Fatima tuz Zahra
When Prophet Mohammad, the most beloved of Allah went on Miraj, Allah adorned eighteen thousand realms and presented before him and asked, “O Mohammad! What is it you like the most that I may grant you?” To which he replied, O Allah! I liked ‘Faqr’ the most which means I liked your Essence the most, I only ask You from Yourself. So Allah granted the face of Faqr to His own essence, His most beloved – Prophet Mohammad. Which means He granted him with His ultimate proximity and union (You are me and I am you انا انت و انت انا).
Faqr means to renounce all the pleasures and relations except for Allah and annihilate in the Essence of Allah inwardly and outwardly. In such a way that there remains nothing in one’s existence except Allah. Faqr is inherited to Mohammadan umma through the mediation of Prophet Mohammad and to reach its highest level is his Sunna. However, the competent owner of Prophet Mohammad’s eternal heritage and Allah’s Trust in umma is the one who perfectly follows Holy Prophet exoterically and esoterically. And the one who eradicates all the desires and love from his inward except for love of Allah and reaches the ultimate level of ardent love (Ishq) of Prophet Mohammad.
Companions of Holy Prophet are most revered and perfect personalities in Mohammadan umma. One can never find an example of such sacrifices which they made in ardent love (Ishq) for Prophet Mohammad and Allah. Among all Companions of Prophet Mohammad, selection of a personality who was competent to be the heir of Faqr and perfect in love and faith and in renouncing everything except Allah was not easy.
However, beloved daughter of Prophet Mohammad, part of his body and soul Fatima-tuz-Zahra surrendered completely to the will of Allah. She renounced the world, her love for Holy Prophet was at the ultimate level and she followed him perfectly. All this made her rightly so the first owner and Sultan of Faqr before Allah and Prophet Mohammad. Although all the heirs and Sultans of Faqr possess this status since the beginning however it is not easy to acquire it after coming into this world.
Fatima-tuz-Zahra kept her esoteric relation with Allah Only
To annihilate in Essence of Allah and love of Prophet Mohammad are extreme difficult levels of life and death and annihilation and immortality. Innerself, world and Satan never step back from misleading humans. Every single moment they have to fight them. Fatima-tuz-Zahra being a woman, who is usually considered weak, won every war against Satan with Allah’s beneficence and power of Prophet Mohammad’s ardent love (ishq). She crossed all the levels of annihilation and immortality with secrecy and silence. Exoterically, she fulfilled all her responsibilities. She exceptionally carried out her duties of being a daughter, wife, mother and daughter-in-law. She fulfilled requirements of every relation splendidly however esoterically she kept her relation with Allah Only. Allama Iqbal says:
مریمؑ از یک نسبت عیسٰی عزیز
از سہ نسبت حضرت زہراؓ عزیز
Explanation: Mary’s (Hazrat Maryam (ra)) greatness and glory is because of her relation with Jesus (Hazrat Isa (ra)). Her glory is well praised in Quran. However when Mary’s relations and glory is compared to Fatimah bint Mohammad, Fatima al-Zahra is seven skies above than Mary.
Fatima-tuz-Zahra and her sacred relations
Allama Iqbal has explained her relations in his poetry:
نور چشمِ رحمتہ اللعالمین
آں امام اوّلین و آخرین
Explanation: First relation is that Fatima-tuz-Zahra is most beloved and pious daughter of Prophet Mohammad, the blessing for all the worlds and the leader of all the Prophets and both worlds. Second relation is that she is dearest and faithful wife of Hazrat Ali, the gateway of Faqr and lion of Allah. Holy Prophet said about him, “For whomever I am the master, Ali is his master.” Third relation are her sons, who are reason behind elevation of her glory and who are leaders of Divine lovers. It was her bringing up that her son Hazrat Imam Hassan rejected kingship for permanence and unity of Muslims. Her second son Hazrat Imam Hussain sacrificed his own and his companions as well as family’s blood which revived Islam. He also instructed to never bow before fallacious ones.
Although all these relations illuminate her glory like moon and stars brighten the sky and they are further glorifying her personality. However these relations are not the reason of her being a Sultan-ul-Faqr and first heir of Faqr. Rather it was because of her powerful esoteric relation with Allah and Prophet Mohammad due to which she rejected every comfort and ease of the world which she could have acquired very easily. Her inward was perfect for manifestation of Essence of Allah in view of Allah and Prophet Mohammad as she had purest inward and uttermost desire of nearness of Allah.
