By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
Heartfelt condolences to our readers on the threshold of a tragic anniversary. We are approaching the 3rd of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani, the day on which in the year 11 hijri, only 95 days after the departure from the world of a loving father, an aggrieved daughter passed away, plunging her husband and four small children in profound grief.
The father was none other than the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger to all mankind, Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). The Immaculate Daughter was his only surviving child, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA), whose martyrdom anniversary is commemorated as a public holiday in the Islamic Republic of Iran where special mourning discourses are in progress to highlight the blessed lady’s merits and the sufferings she patiently endured in the defence of the God-given right of political leadership of her husband, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Taleb (AS), for the sake of safeguarding Islam and all humanitarian values.
"Surely my daughter Fatema is the Leader of all women from the beginning to the end. She is part of me, and the light of my eyes, She is the flower of my heart, and is my soul, (she) is a human houri, who whenever she stands in prayers in the presence of Her Lord (Exalted is His Name), her light illuminates the skies for the angels, like stars shine to people on Earth.”
This is one of the statements of the Prophet to describe to his companions his only surviving offspring, whom God Almighty has hailed in the holy Qur’an as ‘Kowthar” or the Fountain of Perpetual Abundance.
As a matter of fact, the life of the noblest-ever lady that graced Planet Earth, who was indeed the Pride of Prophet Jesus’s mother, the Virgin Mary (SA), was cut short in the prime of youth by the afflictions to which she was subjected at the hands of a roguish group of the Prophet’s companions, no sooner did her father pass away.
Fatema (SA) was virtue personified. Her pristine purity, radiance of faith, devotion to divine commandments, perpetually abundant munificence, and other exemplary characteristics, God Almighty Himself has enshrined in the holy Qur’an in several ayahs.
It would be repetitive to recount these unrivalled merits, or the fact that despite the words of God and the Prophet, her house was stormed with fire and crowbars by rowdies who flung the door in her face and pinned her to the wall, resulting in miscarriage of the stillborn Mohsin – the Prophet’s youngest grandson and the first martyr of the Ahl al-Bayt.
What the was reason for commitment of such a cardinal sin by persons, who had been witness to the practice of the Prophet to salute at Fatema’s (SA) doorstep, and to stand up and make her sit in his place whenever she entered his presence?
Didn’t they knew she was the "Siddiqat al-Kubra” or the Most Truthful Lady?
Hadn’t they heard the Prophet’s famous saying: "Fatema is a part of me; whoever displeases her, has displeased me; and indeed God is displeased at those who displeases me?!”
Was it not the wealth of her mother, the Immaculate Omm al-Momineen (Mother of all True Believers), Khadijat al-Kubra (SA) that had fed them, clothed them, and sheltered them during the days of persecution of the neo-Muslims by the pagan Arabs in Mecca?
Weren’t they aware that if not for the valour and swordsmanship of her husband, Imam Ali (AS), they would have slain long ago by the Arab and Israelite hordes who used to impose battles upon Muslims – Badr, Ohad, Khandaq, Khaybar, Honayn etc.
How come they had chosen to incur divine wrath when facts and realities about Fatema and her household were as crystal clear as the shining sun?
The answers are obvious. It was their coveting of the political leadership of the Ummah, which neither God nor the Prophet had willed for them.
They thought that power will forever belong to them if the Prophet’s divinely-designated vicegerent was forced to acknowledge their usurpation of the caliphate under threats – a rope around his neck, a sword menacingly unsheathed at him, and his wife writhing in pain and agony.
Fatema Zahra (SA), however rose to the defence of the right of her husband and in a sermon that remains eloquently impressive after the passing of a millennium and four centuries, she not just immortalized the fundamentals of Islam which they were breaching, but the rights of women, especially their inheritance.
It is worth recalling that on revelation of ayah 26 of Surah al-Isra’ which says "Give the nearest of kin their [due] right, and the needy and the traveller”, the Prophet had called his dear daughter and said: "Fadak is one of the territories for which we did not exhaust our horses or camels to acquire it; it is mine exclusively. Now, I gift it to you and your offspring according to God’s instructions.”
He was referring to the large orchard which was gifted to him by the people of Khaybar, and regarding which God says in the holy Qur’an in ayahs 6 and 7 of Surah al-Hadeed: "That which Allah gave to His Prophet from them; you did not spur any horse for its sake nor any riding camel, but Allah makes His prophets prevail over whomever He wishes, and Allah has power over all things.
"That which Allah gave to His Prophet from the people of the towns, are for Allah and the Prophet, the near of kin and the orphans, the needy and the traveller, so that they do not circulate among the rich among you. Take whatever the Prophet gives you, and relinquish whatever he forbids you, and be wary of Allah. Indeed Allah is severe in retribution.”
The Most Truthful Lady warned the self-style caliph and his companions of divine punishment for their unjustified actions, including their seizure of Fadak, whose income she used to spend on the poor and needy. She told them: "Now hang firmly to this cheap dromedary of caliphate of yours and release it not. But beware; the hump of this camel is injured while there are blisters and holes in its feet. It carries the scars of ignominy and the sign of the wrath of Allah. Eternal shame is attached to it."
Alas, 95 days after the passing away of the Prophet, Hazrat Fatema (SA) was forced to leave the mortal world, plunging her husband and four little children (two sons and two daughters) in profound grief. She willed than she be laid to rest in the darkness of night, so that her tormentors do not attend her funeral.
As per her will, Imam Ali (AS) performed her last rites, and to this day, no one knows where the Most Truthful Lady, reposes in eternal peace.
Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA), the Mother of the Youths of Paradise – Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS), and the two Impeccable Daughters Hazrat Zainab (SA) and Hazrat Omm Kolthoum (SA) – thus stands out as the Fulcrum of Faith that links Prophethood to Imamate, and around which revolves genuine Islam, which will reach its climax with the reappearance of her last infallible offspring, Imam Mahdi (AS), who, as promised by God Almighty, will establish the global government of peace, prosperity, and justice in the end times.
Condolences on the Martyrdom of Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA)