient in sorrow.

After burying Fatima Zahra (sa) the family and their friends then rushed back to their own homes so that no one would know where She was buried.
Back in home again the kids were sad lonely their mother was not with them. Imam Ali (as) was taking care of them He was consoling them. But it was not an easy task, he would calm the kids and then himself move away to a corner of house so that they don't see him and then cry out himself. Yes the hero of Badr, Ohud, Khayber, Khandaq and several other battles was sadly exhausted of grief.

They were going through the events that happened after their beloved Prophet Muhammad's (saw) passing away, the Ghadir was forgotten, Fadak was usurped, their house was attacked, the burning door fell upon Fatima Zahra (sa), breaking her ribs and leaving her unborn child dead she was then sick bed ridden, isolated and at last she passed away.

It was the Kids first night without their beloved teacher, mother, friend their mother, after sobbing and sighing for sometime, the kids slept, missing her. Fatima Zahra (sa) was quietly watching her Kids from heavens.

This was a narration of the sad and quiet funeral of Fatima Zahra (sa), the leader of all women of the worlds, the lady who was heavenly, who held pivotal position in the household of Prophet Muhammad (saw). She her husband and sons would fast and give away their food at the time of Iftar for three days and Allah (SWT) would thank them in the Noble Qur'an. Even in her night prayers, she would give preference to neighbors and friends over her own family members.

Though Fatima Zahra (sa) lived a short life fruits of her life are never ending. She was a great teacher who taught her Kids lessons of self-sacrifice, bravery, defense of Islam and upholding high human values. Fatima Zahra (sa) is an ideal personality for women to follow.

But alas! Until today ah nobody exactly knows where is the grave of Fatima Zahra (sa) for whom Prophet Muhammad (saw) would stand with respect and says: "Fatima is part of me. Whatever causes her hurt, hurts me." Prophet Muhammad (saw) also said: "Whoever hurts Fatima, hurts me, and whoever hurts me, hurts Allah, exalted be His Majesty!" Prophet Muhammad (saw) said further: "Allah becomes wrathful for Fatima's anger, and is pleased at her pleasure." History records that this great lady is buried in Jannat al-Baqi graveyard of Madina but her exact grave remains unknown.

Failing Attempts to open the grave of Fatima Zahra (sa) in Jannat al-Baqi

At sunrise people gathered to participate in Fatima Zahra's (sa) funeral, but they were informed that the darling of Messenger of Allah (saw) had been secretly buried during the night.

Meanwhile, Imam Ali (as) made the shapes of four fresh graves in Jannat al-Baqi, so as to conceal the location where Fatima Zahra (sa) was buried. When the people entered the graveyard, they were confused as to which spot was actually Lady Fatima Zahra's grave; the people turned towards each other and with feelings of guilt said: "Our Prophet Muhammad (saw) has not left behind but one daughter, yet she has died and was buried without our participation in the funeral or the prayer rituals. We do not even realize the place where she has been buried."

Noticing that a revolt might be ignited because of the emotional atmosphere this event created, the governing party announced: "Select a group of Muslim women and ask them to dig these graves so that we may find Fatima Zahra (sa) and perform prayers on her."

Yes! They attempted to execute the plan, violating Fatima's (sa) will and causing Imam Ali's (as) attempts to hide the grave to lay vainly.

Have they forgotten Imam Ali's (as) sharp sword, Zulfiqar and his well-known courage! Did they really think that Imam Ali (as) would remain indifferent to their outrageous actions up to the point of letting them dig Fatima's (sa) grave?

Imam Ali (as) did not fight back after the Prophet Muhammad's (saw) death because he considered the Muslim unity and over all interests. Yet, this did not mean that he would ignore their villainous crimes against Fatima Zahra (sa) even after her death. In other words, Imam Ali (as) was asked by Prophet Muhammad (saw) to have patience, but only to a certain extent; when Imam Ali (as) received the news of the about-to-be-executed plot, he put on his fighting gear and rushed towards Jannat al-Baqi. A man from among the people called out, "This is Ali ibn Abu Talib leveling his sword and saying: If anyone moves even a mere stone from these graves, I shall strike even the back of the last follower of the unjust."

People who realized Imam Ali's (as) seriousness, took his threats with complete belief that he would do just as he said if anyone were to oppose him. Yet, a man from the governing ones addressed Imam Ali (as) by saying: "What is the matter, Abu Al-Hassan? By Allah, we shall dig her grave out and perform prayers on her."