Fatima-tuz-Zahra’s exalted status
She spent every moment of her life in ardent love and perfectly followed Prophet Mohammad. Therefore, she reached the highest level in esoteric deeds. Esoteric deeds and struggles include annihilation of every moment in ardent love (Ishq) of Allah and Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), seeking them and bearing pain of Divine love every single moment of life. As a result, Allah grants the seeker with His closeness and immortality with Him. Fatima-tuz-Zahra surpassed everyone in this esoteric struggle. No one ever knew about this nor was it written in any book. As it is a matter of secret and solitude. Only Allah and Prophet Mohammad were aware of her inward state. Holy Prophet elucidated her exalted status and expressed his love for his loving daughter in Hadith.
The Trust of Faqr due to which Allah granted Prophet Mohammad the status “You are me and I am you (انا انت و انت انا )”, on the basis of this Trust of Faqr he said about his daughter, “Fatima-tuz-Zahra is from me.”
- Miswar bin Makhramah relates a tradition that the Holy Prophet said, “Fatimah is a part of my body. Whoever makes her angry in fact makes me angry.” (Bukhari 3714, 3767)
- Miswar bin Makhramah relates a tradition that the Holy Prophet said, “I severely dislike if someone hurts Fatimah as she is my most beloved daughter. (Agreed upon Hadith)
- Ali ibn Abi Talib narrates that the Holy Prophet said to Fatimah, “Undoubtedly, Allah becomes angry on who make you angry and is pleased on who makes you happy.” (Mustadrak 4730)
Hazrat bibi Fatima’s whole life from her birth till death is a witness of her purity, Divine love, pure inward, ardent love of Prophet Mohammad and following him perfectly. Fatima bint Mohammad is the youngest daughter of Holy Prophet and his beloved wife Hazrat Khadija. She was born 5 years before the declaration of Prophet Mohammad’s Prophet-hood. At that time Prophet Mohammad spent most of his time in solitude, meditating upon his Creator in cave of Hira. Those days Quraysh of Makkah were constructing Ka’aba all over again.
According to traditions, Fatima al Zahra was of serious nature and liked solitariness. Since childhood, she never played with other children nor did she ever step out of her house. Prophet Mohammad and Hazrat Khadijah loved her extremely as she was the youngest child. Fatima-tuz-Zahra always observed her father Prophet Mohammad’s attributes, conduct and behaviour and followed them.
From time to time Fatima-tuz-Zahra used to ask questions to Prophet Mohammad and Hazrat Khadija. That expressed her intelligence and love for Allah. According to a tradition, once she asked her mother Hazrat Khadija, “Mother, can we see Allah, Who has created this world and everything in it?” Hazrat Khadija replied, “My beloved Daughter, if we worship Allah in this world, treat His people with virtue and compassion, refrain from things which He has forbidden, if we only worship Allah and not associate any partner with Him and have faith in His Prophet Mohammad then surely we will see him in hereafter/day of judgement”.
The desire to acquire Divine nearness and vision emerged in her since she reached the age of maturity. Therefore she had no attraction towards materialistic world. Due to this passion and desire she began to gain knowledge of Divine gnosis at a very young age directly from Prophet Mohammad. Keeping in view her passion and curiosity, he also used to tell her about Allah. Allah blessed Fatima-tuz-Zahra with intelligence of great extent. She remembered everything she heard from Holy Prophet.
Indifferent to Materialism
Since childhood, Fatima-tuz-Zahra severely disliked show-off and display of oneself. According to a tradition, once Hazrat Khadija had to go to a wedding of a relative. So she had new and fancy clothes made for her daughters. However Fatima-tuz-Zahra chose to wear simple clothes instead and attended the wedding wearing simple dress. Her behaviour and conduct expressed her Divine love and indifference to materialism.
Fatima-tuz-Zahra underwent many Hardships
10 years after declaration of Prophet-hood, Hazrat Khadija beloved wife of Prophet Mohammad died which overwhelmed Hazrat Fatima with grief and sorrow. Firstly, death of her dear mother and secondly distress of her beloved Father saddened her deeply. On the other hand, idolaters of Makkah tormented Prophet Mohammad due to his preaching of Truth. Sometimes they threw mud on his sacred head and sometimes they lay thorns on his way. When he would come home Fatima-tuz-Zahra despite of being very young, used to console him. Sometimes she would shed tears on hardships of her glorious father. Then Holy Prophet would console her and saying, “My daughter, do not worry Allah will never leave your father alone.”
