Jan 23 2022
Hazrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.):
Leader of the Women of Paradise
The Only Daughter of the Holy Prophet of Islam(S.A.W.)
The Mother of the Leaders of Youth of Paradise:(Imam Hasan(A.S.) and Imam Husain(A.S.)
Name : Fatima
Title : Az-Zahra
Kunyat : Umm-ul-Aimma
Born : Friday 20th of Jamadi-ul-Akhar in Mecca
Father’s Name : Holy Prophet Muhammad Ibn-e-Abdulla (S.A.W.)
Mother’s Name : Khadija bint-e-Khuwailid
Martyred : 13th Jamadi-ul-Awwal or 3rd Jamadi-ul-Akhir 11Hijrah at Medina at the age of 18 years (due to injury inflicted upon her through force of a falling door by a hypocrite).
Buried :The cemetery of Jannatul Baqi or in the Masjid-un-Nabi at Medina
Fatima, the Mother of her Father
Referenced to “al-shia.org”
Lady Fatima, the lady of light has an elevated status in the eyes of Allah due to her childhood sacrifices and support towards the religion of Islam. She is ‘the mother of her father and is an axis to great qualities. The mutual affection between Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) and her is unique and holds a very prominent position in father-daughter relationship.Abu-Faraj al-Isfahani in his Isnad narrated from Imam Sadiq (A.S) from his father: “Verily, Fatima (S.A) was surnamed ‘Omme Abiha’.”(1)
‘Omme Abiha’ or ‘The Mother of her Father’ is one of the best-known titles of Lady Fatima (peace be upon her). This title sounds quite peculiar for many people especially those who are less familiar with the Arabic language. This lecture is a humble interpretation of the abovementioned Hadith. I shall by the Will of Allah suggest 10 reasons because of which she enjoyed this unique title.
Fatima was the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W), the wife of Imam Ali (A.S), the mother of the only two Masters of the Youth of Paradise- Imam Hasan and Imam Husain- and the mother of the 11 infallible Imams (peace be upon them all). She is the elite of the elite women of the past, present and future.
She was an infallible martyr and a human huri. She was the crystallization of piety, chastity and real devotee of the Almighty Allah. Her virtues are so numerous that the Messenger of Allah said about her: “If beauty were a person it would be Fatima, Nay! She is greater. Indeed, Fatima is my daughter and the best of the people of the earth in her origin, dignity and honour.”(2) Fatima had a short life in this world and as her husband Imam Ali (A.S) has described, “She joined her father very soon.” Yet, her life was so rich with abundant blessings so much so that she became al-Kauthar and the fountain of the Prophetic blessings.
Fatima was born during the Prophetic mission and when the Prophet of Islam had reached his perfection. She was the only child of the house of Prophet Muhammad and Sayyeda Khadija (S.A). Her conception was heavenly blessed with the paradisiacal fruit gifted to her father at the time of his ascension. She was brought up in a house wherein revelation and the words of God were constant. She witnessed the descending and ascending of the angels. Her physical growth accomplished with her mental and spiritual growth and hence she became an infallible lady who enjoyed the sublime virtues of her father, the holy Prophet of Islam.
After the demise of her mother
Lady Khadija died 10 years after the Prophet of Islam declared his mission and left her five-year-old daughter an orphan. The richest lady of Quraiysh at the time of her death could not even afford a simple shroud for her burial and hence she requested her daughter to ask her father to shroud her with his own cloak after her death. Fatima was since the only memory of Khadija for the Prophet of Islam. After the painful death of her mother the young Fatima dedicated herself to her father, the Messenger of God.
During the hardship of Makka she was not only a supportive daughter but a comrade. After her marriage with Imam Ali in Medina, initially her house was quite a distance from the mosque which would make traveling to the Prophet quite difficult. Thus, the Prophet arranged that the young couple live in the house of Haritha bin No’man whose house was near the house of the Prophet.(3)
The Female Comrade of the Prophet
Fatima was not the type of girl who sat at home weaving or sewing with no social responsibility. Her exalted spirit had made her from the very early stages of her life, endeavor for the spread of Islam with her father. Once, the Prophet of Islam was inviting people to Islam inside the Masjidul Haraam. Abu Jahl made some of his puppets pour rubbish onto the Prophet. Fatima; the female comrade of the Prophet immediately ran towards her father and with her small hands cleaned the head and the shoulders of the Prophet of Islam.
