Fāṭima az-Zahrāʾ: The Lasting Honor of the Family of Muhammad Calligraphy by Turan Sevgili

Fāṭima az-Zahrāʾ: The Lasting Honor of the Family of Muhammad on

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Excerpt from "The Lasting Honor of the Family of Muhammad (God bless him and give him peace)" by Yūsuf ibn Ismāʿīl al-Nabahānī (d. 1932); Translated by the late Muhtar Holland (d. 2010).  Image from original calligraphy by Turan Sevgili.


Lady Fāṭima az-Zahrāʾ

(may God be well pleased with her) 

As related by at-Tirmidhī and others, on the authority of Usāma ibn Zaid (may God be well pleased with him and his father), God’s Messenger said (God bless him and give him peace):  “The dearest of my family to me is Fāṭima.”

It has also been related by aṭ-Ṭabarānī, on the authority of Abū Huraira, that ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib said (may God be well pleased with him):  “O Messenger of God, which of us is dearer to you, I or Fāṭima?”  He replied:  “Fāṭima is more beloved to me [aḥabbu ilayya] than thee, and thou art more precious to me [aʿazzu ʿalayya] than she!”   My master ʿAbd al-Wahhāb ash-Shaʿrānī said:  “He (God bless him and give him peace) clearly says that Fāṭima is more beloved [aḥabb] to him than ʿAlī.  As for ʿAlī being more precious [aʿazz], we cannot judge if that makes him superior or not to someone who is more beloved.  Ponder upon this.”

It has also been related on the authority of many of the Companions that the Prophet said (God bless him and give him peace):  “When it is the Day of Resurrection, a crier will cry from the bottoms of the Throne:  ‘O people of the gathering, cover your heads and lower your eyes, so that Muḥammad’s daughter Fāṭima may pass over the bridge to the Garden of Paradise,’”  and according to Abū Ayyūb:  “for she will pass over together with seventy thousand maids from among the bright-eyed houris, like the passage of the flash of lightning.”

It has also been related by Ibn Ḥibbān that ʿĀʾisha said (may God be well pleased with her):  “I have not seen anyone resembling God’s Messenger (God bless him and give him peace) in speech and conversation more closely than Fāṭima.  When she entered, he would go to her, bid her welcome, take hold of her hand and seat her in his presence.”

As reported by aṭ-Ṭabārānī and others, with an authentic chain of transmission according to the Two Shaykhs, ʿĀʾisha said (may God be well pleased with her):  “I have never seen anyone more excellent than Fāṭima, apart from her father!”   It has also been reported by aṭ-Ṭabārānī and others, with a fine chain of transmission from ʿAlī, that God’s Messenger (God bless him and give him peace) said to Fāṭima:  “God is angry because of your anger, and He is well pleased because of your good pleasure,” and in al-Jāmiʿ aṣ-Ṣaghīr:  “Fāṭima is a piece of flesh from me.  Whatever distresses her distresses me, and whatever comforts her comforts me!”   As related by al-Bukhārī, he said (God bless him and give him peace): “Fāṭima is a piece of flesh from me.  Whatever angers her angers me,” and in one report:  “Whoever angers her angers me.”   As related by Ibn Ḥibbān and others, Abū Huraira said:  “God’s Messenger said (God bless him and give him peace):  ‘An angel from heaven had not visited me, so it asked my Lord for permission to visit me, then it gave me glad tidings and informed me that Fāṭima is the Mistress of the women of my Community.’”  

 As related by Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) said to her:  “O my young daughter, you must surely be pleased that you are the Mistress of all the worlds!”  She said:  “O my father, what of Mary?”  He said:  “She is the Mistress of the women of her world!”   Her superiority over all other women, even our Lady Mary, has been declared by many of the qualified scholars, including at-Taqiyy as-Sabukī, al-Jalāl as-Suyūṭī, al-Badr az-Zarkashī and at-Taqiyy al-Maqrīzī.  When as-Sabukī was asked about that, he said:  “As for what we prefer, and for which we are indebted to God, it is that Muḥammad’s daughter Fāṭima is the most excellent.”  Ibn Abī Dāwud was also asked a similar question about that, so he replied:  “God’s Messenger said (God bless him and give him peace):  ‘Fāṭima is a piece of flesh from me,’  and I do not consider anyone equal to the piece of flesh of God’s Messenger.”  According to al-Manāwī in his commentary, the Prophet said (God bless him and give him peace):  “The excellence of ʿĀʾisha over the women is like the excellence of tharīd [a dish of sopped bread, meat and broth] over all other food.”   Many of the ancients and the moderns have said:  “We do not consider anyone equal to the piece of flesh of the Chosen Prophet (God bless him and give him peace).”  A few have said:  “About him it is known that the rest of his children are like Fāṭima (may God be well pleased with her).”

According to al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥujr:  “The preferment of his daughters over his wives is indicated by the report of Abū Yaʿlā traceable to ʿUmar:  ‘Someone better than ‘Uthmān married Ḥafṣa, and ʿUthmān married someone better than Ḥafṣa.’”  [The Prophet married Ḥafṣa, and ʿUthmān married the Prophet’s daughters Ruqayya and Umm Kulthūm.]

As related by an-Nasāʾī, the Prophet said (God bless him and give him peace):  “My daughter Fāṭima is a human houri who has not menstruated and has not lost her virginity.”   Al-Ḥāfiẓ as-Suyūṭī has said in al-Khaṣāʾiṣ [The Peculiarities]: “Among the peculiarities of his daughter Fāṭima is that she did not menstruate, and when she gave birth she was cleansed of her parturition after an hour, so that she did not miss a ritual prayer.  Because of that she was called az-Zahrāʾ [the Dazzling Beauty].  When she was hungry, God’s Messenger (God bless him and give him peace) placed his hand on her breast, so she was no longer hungry.  When she was at the point of death, she bathed herself and ordered that no one should expose her, so ʿAlī (may God be well pleased with him) buried her in the state of that major ritual ablution of hers.”