Fatima-tuz-Zahra grew under these unfavourable circumstances. She would get deeply saddened when she would see her righteous father and his followers being oppressed and tyrannised. However she never ever feared these situations. She consoled and looked after her father in every hardship but she never stopped him from preaching the Truth.
One day Prophet Mohammad went to Ka’aba and was offering a prayer. Infidels thought of a wicked act. They put an intestine of camel on Holy Prophet’s sacred neck while he was prostrating. Leader of this wretched group was Uqba ibn Abi Mu’ayt. When Abdullah ibn Mas’ud told Fatima-tuz-Zahra about this, she came running restlessly towards Ka’aba and removed intestine from Prophet Mohammad’s sacred neck. Infidels stood around them and started laughing and clapping. Fatima-tuz-Zahra looked at them with anger and said, “Allah will surely punish you for this wickedness.”
Hazrat bibi Fatimah was the perfect and exact reflection of Prophet Mohammad. She had piety and patience to a great extent and was a very religious woman. Fatima al-Zahra did all the household work herself. She would get blisters on her hand due to grinding the millstone. Her clothes would get dirty from cleaning the house but she never even complained once. In spite of all these household work she used to worship Allah regularly. Ali ibn Abi Talib was not financially well-off. However Fatima-tuz-Zahra always supported him in Faqr and in every hardship of life. They had to spend many days without food despite being a daughter and son-in-law of the leader of both worlds – Prophet Mohammad.
Once they were hungry the whole day, Hazrat Ali earned one dirham as wage by working somewhere. He bought barley with that money and came home at night. She happily took barley from him and grounded with millstone, cooked it and presented it to Hazrat Ali. Fatima bint Mohammad ate after he finished eating. Hazrat Ali said, at that time I recalled that Holy Prophet once said, “Fatima is the best woman in whole world.”
Once Prophet Mohammad went to Fatima-tuz-Zahra’s house and saw that she was wearing dress made of camel skin with thirteen patches on them. She was invoking Allah’s name while kneading the dough. Holy Prophet became tearful and said, “Fatima! Face every hardship with patience and wait for the eternal happiness in hereafter, Allah will surely reward you.”
Abdullah ibn Abbas relates that once Hazrat Ali watered a garden the whole night. He earned small amount of barley as wage. Fatima-tuz-Zahra took one part of barley and grounded it in millstone then cooked it. As soon as food was cooked, an indigent knocked at her door and said, “I am hungry”. She gave him all the food. Then she again took some part of grain and cooked it. This time an orphan knocked at her door and asked for food. She also gave him all the food which she just had cooked. She again grounded and cooked food with remaining barley that she had. This time an idolater prisoner asked for food in name of Allah, she again gave him all the food. Therefore the whole family did not eat anything that day. Allah liked this act so much that following verse was revealed that day.
وَ یُطۡعِمُوۡنَ الطَّعَامَ عَلٰی حُبِّہٖ مِسۡکِیۡنًا وَّ یَتِیۡمًا وَّ اَسِیۡرًا (76:8)
Meaning: And they give (their own) food, in deep love of Allah, to the needy, the orphan and prisoner (out of sacrifice, despite their own desire and need for it).
Once someone asked Hazrat Fatima, “What is the zakat of forty camels?” She replied, “For you it will be only one camel. If I had forty camels I would give them all in way of Allah.”
Fatima bint Mohammad would perform devotions, prayers and recite Holy Quran despite being sick. Hazrat Imam Hassan said that, “I have seen my mother performing devotions day and night and saw her crying before Allah but not once I have seen her pray for herself.” Once Fatima-tuz-Zahra despite of being ill, performed devotions all night. When Hazrat Ali returned home and saw her grinding millstone he said, “O daughter of Prophet Mohammad, do not work so hard and get some rest or your health will get worse.” She replied, “Worshipping Allah and serving you are the best cure for my sickness. If I die as a result then I will be very fortunate.”
Fatima-tuz-Zahra was very kind hearted. She would start weeping on hearing about the day of judgement. Her sacred body would start trembling and she would start praying for forgiveness by invoking ‘I seek forgiveness in Allah (استغفرُ اللہ )’. Ali ibn abi Talib said, “I saw Fatima that she was cooking food while invoking Allah’s name. She was grinding millstone and at the same time reciting verses of Quran”. Salman al-Farsi also relates, “Hazrat Fatima would recite Holy Quran while doing household work.”
