Fatima (r.anha)

Hz. Fatima (r.anha), who is the unique daughter of the Messenger of Allah and the honorable mother of the generation of sayyids, is the symbol of chastity and virtue that continues the pure descent of the Prophet.

Her mother is Hz. Khadija (r.anha), whom the Messenger of Allah could not forget, who was one of the most honorable women on earth and who had the honor of accepting the first invitation of Islam and belief. She was born as the fifth child of Hz. Khadija's six children at a time when the sun of the prophethood was about to rise.[1]

The first years of her life, when she tried to know the world, coincided with the first period of Islam, when there were a lot of struggles and troubles. The polytheists started to torture and harass the Prophet, whom they could not dissuade from his cause. This young baby grew up in such an environment. The Messenger of Allah loved all of his children but he had a different love and compassion for Fatima. He felt that she would continue his descent and that she would be the mother of sayyids; he loved and hugged Fatima with the compassion of the holy generation that would continue up to the Day of Judgment.

When Hz. Khadija died after being married to the Prophet for 25 years, it was three years before the Migration. After this lofty woman, the death of Abu Talib, who was the Prophet's greatest protector against the polytheists, was so saddening for the Messenger of Allah and the believers that they called this year "the Year of Sorrow". With the death of Hz. Khadija, Fatima was left motherless. The Messenger of Allah did his best to prevent her from being sad and tried to relieve her by showing her the compassion of both a father and a mother. 

The Messenger of Allah prepared her for the future like a rose bud; he virtually wrapped her in cotton wool. He kissed her when he left home and when he returned.[2]

Fatima’s love and loyalty toward her father, who was the sultan of the prophets, was very big. Whenever she saw him sad, her face would change color; whenever she saw him happy, she would smile.

After the death of Abu Talib, the polytheists transformed their defamation and insults into harassment and torture, inflicting all kinds of bad deeds upon the Prophet. They committed all kinds of bad deeds including throwing dirt on him while he was worshipping and stoning him. Once, the Messenger of Allah returned home all of his clothes being in dust and dirt. Fatima, who welcomed him, hugged him and tried to clean the dust and dirt on her beloved father by crying. She wondered what would happen. Would the polytheists take her father, who was her only close relative in the world, away from her? These bad thoughts saddened the unhappy heart of young Fatima more. However, the sublime Prophet and compassionate father, who was sent as mercy to all realms, consoled this young girl, whose heart was sad, as follows: 

“Do not fear my daughter! Allah will definitely protect your father.”[3]

Life in Makkah started to be unbearable for the Muslims due to the harassment of the polytheists. They were waiting for a divine manifestation. Finally, permission to migrate was given by Allah Almighty. The Muslims started to leave Makkah one by one. Meanwhile, the polytheists realized that the only way to stop Muslims was to assassinate the Messenger of Allah and they started to make plans. One night, when they were planning to realize their plan, the Messenger of Allah left Makkah secretly with Hz. Abu Bakr. He could not take Hz. Fatima and the other members of his family with him. He had to leave them in Makkah.

When the Messenger of Allah arrived in Madinah and settled  in the house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, the first thing he did was to send Zayd bin Haritha and Abu Rafi’ to Makkah to bring his family members to Madinah. They went to Makkah at once and brought Hz. Fatima, Umm Kulthum, Sawda bint Zam’a, the wife of the Prophet, and Usama bin Zayd to Madinah.[4] Thus, they left behind a dark and troublesome period. The Messenger of Allah rejoined his beloved daughter about whom he said, “Fatima is a part of me; anyone who saddens her saddens me; anyone who rejoices her rejoices me.”[5]

Time flew and the cause of Islam proceeded to a bright future by getting bigger day by day. After the Battle of Badr, the Muslims confronted the polytheists at the Battle of Uhud. A tough war took place. When the Muslims scattered during the battle, the polytheists approached the Messenger of Allah and caused his teeth to be broken and he was drenched in blood. The Companions could not stop his bleeding. When Hz. Fatima heard about it, she ran to help her father and stopped the bleeding of her father by burning reed mace and using its ash.[6]

The Companions showed great respect and love to Hz. Fatima. They called her “Ummu Abiha [her father's mother]” because she resembled the Messenger of Allah a lot. Hz. Aisha narrates,

“Whenever Fatima entered the room, the Messenger of Allah would stand up, kiss her and make her sit. Whenever the Prophet entered her room, she would stand up, kiss her father and gave her place to him. I have never seen anyone resembling the Messenger of Allah more than Fatima in terms of manners, sitting and standing.”[7]

Ibn Abbas states the following by indicating the unique love between the father and the daughter:

“Whenever the Messenger of Allah returned from an expedition, he would definitely visit his daughter Fatima and kiss her.”[8]

After the Migration, Hz. Fatima, who stayed with Hz. Aisha in Madinah, reached the age of 15. Some notables of Companions asked the Prophet to marry her and they wanted to be closer to the Messenger of Allah through marriage and to be honored. However, the Prophet refused them politely and gave the following answer:

“I am waiting for the decision of Allah about my daughter Fatima.”