Many a time the infidels of Quraiysh stoned the Messenger of God and the young Fatima was sometimes shielding her father with her own body. Her care and compassion towards the Messenger of God was so motherly and passionate. Every time the Messenger of God came home Fatima was dusting the hair and face of the Prophet. It was due to all this compassionate conduct of Fatima that the Messenger of God had such tremendous love for her. The role of Fatima in her support and the spread of Islam was so vital that according to Imam Ali (A.S) she was considered the second pillar of Islam. After the martyrdom of Fatima Zahra (S.A) Imam Ali stated, “The messenger of God was the first column of Islam and Fatima was the second and the Islamic Ommah today has lost its second column too.
Fatima During the Islamic Battles
Fatima was a woman and as such jihad was not obligatory on her. Nonetheless, she was an active participant and a supporter of the Muslim warriors along with her father and husband. During battles, Fatima had the responsibility of nursing the wounded soldiers and repairing their artillery. When the rumor about the martyrdom of the Messenger of God was spread in Medina during the battle of Ohud, Fatima mobilized some of the ladies of Medina to the battlefield.
When she saw her father’s, teeth broken and bleeding she was in tears and hugged the Messenger of God. Shia and Sunni historians have narrated that during the severe time of the battle of Ohud whereat blood was flowing from the head and the face of the Prophet, the companions had tried to stop the bleeding of the wounds, to no avail. It was Fatima who then immediately burnt a straw mat and poured its ashes onto the wounds and stopped the blood from flowing. (4)
Addressing Her Father
After the battle of Ohud, an Ayah was revealed to the Messenger of God to discipline his companions. It was customary for Arabs to call each other with their names without any title and as such they would only call the Prophet of Islam with his first name, Muhammad, the Messenger of God was also too humble to request them to address him otherwise. It was under these circumstances that the Almighty Allah revealed:
“Make not the calling of the Messenger among you as you are calling one of another.” (5)
Upon the revelation of the Ayah, Muslims were commanded to address the Prophet with the title of Messenger of God. Lady Fatima narrated, “After the revelation of the Ayah, I wondered whether I could still address my father as ‘father’ and thus I called him ‘O Messenger of God’. Upon hearing that my father immediately replied, “My dear Fatima, that rule was not for you, you call me O father for indeed this is more reviving for my heart and more pleasing your Lord.” (6)
Thus, Fatima was the only exception of the above Ayah of which she gained part of her everlasting title ‘The Mother of Her Father`.
In the year 5 AH, after the Battle of al-Ahzab a new rule with regards to the wives of the Prophet was revealed.
“The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves and his wives are their mothers.”(7)
This revelation taught Muslims to respect the wives of the Prophet like their own mothers and that they were forbidden to ever marry them. Thus, none of the wives of the Prophet were ever able to remarry after the demise of the Messenger of God. To this end, every wife of the Prophet was referred to as ‘the mother of the believers’ which means as the believers could not ever marry their mother they could not possibly ever marry any of the wives of the Prophet.
After the revelation of the above law, the Messenger of God said to his beloved daughter, “O Fatima. If my wives are the (spiritual) mother of the believers, then you are my (spiritual) mother.”
Etymology of the term ‘al-Omm’
The term mother is referred to in Arabic as ‘Omm` whether a direct biological mother or indirect and hence, Eve is also referred to as our ‘mother`. Linguistically, the term ‘mother` is quite similar in all different languages. Omm in Arabic, mum or mother in English, mahdar in Farsi, ma in Urdu and mama in Italian.
The term al-Omm in Arabic is defined by the renowned Arabic linguist al-Raghib “Everything and everyone who is the source of the existence of something or its rearing or reforming.” Therefore, anything that is the origin of the source of something or has a fundamental role in its existence is called al-Omm in Arabic.
For instance, in Surah 43 Ayah 4 the Holy Quran is introduced to be in the Mother of the Book:
“And verily, it (this Quran) is in the Mother of the Book with Us, indeed exalted, full of wisdom.” (8)
The term ‘the mother of the book` in the above Ayah is meant for al-Lauh al-Mahfuz which is the source of all the divine knowledge and its producer.
The first Surah of the Quran is also called ‘Ommul Kitab’ the mother of the book for its seven Ayaat contain the summary of the entire teachings of the holy Quran and hence is the root and the origin of the rest of the Quran.
Ommah in Arabic is a community which has a common religious and spiritual goal.
In short, Omm is either a biological mother which is not gained but physically or a spiritual mother which is a title given due to some spiritual privileges and characteristics and carries similar parental rights. It is to this meaning that the Messenger of God introduced himself along with Imam Ali as the two fathers of the Muslim Ommah (community).