Imam Ali (as) then grabbed the man by his clothes, shook him and threw him to the ground and said: "Son of the Sawada! I have abandoned my right to prevent people from forsaking their faith, but as regards Fatima's (sa) grave, by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you and your followers attempt to do anything to it, I will irrigate the ground with your blood!"

At this, Abu Bakr said; "Abu Al-Hassan, I ask you by the right of Messenger of Allah, and by Him Who is above the Throne: leave him alone and we will not do anything which you would not approve of."

Thus, until this day, the location of Fatima Zahra's (sa) grave remains a secret.

Fatima Zahra (sa) had asked to be buried at night. Her request for hiding her shrine was in fact a message she wanted to send to history: a message for the entire Muslim Ummah that would lead to hearing her sad life story, and what her constant objections were. And this in fact could be a turning point in the history of Islamic civilization.

It was because of this that Fatima Zahra (sa) found life from death, victory from defeat, and an epic and everlasting peace from misery. She created a revolution in the hearts of all generations. Her heart still beats to the fate of the Muslim Ummah. And her eyes await the flag of freedom that will appear with his son the Promised Mahdi (as).

Today, like all other periods people face misery and oppression. We must look unto the secret of the hidden grave, and think about Fatima Zahra's (sa) tears and burning sighs, and retell her message as best we can to the rest of the world.

Third Infallible: Fatima Zehra (sa) Sayings:

Allah made the obedience of Muslims to us (Ahlul Bayt) as discipline for the Ummah, and our leadership as safety from differences.

Praise and Eulogy is for Allah for the blessing and bounties which He has bestowed. And thanks to HIM upon what He revaluated (to His servants) And Praise is for HIM upon the common boons and blessings which He bestowed upon His servants without their request And upon the comprehensive and complete blessings which He granted to all and sundry and gave it to us, consecutively. Those graces and favors which are uncountable. And are irredeemable and uncompensatable due to their plentiful ness of number. And the imagination of their end is out of the reach of human mind. He invited the servant to thankfulness for the sake of the consecutive and continuous enhancement of blessings. And opened the door of eulogy and Praise (of Allah) upon them so that He may make his favors and beneficences great and plentiful for them.

I testify that there is no Deity (Lord) except the sole and matchless Allah. And the testification of the singleness of Allah is a word that Allah has declared sincerity (as) its reality, and made the hearts the centre of its contact and union. And has made the specifications and research of the oneness of Allah's station obvious and evident in the light of meditation. The Allah Who can not be seen by the eyes and tongues are unable and baffled to describe His virtues and attributes. And the intelligence and apprehension of man is helpless and destitute from the imagination of his how ness.

Allah made all the beings without previous matter and sample and shape and pattern. And made them wear the dress of life by His main and might's and created them according to His Devine will and Intention short of it that He might have needed their creation or have wished any benefit for Himself from their shaping and sketching except this that he wanted to give a proof of His wisdom and make the people (creations) aware about His obedience and submission and invited them to his servitude and worship and make His Invitation grand and ostentatious.

Allah fixed the reward for His obedience and torment for His insubordination and disobedience so that He may restrain His servants from His wrath and fury and lead them to His paradise.

And I testify that my father Mohammad ibn Abdullah (saw) is the apostle and the servant of Allah. And Allah selected and chose him before appointing him at the post of Prophet Hood. And He named him before choosing and selecting him. And chose him before envying and delegating him. Then all the creations were hidden and covered in the covers of unseen and were hidden amid the screen and curtain of fear and fright and stayed near the last and final border of non entity (nothingness) for Allah was aware of and knew the end of matters and because of His encompassing the incidents of times and ages and His knowledge of the predestinates. Allah appointed him (as apostle) so that he may complete and finalize His matter and Implement His order and materialize His decreed and predestinates.

Allah saw nations and groups had various different sects in their religion and scattered and staying on the verge of the fires of differences, busy with their idol worshipping. They denied God with all the signs and symbols of HIM. (IRFAN) So Allah illuminated the dark nesses through my father Mohammad ibn Abdullah (saw) and removed the dark nesses from their hearts, removed (cured) the blindness of the eyes.

My father [Mohammad ibn Abdullah (saw)] stood up with (his) guidance among the people. And saved them from perversion and aberration, and turned their blindness into enlightenment and guided them towards the firm religion. And called (invited) them to the straightway.