One of the Companions who were refused by the Prophet was Hz. Umar (r.a.). When Hz. Umar received this negative answer, he said to Hz. Ali (r.a.),

“O Ali! It seems that Fatima will marry you.”[9]

Hz. Ali (r.a.) wanted to marry Fatima but he did not know how to talk to the Messenger of Allah about it. He did not have the courage to do so. Finally, he decided to go into the presence of the Messenger of Allah. He narrated what had happened as follows:

“I went into the presence of the Messenger of Allah in order to ask him to marry Fatima off to me. However, when he looked at my face, I became speechless. I could not utter even one word. Then, the Messenger of Allah said, 

‘O Ali! Do you need anything?’

Although he repeated the same question three times, I could not answer him. Finally, the Messenger of Allah said, ‘I think you have come here to ask me to marry Fatima.’ This time, I was able to say, ‘Yes.’ He asked, ‘Do you have anything to give as mahr?’

I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! I do not have anything.’

He said, ‘I had given you some armor. What happened to it? ’

I said, ‘It is available.’

He said, ‘Sell that armor and bring me the money. It will be enough as your mahr to marry Fatima.’”[10]

They bought some economical household goods with the money. The foundation of this blessed core of the descent of the Prophet was laid by the Prophet himself. He married them. He went to their house and sat between his daughter, Fatima and Ali. He asked for some water and made wudu with it. He sprinkled some of the water on   Fatima and some on Ali. Then, he prayed as follows:

“O Allah! Make this marriage blessed for both of them! O Allah! Make their descendants blessed too! O Allah! Protect them from the evil of Satan!”

Then, he read the chapters of al-Ikhlas, al-Falaq and an-Nas.[11]

Thus, a hearth and home that would emit light and knowledge to the realms, that would bring up sayyids and that would be a source of abundance and virtue was founded. This home became a hearth that the Messenger of Allah visited from time to time and where he felt the happiness of Paradise. When, Hasan and Husayn, his grandsons, were born, this hearth became full of joy and happiness.

This blessed family formed the nucleus of Ahl al-Bayt. One of the two things the Prophet gave the glad tidings that would be a means of guidance for his ummah after him was the Quran and the other was Ahl al-Bayt, which was founded as it was mentioned above.[12]

The Messenger of Allah cuddled his beloved grandsons, smelled and kissed them; he ran and played with them. He took great pleasure in serving them.

Hz. Ali narrates: “Once, the Messenger of Allah visited our house. Hasan and Husayn were sleeping. Hasan woke up and asked for some milk. We had a sheep. The Messenger of Allah stood up and went out to milk the sheep. I was astounded. The sheep that gave very little milk gave a lot of milk when the Messenger of Allah milked it. The Messenger of Allah started to feed Hasan with the milk. When Fatima saw it, she said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! You probably love Hasan more.’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘I love both of them equally but Hasan asked for milk before Husayn.’ Then, he added, ‘O Fatima! You, me, these two young children and Ali will be in the same place on the Day of Judgment.’“[13]

Once, the Messenger of Allah ate a meal with all of them; then, he put his garment over Hz. Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husayn and said, “O Allah! They are my Ahl al-Bayt and Aal-Aba. Keep them away from the things that are contrary to your consent.”[14]

Yes, his love toward Hz. Fatima was not only the love and compassion of a daughter; she was also the beginning of the generations of sayyids that would be the inheritors of his cause.  

The Messenger of Allah was interested in both the sorrow and joy of this happy family. Once, he went to their house in order to reconcile Hz. Ali and Fatima due to a quarrel that took place between them. After entering the house, he made his daughter Fatima sit on one side of him and Hz. Ali on his other side. He held their hands and united them. Thus, he reconciled them. When he came out, the Companions asked,

“O Messenger of Allah! You were sad when you entered but now you are happy. Why?”

The Messenger of Allah answered,

“Because I have reconciled two people that I like very much.”[15]

Hz. Fatima had qualities and merits showing that she was the daughter of the Messenger of Allah.  

Once, the Messenger of Allah asked the Companions around him the following question:

“What is the best thing for women?”

None of the Companions who were there including Hz. Ali could answer that question. Hz. Ali went home and asked his wife Fatima the same question. She answered as follows:

“Why did you not say the best thing for women is not to see men and not to allow men to see them unless it is necessary?”