 As for her being called the Virgin [al-Batūl], aṣ-Ṣabbān said:  “She was so-called because of her “severance” from the women of her time in merit, religion and lineage, for the Arabic root b-t-l conveys the meaning of severance.”  He said:  “In spite of her being in that exalted degree, she was (may God be well pleased with her) in an extreme state of destitution, as an admonition for the heedless that this world is not the focus of the sight of the perfect.”

As related by Aḥmad:  “Bilāl was late for the early morning ritual prayer, so the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) asked him:  ‘What kept you?’  He said:  ‘I passed by Fāṭima, and she was milling grain and the boy was weeping, so I said:  “If you wish, I shall handle the quern for you, and if you wish, I shall take care of the boy for you.”  She said:  “I am kinder to my son than you,” so that is what detained me from you.’”

Aḥmad has also related, with a fine chain of transmission, that ʿAlī said to Fāṭima:  “Many servants have come to your father, so go and ask him for service.”  Then they came to him together, so Fāṭima said:  “O Messenger of God, I have milled grain until my hands have become exhausted, and God has brought you an abundance, so render a service to us,” meaning: “give us a servant!”  He said:  “By God, I shall not give to you and leave the People of the Bench [Ahl aṣ-Ṣuffa] with their stomachs suffering from hunger!”  Then he said:  “Shall I not inform you of something better than what you have asked of me?”  They said:  “Yes, of course!”  He said:  “Words that Gabriel taught me.  When you come to your bed, you must recite the Qurʾānic Verse of the Throne, glorify the Lord thirty-three times, praise Him thirty-three times, and proclaim His Supreme Greatness thirty-four times!”

The Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) had given her in marriage to ʿAlī at the command of God (Exalted is He) in the second year of the Hijra.  The marriage was contracted in the month of Muḥarram, according to some of the traditional reports, and he consummated it with her in Dhu’l-Ḥijja, when she was fifteen years of age, and he was twenty-one years of age.  He did not marry another wife until she died, and the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) supplicated on her behalf on the night of the consummation, with his saying:  “O God, I place her and her offspring under Your protection from Satan the accursed!”   He also offered a similar supplication on behalf of ʿAlī (may God be well pleased with him) and both of them, with his saying:  “May God consummate your union!”

God then made their lineage the keys of mercy and the treasuries of wisdom, and the security of the Community, with the Prophet’s saying (God bless him and give him peace) addressed to them both:  “May God bless you, and may He invoke benediction upon you, and may He strengthen your good fortune, and may He produce from you abundance and goodness!”  Anas said (may God be well pleased with him):  “By God, He did indeed produce from the pair of them abundance and goodness!”

This is the sermon delivered by the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) when he contracted the marriage, after he summoned the venerable Companions among the Emigrants and the Helpers, for when they assembled in his presence and took their seats, while ʿAlī (may God be well pleased with him) was absent, he said (God bless him and give him peace): 

Praise be to God, the One who is praised for His benefaction, the One who is worshipped because of His omnipotence, the One whose authority is obeyed, the One who is dreaded because of His chatisement and His assault, the One whose commandment is effective in His heaven and His earth, the One who created the creatures by means of His omnipotence, and distinguished them by means of His judgments, and honored them with His religion, and ennobled them with His Prophet Muḥammad (God bless him and give him peace).  God (Blessed be His Name, and Exalted be His Majesty) has made relationship by marriage a binding connection and an imperative matter, with which He has closely linked the kinships, and which He has imposed as a duty on the human race, for He has said (More Glorious is He than any other sayer):  ‘And He is the One who created a human being from water, and appointed for him kindred by birth and kindred by marriage.’ (Q.25:54) .  God’s authority therefore determines His judgment, and His judgment determines His decree, and for every judgment there is a decree, and for every decree there is a time appointed:  ‘For every term there is a written appontment.  God effaces or confirms whatever He will, and with Him is the Essence of the Book.’ (Q.13:38-39) .  God (Exalted is He) has commanded me to give Fāṭima in marriage to ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, so bear witness that I have married him to her on the condition of four hundred weights of silver [as a bridal gift from him], if he is content with that.

Then ʿAlī (may God be well pleased with him) entered, so God’s Messenger (God bless him and give him peace) smiled in his face and said:  “God (Exalted is He) has commanded me to marry you to Fāṭima on the condition of four hundred weights of silver.  Are you content with that?”   He thereupon made a proposal and said:  “I am content with that, O Messenger of God!”

ʿAlī did not marry another wife until she died (may God be well pleased with her), and when he proposed to Juwariyya bint Abī Jahl, the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) stood on the pulpit and said:

The sons of Hishām ibn al-Mughīra have requested my permission for them to marry their daughter to ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, but I will not grant them permission.  I will not grant them permission unless Ibn Abī Ṭālib wishes to divorce my daughter and marry their daughter.  She is a piece of flesh from me.  Whatever disturbs her disturbs me, and whatever troubles her troubles me.  By God, the daughter of God’s Messenger and the daughter of God’s enemy will never come together in the presence of a man!

‘Alī therefore abandoned the proposal.

According to Abū Dāwud, God forbade ʿAlī (may God be well pleased with him) to marry any wife in addition to Fāṭima (may God be well pleased with her) during her lifetime.  She died (may God be well pleased with her) six months after her father (God bless him and give him peace), on the night of Tuesday the third of Ramaḍān in the year [A.H.] 11. 

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By ImanWire , 05 Oct 2016

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