You the servants of Allah are the ones to maintain His injunctions and prohibitions, and the carriers of His religion, and His revelation, and the trustees of Allah upon your souls, and the propagators of His religion among the other nations.

Oh the servants of Allah! (Beware) the real leader from Allah, is present among you and the commitment has previously been made to you and the remaining and left over of the prophet hood has been appointed for your guidance. That is the speaking book of Allah the truthful Quran, and a beaming and gleaming light, in which all the secrets and facts about the completion of man and his prosperity have been exhibited and illuminated. It guides from darkness towards light of guidance. It s followers are the subject of envoy of others.

The book of Allah is the guide to its followers towards the pleasure of Allah. Listening (carefully) to it leads to the salvation. The enlightened and conspicuous evidences and proofs of Allah can be obtained through it. And (also the knowledge) of His interpreted intentions and fear invoking constraining prohibitions. His sufficing testimonies and conspicuous arguments, and desired virtues and allowed endowments and gifts and obligatory divine laws. (Can be obtained from it)
Allah made the faith for you as purity from polytheism (and infidelity).

And (made) service the cause of your getting distant (purification) from pride (egoism).

And rendered alms for the purity of your soul and flourishment and expansion of your sustenance.

And rendered fasting for the maintenance and firmness of your sincerity.

And Allah set Hajj for the consolidation and reinforcement of the religion.

Allah executed and rendered justice for the sake of putting together and harmonization of the hearts.

And (Allah set) the subordination and obedience of us (the household of the Prophet (saw)) for the security of society's system and our Imamate as a safety from segregation and disunity).

And (Allah made) Jehad (holy war), the honor and glory for Islam and abjectness and humbleness for the infidels and the hypocrites.

And (Allah rendered) patience as a help for getting reward.

And (Allah caused) commanding goodness and forbidding to do evil for the amendment and correction of society and the common folks (public).

And (Allah made) the kindness to parents as a protectional (shield) to His wrath and displeasure.

And Allah made joining and connecting with the kinship and cognation, the cause of lengthening of life.

And Allah made law of retaliation (revenge for homicide) as the security of blood (from being shed).

And Allah executed the vow performing as a medium for forgiveness.

And (Allah rendered) the correct use of weights measure (units) a medium for stopping from selling less (than actual).

And (Allah rendered) prohibition from drinking wine the cause of taking distance from contaminations (evils).

And Allah made the prohibition to accuse someone of adultery a protection (shield) for avoiding (His) curse.

And (Allah made) refraining from theft for the sake of positive ness and affirmation for modesty.

And Allah prohibited polytheism for the sake of (bringing about) sincerity in (His) adoration and worship.

Certainly, an apostle has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate, merciful. So if you assay and recognize him you will find he is my father not the father of your women and the brother of my cousin, [Ali (a.s.)] not that of your men. And how nice a relation I have to him. So he propagated his prophetic (mission). He always used to turn his face from the polytheists.

And fought against them till he beat them up. He would invite people towards Allah by wisdom, and beautiful admonition. He broke the idols and scattered the aggregation of polytheists in a way that they ran away (from the battle fields), so that finally the hidden secret of oneness of Allah became manifested by him. And he made the logic of religion reach the ears (of the people) and settled down the foam of the camels of Satan and turned the slogan yelling of those devils silent. And downed the agents of hypocrisy and mutual commitments of the infidels got dissolved till such time that, you (people) spoke to a group of enlightened and modest men with the words of oneness of Allah and sincerity.

You were on the edge of a fire ditch, and were a cup of drink and the morsel of a greedy one and a firebrand of every hasty one and were being trampled on (by other nations) and drank from the contaminated waters gathered over in ditches and your energy (food) was (secured by) the leaves of trees and desert grass. And for your abjectness and abasement you were always afraid that those around you might abduct you in the winking of an eye. So, Allah liberated you (of these misfortunes) through my father Mohammed (saw). In spite of it that he (saw) was involved and at war against the intrepid and the hungry wolves of Arab and the stubborn refractory of the people of the books (Jews and Christians). Whenever his opponents would light the fire of war, Allah extinguished it to your benefit.

Imam Hassan (as) said, on the Friday night I saw my mother [Fatima (s.a.) standing in her arch of prayer. She was continuously kneeling and performing prostration till the dawn broke. I would hear her pray for the faithful men and women, but she did not at all pray for herself. I said, 'Oh mother why did you not pray for yourself like you prayed for others?' so she replied, 'Oh my son, first the neighbor and there after your own house.'

