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(Rady Allahu Anha)

by: Ahmed Syed and Naasir Baksh


Sayyidatina Fatima az-Zahra (Rady Allahu Anha) was the fourth and youngest daughter of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam), after Sayyidatina Zaynab (Rady Allahu Anha), Sayyidatina Ruqayya (Rady Allahu Anha) and Sayyidatina Umm-Kulthum (Rady Allahu Anha). The pre-Islamic Arabs used to hate having daughters and some even buried them alive. The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) taught his followers to love their daughters and to treat them lovingly and justly as they treated their sons. To establish this he said: Whoever has four daughters and he brings them up well and educates and helps them to have successful marriage, he will enter Paradise.

Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) was born at a time when the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) had started to spend long periods of time in the solitude of the mountain in Makka, meditating and reflecting on the beautiful creations of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala).

Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) gathered wisdom from her father. She had fine manners and gentle speech. She was a very kind person who would often give food to those in need, even if it meant that she herself would go hungry. She is known as Fatima az-Zahra, which means The Resplendent.

The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Fatima is the leader of the women in Paradise.” (al-Bukhari)

Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) was only five years old when her father received Divine revelation, the first verses of the Holy Qur’an. She in fact mostly lived a life of suffering and hardship, sharing with her father whatever he faced in his mission for the religion of Islam. Her other three sisters got married and left the house of their father, which made her sad.

Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) loved her father a lot. Once, when she was about 10 years old, she went with the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayi was Sallam) to Masjid al-Haram, where the Ka‘ba is. When the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) started praying, a group of people including the Quraysh who didn’t believe in Islam came up to him and threw the intestines of a camel  on his shoulders while he was in sajda in Prayer. Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) was very angry. She took the filth off her father’s shoulders and started shouting at the people.

Later, the Quraysh started harming the Muslims more. The Muslims were forced out of their homes and into a barren valley just outside Makka. The Muslims suffered from hunger and pain for three years. Her mother Sayyidatina Khadijah (Rady Allahu Anha) passed away shortly after this. Also, one of the Prophet’s uncles, Abu Talib, passed away too. This year was known as the year of sadness. Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) cried a lot but she stood by her father and gave him all the support he needed now that her mother had passed away. She took care of her father, so people started to call her “umm Abi-haa”, which means “the mother of her father”.

The Quraysh once threw dust on the Prophet’s head. She cried when he came home and wiped away the dust from his head. The Prophet said in his comforting words, “Do not cry my daughter, for Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) shall protect your father.” 

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) loved his daughter very much. He once said that whoever pleased her, has also pleased Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) and if anyone made her angry, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) would be angry with him too.

Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) got married to Sayyidina Ali (Rady Allahu Anhu) in Madina Munawwarah, when she was eighteen years old. Sayyidina Ali (Rady Allahu Anhu) was four years older than her. He was brought up by the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) since early childhood, and was his cousin. The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) regarded him as his brother. He was the first boy to embrace Islam and was the youngest fighter of the new faith. He believed in the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) from the very beginning and accompanied him all through his life. He participated in all the battles of the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam).

Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) admired his bravery and manhood.  Their marriage took place through a simple gathering in which the Prophet (Sallallahu alayi wa Sallam) presented a few dates to those invited. After the wedding ceremony, the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) accompanied them to their new home. He asked for some water and recited on it some verses of the Holy Qur’an and then asked Sayyidina Ali (Rady Allahu Anhu) and Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) to drink it. He then made ablution with the remaining water and sprinkled some drops of water over the heads of both of them and said the following prayer: O Allah! Bless them both over and above, and bless their children.

Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) gave birth to Sayyidina Imam Al- Hasan (Rady Allahu Anhu) and Sayyidina Imam Al-Husayn (Rady Allahu Anhu) in the third and the fourth years after Hijrah. This great event took place when the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayi wa Sallam) was 57 years old. He was very happy at the birth of these two dear grandsons and treated them as his own children. Hadrat Usamah bin Zayd (Rady Allahu Anhu) narrates that the Prophet once said: “These are my children, the sons of my daughter.  O Allah! Love those who love them. I love them so shower your love on them, O Allah!”

