Tehran (Basirat) :"(O Allah), send blessings upon the Chaste, the Immaculate, the Veracious, the Infallible, the Pious, Pure, the Amiable, the Well-Pleased, the Virtuous, the Upright, the Oppressed, and Wronged Lady whose right was usurped, whose inheritance was usurped, whose rib was broken, whose husband was persecuted, and whose son was slain.”
Today we are in the state of mourning for the above mentioned lady whose unsurpassed merits as well as the magnitude of her sorrows are clearly evident in the passage reproduced here from her "Ziyarah” or standard form of salutation.
The 13th of the month of Jamadi al-Awwal is the day on which, according to several narrations, the noblest lady of all times left the mortal world in the prime of her youth, while defending the dignity of women in Islam, their right to own and inherit, their right to protest against social injustice, and their right to support "Wilaya” or divinely-designated leadership of mankind.
As a matter of fact, she attained martyrdom in defence of her husband, whose divinely-decreed right of political leadership of the Islamic Ummah had been usurped by a clique of incompetent persons who had hijacked the caliphate and were misleading the Muslim masses.
She was none other than Hazrat Fatema az-Zahra (SA), the Immaculate Daughter of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger to all mankind, Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
Born in Mecca to the Impeccable Lady, Hazrat Khadija (SA), less than a year after her father’s "Me’raj” or Ascension to the highest point in the heaven and back to Planet Earth within a matter of few moments and his eating of the blessed apple of paradise during the celestial journey, she was named Fatema, which means her devout followers are immune from the fire of hell.
While still a child of less than 8 years, she lost her mother to the cold hands of death. She had no maternal material inheritance, since her mother’s vast wealth was spent for the feeding, clothing, sheltering, and protection of the neo Muslim community that was under persecution of the pagan Arabs.
Nonetheless, despite her tender years, she so diligently took care of her persecuted father to the extent that she became known as "Omm-e Abiha” or Mother of her Own Father.
Upon migration to Medina, her hand was sought by wealthy and politically influential neo Muslim Arabs, but her father turned down all proposals, saying the commandment should come from God for the marriage of his virtuous Daughter. It did when her father’s young and virtuous cousin, the First and Foremost Muslim, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), became the suitor and received the affirmative reply as the Archangel Gabriel informed the Prophet that the nuptials of these two blessed souls were sealed in heaven by God Himself.
The fruits of this auspicious union were two Infallible Sons and two Impeccable Daughters who would rise to the defence of Islam whenever the creed of God came under threat from the hypocrites – former Arab pagans who now masqueraded as Muslims to seize the political power of the Islamic realm.
No wonder, the Prophet used to rise to his feet whenever his daughter entered his presence, and seat her in his place, saying he smelled the fragrance of heaven. To confirm her pristine purity and that of her family, God revealed ayah 33 of Surah Ahzab when the Prophet once entered her house and assembled under his blessed cloak her young sons, Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS), her husband Imam Ali (AS), and herself (SA).Gabriel descended with the divine words:
"Indeed Allah desires to keep away all uncleanness from you Ahl al-Bayt and preserve you thoroughly purified.”
As the supreme symbol of feminine virtues, she displayed the highest ethical traits. In 7 AH when the Prophet provided her with the virtuous Abyssinian maid, Fizza, she divided the work equally, by giving rest to her maid a whole day after a day’s work and discharging the duties that day herself.
These are the qualities that make Hazrat Fatema (SA), the Pride of the Virgin Mary, and the model par-excellence for all virtuous women to mould their life upon. It would not be out of context to say that following divine commandment, the Prophet made a gift of his personal property of Fadak to his dear daughter on revelation of ayah 26 of Surah Isra, which reads: "Give the nearest of kin their [due] right, and the needy and the traveller [as well]”.
On revelation of this ayah, the Prophet called his daughter Fatema 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.”
Alas, no sooner did the Prophet depart from the mortal world, her property was seized by the coup leaders of Medina, following their usurpation of the political right of leadership of her husband, Imam Ali (AS).
The "Mohaddessa”, as she is known because of the fact that angels used to speak with her, was martyred barely 75 days after the Prophet’s passing away, when an unruly group of her father’s companions intending to force her husband to swear allegiance to their political rule, flung the burning door of her house upon her, without any respect for her status, thereby pinning her to the wall and resulting in miscarriage – the stillborn son Muhsin.
"Siddiqa” or the Most Truthful Lady who was free from all impurities, died in defence of the right of Imam Ali (AS), after delivering a memorable sermon in flawless Arabic on the Fundamentals of Islam, and on the governance of the Islamic society on the basis of the holy Qur’an and the precedents of the Prophet.
She warned the self-styled 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 the needy. She told them:
"Now hang firmly to this cheap dromedary of caliphate of yours… 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.”
In Sahih Bukhari, the book of hadith venerated by our Sunni brethren the Prophet is quoted as saying: "Fatema is a part of me, whoever displeases her has displeased me, and whoever displeases me has indeed displeased God.”
So why, a paragon of virtue, whom God hails in the holy Qur’an as "Kowsar” or the Blessed Spring of Perpetual Abundance was displeased? Weren’t the companions of the Prophet aware of her prime position as the fulcrum of faith? Hadn’t they watched in amazement and admiration the veiled figure of the Immaculate Fatema (SA) accompany her father – along with her husband and two sons – to the memorable "Mubahela” with the Christians of Najran on revelation of ayah 61 or Surah Aal-e Imran? Weren’t they aware that ayahs 5 to 22 of Surah Dahr were revealed giving tidings of the loftiest mansions in paradise to her, to her husband, to her maid Fizza, and to her sons, when they fasted for three consecutive days to fulfill a vow, and on each evening at the time of breaking the fast, gave away whatever food they had to a beggar, to a traveler and a freshly released prisoner who happened to knock on the door?
Muslims ought to ponder upon these questions for perfecting their faith.