The Prophet (saw) asked Fatima (sa), what is the thing which is a blessing for woman? She said that, 'she must not see a man (stranger and not intimate) and a man must not see her.'

One day a lady came to Fatima (sa) said 'I have a weak old mother who does not know a few problems about her service (prayers). She has sent me towards you to question you (about them). Thus Fatima answered her (questions). And the number of her queries reached to ten and Fatima (sa) replied to all her questions. Then she (the woman) got ashamed because of the high number of her questions. And said, 'Oh daughter of the Prophet (saw), I do not put you to more inconvenience than this.' Fatima (sa) said, 'Ask me what you do not know. Have you ever seen a person who is one day hired to carry a heavy thing to the roof top from ground for an amount (equal to) a thousand dinnars [nearly a hundred thousand Miskal (unit of weight) of gold] and he may feel himself tired.' She said 'No'. Fatima (sa) said, 'I have been hired by Allah to get a wages which if the space between the earth and sky is filled up with pearls still (That wages) would he more than it for each of the questions I may answer you. Therefore, I deserve it that I must not feel tired exhausted.'

Oh Allah! Belittle me in my eyes and glorify and magnify your station to me. And inspire me (about) Your obedience and the practice which may cause Your pleasure and the shunning and evading from things (matters) which are the cause of Your wrath, oh the most merciful of all!

Oh Allah! Content me with the sustenance you have granted me. And till such time that you keep me alive, hide me and make me sound and prosperous. And forgive me and take pity upon me when I die. (During death process). Oh Allah! Do not help me in something that you have not predestined for me. And facilitate the achievement of that thing which you have predestined for me.

Oh Allah! Bestow upon my parents and all those persons who have rights of their blessings and beneficences upon me, the best of your rewards. Oh my Allah, spare me the leisure and respite for the object for which you have created me. And do not let me be busy and involved (absolutely) in my commitments. And do not torment me when I ask forgiveness. And do not deprive me of what I yearn and question you for.

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Reviews & Comments
Thanks for sharing such Islamic history about Hazrat Fatima Al-Zahra (RA), she was an example for every lady and i think that every girl should live their according to Islam
By: Rahim, Karachi on Oct, 16 2017
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Fatima Al Zahra (SA) is my favorite personality no doubt. I am all happy and surprised to see this article which is so interesting and informative for people like us. I just cant tell how much happy I am to access the detailed article on this topic.
By: Parveen, Karachi on Oct, 03 2017
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Fatima Al Zahra (R.A.) is the most influential female figure that every Muslim woman should admire and follow her footsteps to achieve something big in life. Daughter of Prophet (P.B.U.H.) is truly an inspiration for many.
By: Raheela, Peshawar on Sep, 27 2017
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Hazrat Fatima Zahra (RA) is certainly the most important person to talk about when it comes to Islamic women. She is the role model for many and her life as a daughter of Prophet (PBUH) is exemplary for many.
By: Ghazala, Karachi on Sep, 26 2017
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I just cant tell how much happy I am to read about the daughter of Prophet, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (RA). She is someone that every Muslim woman idealize. This write up is pretty helpful in making us understand different aspects of her life. Jazak Allah
By: Samina, Karachi on Sep, 25 2017
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Hazrat Fatima Zahra (RA) is my favorite personality. Her life is an inspiration for millions of Muslim women worldwide. We need to read, understand and follow her lifestyle in order to gain mercy and blessings of Allah Almighty.
By: Taimoor, Peshawar on Sep, 24 2017
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Hazrat Fatima (RA) is one of the most influential person of Islamic history. She is the inspiration for millions of Muslim women across the globe till the doomsday. This article is certainly helpful in learning about her life.
By: Ghazala, Karachi on Sep, 23 2017
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This is certainly the most comprehensive and detailed article on Hazrat Fatima Al-Zahra (RA). Jazakallah for sharing it here online on this platform. I have shared this informative article with my friends as well.
By: Rida, Karachi on Sep, 21 2017
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مزہبی کالم نگاری میں لکھنے اور تبصرہ کرنے والے احباب سے گزارش ہے کہ دوسرے مسالک کا احترام کرتے ہوئے تنقیدی الفاظ اور تبصروں سے گریز فرمائیں - شکریہ
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