Fatima; the Axis
In the following I shall share with you ten reasons because of which Lady Fatima enjoyed the divine medal of ‘The Mother of Her Father’ by the Messenger of God. We will learn that she is the symmetrical axis between Prophet-hood and Imamat.
- The Axis of Creation
Numerous prophetic traditions state that the Messenger of God is the final cause of the creation. The Almighty God in a holy hadith says, “Had it not been because of you I would have not created the creation.” This is a well-established principle in Islamic philosophy and mysticism since the Messenger of God is the most perfect creation of God and the creation is aimed at the peak of its perfection.
It is due to this fact that Fatima is the axis of creation for without her the generation of the most perfect human i.e. the Messenger of God would cease to continue. Similarly, spiritually the existence of Fatima was the cause of the continuation of Islam until the day of Judgment as I shall explain.
- The Axis of Imamat
Fatima was the symmetrical axis joining Prophet-hood to Imamat. It was through Fatima that the blessed light of Prophet-hood was transmitted to eleven infallible Imams. I’m in awe! She is the mother of 11 infallible Imams! If the holy Mary begot one Jesus, and hence she became a truthful female, the holy Fatima begot 11 pure Imams, behind the last of whom Prophet Jesus shall pray.
- The Axis of Ahlul-Bayt
The story of the Hadith of the Cloak is narrated by numerous Shia and Sunni narrators. Jabbir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari narrated that the Messenger of God went to the house of Fatima while he was not feeling well. Fatima received him and covered him with his Yemenese cloak for warmth and comfort. Then the Prophet of Islam brings Hasan, Husain and then Imam Ali and Fatima under his cloak with him. It was then that the angel Gibreel brought the Ayah:
“Verily, Allah willed but to purify you Ahlul-bayt….”(9)
Lady Fatima is the symmetrical axis in this story so much so that when the archangel Gibreel aims at introducing those who are under the cloak to the heavenly creatures, he states, “They are Fatima and her father and her husband and her children.”
- The Axis of Infallibility
Since Fatima is the axis of Ahlul-Bayt she is also the axis of infallibility as indicated in Ayah 33 of Surah 33. She was the mother and the spiritual coach of all the Imams of Ahlul-bait. The infallibility, bravery and guidance of all the Imams of Ahlul-bait were inherited from their mother, holy Lady Fatima. When Khadija (S.A) was pregnant with Fatima she used to speak with her.
One day when the Prophet of Islam heard his wife talking to her baby he said to her, “Gibreel has given me the glad tiding that she is going to be a baby girl and her generation will be blessed and pure and indeed the Almighty God will continue my generation from her offspring and will make them the Imams and the vicegerents of God on earth after revelation has ceased to continue.”(10)
- The Axis of Al Mubahilah
In the last year of the life of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) a deputation of 60 high ranked Christians of Najran headed by Abdul Masih their chief monk-priest came and discussed with the Holy Prophet about the personality of Prophet ‘Isa (Jesus). When they refused to accept the logical reasoning of the Prophet of Islam, the Messenger of Allah by revelation invited them to a cursing challenge called ‘al-Mubahila`.
“Then whoever disputes with you concerning him (Jesus) after all this knowledge that has come to you, say: Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then we pray and invoke the Curse of Allah upon those who lie.”(11)
The only people the Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.W) chose to take to this vital challenge were: Imam Ali, Fatima al-Zahra, (Imam) Hasan and (Imam) Husain peace be upon them. In this challenge Fatima was the example of the child of the Prophet in ‘our sons`, the woman in ‘our women’. She was also the example of the soul of the Prophet in ‘ourselves` for the Messenger of God had said about her: “She is part of me as she is my soul in my heart.”
Of the significance of this selection the renowned Sunni scholar al-Qandoozi narrated from the holy Prophet (S.A.W.W): “Had the Almighty Allah knew more honourable people on earth than Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain he would have commanded me to challenge the Christians with them. But He ordered me to enter the Mubahila with them (Ahlul-Bayt) for they are the best creatures.”(12)
- Beharul-Anwaar, vol43 p.19 from Maqatelu-Talebin
- Fara`edoh-Samtayn vol.2 p.68
- ibn Sa’ad, al Tabaqaat vol 8 p14
- Safinatul Behar vol.1 p140, Sahihul Bukhari vol.4 p.72
- The Holy Quran 24:63
- Ibn al-Maghazeli, al Manaqeb p367
- The Holy Quran 33:6
- The Holy Quran 43:4
- The Holy Quran 33:33
- Rodhatul Wa’ezin vol.1 p.143
- The Holy Quran 3:61
- Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah, p.131