When Hz. Ali received this wise answer, he went into the presence of the Messenger of Allah. When the Messenger of Allah heard this answer from Hz. Ali, he said, “Who taught you this answer?” Hz. Ali said, “Your daughter Fatima.” Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah said, “It is a fact that she is a part from me.”[16]

Hz. Aisha narrates an incident that took place one day near the death of the Messenger of Allah as follows:  

“Once, Fatima, whose walking style was like that of the Messenger of Allah, came toward us. When the Messenger of Allah saw her, he said, ‘Hello my daughter!’ He made her sit on his right side. He leaned over and whispered in her ear. Thereupon, Fatima cried. Then, she said something else. This time, she smiled. Thereupon, I asked Fatima, ‘I have never seen you becoming happy so quickly after becoming sad.’ I asked her what the Messenger of Allah had told her. She said, ‘I cannot reveal the secret of the Messenger of Allah.’

When the Messenger of Allah died, Fatima told me about that secret. She said that the Messenger of Allah said to her, ‘Jibril reviewed the Quran twice this year. I interpret this that my life is about to end. You will be the first one to rejoin me.’ When I heard the first one, I became sorry; when I heard the second one, I became happy.”[17]

Six month after the death of the Messenger of Allah, when Fatima was very young (28 years old), she rejoined the Messenger of Allah, her compassionate father.

According to the narration of Hz. Aisha, Hz. Fatima never laughed after the death of the Messenger of Allah until she died.[18]

Once Hz. Hasan and Husayn, the grandsons of the Prophet, became ill. When the Prophet heard that they became ill, he went to visit them with Hz. Abu Bakr, Hz. Umar and some Companions. Hz. Ali, Hz. Fatima, and Fidda, their maid was at home. The Companions made an offer to Hz. Ali: “O Abu Hasan! Have you made a promise for Allah's sake to do if your children get well? Are thinking of a vow?” Allah’s Lion (Hz. Ali) said,

“Yes, if Allah heals my children, I will perform fasting for three days for Allah's sake.”

When Hz. Fatima heard her husband's vow, she said, “If my children get well, I will perform fasting for three days for Allah's sake too.” Fidda, their maid, also promised to perform fasting for three days.

Their prayer was accepted. Two young boys became well soon. They started to fulfill their vow. They woke up before dawn to start fasting. However, they did not have any food to break their fast in the evening.

Hz. Ali, went to Sham'un, a Khaybarian Jew, and borrowed from him about four kilograms of barley. He took it home and gave it to his wife, Fatima. He told her to make bread with it.

Hz. Fatima made some bread with some of the barley and put it on the table. They were about to start eating when the door was knocked. There was a poor man at the door, He said, “O children of Muhammad! I am a poor Muslim. I have nothing to feed my children. Give me some food so that Allah will give you food in Paradise.

When Hz. Ali heard those words of the poor person, he wanted all of the food on the table to be given to him. They gave their bread as sadaqah and broke their fast with water.

The next day Hz. Fatima made some more bread from the barley and placed it on the table. The door was knocked just as they were starting to eat. This time, an orphan came and said, “I am an orphan of muhajirs whose father was martyred. Please give me some bread.” This time, they gave their bread to the orphan and broke their fast with water.

On the third day in the evening, Hz. Fatima made bread from the remaining barley and put it on the table. This time, a slave who was a polytheist, knocked on the door. He said, “O Muslims! I am very hungry. Please give me some food.” These real believers gave their bread to him this time. They and broke their fast with water again.

In the morning of the fourth day, Hz. Ali took his beloved children to their grandfather. They went into the presence of the Messenger of Allah. When the Prophet saw the weak and anemic state of his beloved grandchildren, he started to cry. They were shivering like squabs due to the severity of hunger. The Prophet asked, “O Ali! What is the matter? Why did you sadden me so much?” Hz. Ali told him what had happened. 

When the Messenger of Allah found out that the other members of the family were in the same state, he set off for Hz. Ali's house. When he arrived home, he saw that Hz. Fatima’s abdomen had touched her back. His sorrow increased. However, he was thinking about their spiritual ranks in the hereafter.

Just then, Hz. Jibril arrived and approached the Prophet. He gave the Prophet a divine glad tiding: “And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan and the captive.” (al-Insan, 8.) Allah Almighty praised their self-sacrifice.[19]

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[1] Sirah, 1: 202.
[2] Usdu’l-Ghaba, 5: 523.
[3] Sirah, 2: 58.
[4] Tabaqat, ?: 237-238.
[5] Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 61.
[6] Bukhari, Jihad: 156.
[7] Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 61.
[8] Usdu’l-Ghaba, 5: 523.
[9] Usdu’l-Ghaba, 5: 523.
[10] Tabaqat, 8: 20.
[11] Tabaqat, 8: 21.
[12] Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 32.
[13] Usdu’l-Ghaba, 5: 523.
[14] Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 32.
[15] Tabaqat, 8: 26.
[16] Hilya, 2: 41.
[17] Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 61; Usdu’l-Ghaba, 5: 522.
[18] Usdu’l-Ghaba, 5: 524.
[19] Usdu’l-Ghaba, 5: 530-531; Tafsir Kabir, 30: 224.

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