Once when Imam al-Hasan (Rady Allahu Anhu) and Imam al-Husayn (Rady Allahu Anhu) were ill, Sayyidina Ali and Sayyidatina Fatima both made a pledge that after they recover they will fast for three days. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) then blessed their sons with good health, so they began to fast. When their first fast was completed and Sayyidina Ali (Rady Allahu Anhu) came back from the Masjid after performing Maghrib Salah, the family sat down for dinner. As soon as Sayyidina Ali (Rady Allahu Anhu) picked up the bread in his hand, he heard the voice of a beggar saying, “Give me something to eat and may Allah feed you delicious food of Jannah!” When they heard the beggar they decided that they should give him the bread. When they did that, they remained without any food.

After their second fast when Sayyidina Ali (Rady Allahu Anhu) came back from the Masjid after praying Maghrib Salah, the family sat down for dinner. Then they heard the voice of an orphan who asked for help and said that he was in great distress. So they gave him all the bread and again they went to bed without any food.

On the third day, a similar request for help came from a prisoner of war and they gave away their food to him.

On the fourth day no one was fasting, but they had nothing to eat. So Sayyidina Ali (Rady Allahu Anhu) took Imam al-Hasan (Radhy Allahu Anhu) to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) who said, “It pains me to see you suffering from want and misery. Let us go to Fatima”. When they arrived, he saw that she was observing Nafl Salah, and that she had grown very weak. He took his daughter to his bosom and invoked Allah’s mercy for her and her family.

At this, Hadrat Jibrail (Alayhissalam) came with the revelation of the Qur’an whose meaning is:

And they give food, out of love for Him, to the needy, the orphan and the prisoner. (76:8) 

Hadrat Jibrail (Alayhissalam) then congratulated them saying that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) was very pleased with them. That’s how much charitable Sayyidina Ali (Rady Allahu Anhu) and Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) were. This incident shows their great piety.

In the fifth year of the Hijra, Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) gave birth to her first daughter who was named Zaynab after her sister. Two years later, she had her fourth and last child Umm Kulthum named after her second sister. 

She used to do a lot of housework and one day she asked the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) if she could have a maid. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) said to her to recite Subhanallah 33 times, Alhamdu Lillah 33 times and Allahu Akbar 34 times. To do that would be better for her than to have a maid.

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) respected Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) a lot. He would stand up to greet her when she entered the house as we learn from the following Hadith.

Mother of Faithful Believers, Sayyidatina Aisha (Rady Allahu Anha) said: I never saw anyone more like the Messenger of Allah in gravity, calm behaviour, pleasant disposition (another version adds: talk and speech) than Fatima. When she came to visit him, he got up to welcome her, took her by the hand, kissed her and made her sit where he was sitting. And when he went to visit her, she got up to welcome him, took him by the hand, kissed him, and made him sit where she was sitting.” (Abu Dawud) 

Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) was the first member of the Prophet’s Family to pass away after him. One day he told her a secret at which she wept. Then he told her another secret at which she smiled. Later on, Sayyidatina Aisha (Rady Allahu Anha) asked her to explain why she did that. She said first he had told her about his passing away at which she wept, and then he told her that she shall be the first one to follow him at which she smiled.

One day Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) said to Sayyidina Ali (Rady Allahu Anhu) to look after their children after she passes away, and requested that she should be buried without any ceremony. Then peacefully, at the age of 29, she closed her eyes and surrendered her soul to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala), the Mighty Creator. She passed away on 3rd Ramadan, about 6 months after the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) passed away.  She passed away in Madina.  She was buried in Jannatul Baqi. Sayyidina Ali (Rady Allahu Anhu) was deeply saddened at her loss.

Sayyidatina Fatima (Rady Allahu Anha) has many titles. She is called:

Az-Zahra (The Resplended or the Brilliantly Shining),
Al-Batul (The Pure),
Sayyidah (Leader),
Ma‘sumah (Sinless)
‘Abida (Worshipper of Allah),
Waliyya (Saint), and
Zakiyya (Pure).

May Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) fill our hearts with the love of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam), his Family and Companions (Rady Allahu Anhum). Amin.