Allama Iqbal said about Fatima-tuz-Zahra
نوری و ہم آتشی فرمانبرش
گم رضایش در رضائے شوہرش
آن ادب پروردۂ صبر و رضا
آسیا گردان و لب قرآن سرا
اشک او برچید جبریل از زمین
ہمچو شبنم ریخت بر عرش برین
Explanation: Hazrat Fatima was a woman of such exalted status and great magnificence that even angels and jinns were obedient to her. However it was her humility that despite having such status, she submitted herself to her husband’s will. Fatima-tuz-Zahra’s was brought up by Prophet Mohammad and Hazrat Khadija, who were complete embodiment of patience and submissiveness to Allah’s will. Therefore she inherited these attributes from her parents. Her sacred hands would get wounded because of grinding millstone. Regardless of being in pain she would still grind millstone with her delicate hands while reciting verses of Quran.
Moreover, at night she would perform devotions and prayers regularly after completing her household chores. She would get completely engrossed in Divine love that tears would fall from her brimming eyes. These pearl like tears were so pure and invaluable before Allah that Archangel Gabriel would collect them from earth and shower them down in heaven like dew drops. (Ramuz-e-Bekhudi)
Fatima-tuz-Zahra fulfilled all her religious and worldly responsibilities perfectly which is not possible for any common man or woman to do so. Main purpose of her life was submission to Divine will and following Prophet Mohammad and she did so perfectly.
Therefore Fatima-tuz-Zahra was granted the title of ‘Batool’. It means ‘the selfless woman of Truth who renounced all the pleasures of the world in way of Allah’. Fatima bint Mohammad is a perfect role model for all the believer women.
Once Prophet Mohammad asked Fatima-tuz-Zahra, “My beloved, what are the attributes of Muslim women? She replied, “Father, a woman should obey Allah and His Prophet Mohammad, should be kind to children, she should keep her eyes lowered, hide her beauty and neither she should look at any stranger nor stranger could see her.” Prophet Mohammad became happy on hearing this answer.
Fatima-tuz-Zahra was overwhelmed with distress and sorrow on death of Prophet Mohammad. It is narrated in all the books of Hadiths and biographies of the Prophet Mohammad that after his death no one ever saw her smiling. Fatima-tuz-Zahra left this material world after six months of Holy Prophet’s death on 3rd Ramadan, 11th Hijri, at the age of twenty nine. Before her death she called Asma bint Umays and said, “During my funeral and burial keep complete care of veil and take no one’s help except my husband for my last ablution. Do not let much crowd gather around during my burial.” Not many people attended her funeral because she died at night and Hazrat Ali buried her the same night. Her tomb is in Jannat-ul-Baqi.
Fatima-tuz-Zahra had six children. Hasan ibn Ali, Husayn ibn Ali, Muhsin ibn Ali, Umm Kulthum bint Ali, Ruqayyah bint Ali and Zaynab bint Ali. Prophet Mohammad’s lineage is from Fatima-tuz-Zahra. Prophet Mohammad said about the grandeur of Hazrat Fatima, the Lady of Paradise, “On the day of judgement, my daughter Fatima-tuz-Zahra will rise wearing a dress of honour which will be washed with the water of eternal life. The whole creation will be amazed to see her. Then she will be dressed up in a gown of paradise, every garment of her dress will be embellished with thousands of heavenly garments. On each garment it will be written ‘Take Prophet Mohammad’s daughter in paradise with beauty, perfect majesty, great honour and massive splendour’.
She will be adorned like bride and will be taken to paradise with seventy thousand houris around her. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari narrated, “On the day of judgement a voice will call from heaven, O people! Bow your heads and lower your eyes so the daughter of Prophet Mohammad Fatima-tuz-Zahra will cross the bridge ( پل صراط ). Then she will cross the bridge and there will be seventy thousand maids with her from amongst the houris beautiful like bright lightning.”
May all believer women follow the conduct of Fatima bint Mohammad and may Allah grant them His closeness. Ameen!
Q: At what age Fatima ra died?
Ans: Fatima (ra) died at the age of twenty nine.
Q: Who was Fatima to the Prophet Mohammad?
Ans: Fatima-tuz-Zahra was the daughter of Prophet Mohammad.
Q: Where is Fatima Zahra buried?
Ans: She is buried in Jannat-ul-Baqi.