Martrydom of Hazrat Fatema Zahra (S.A.)
By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
Today is the 13th of the month of Jamadi al-Awwal, the day on which, as per a narration, exactly 75 days after the departure from the mortal world, of the Almighty’s Last Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), his beloved daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (peace upon her), the noblest lady of all times, who is considered as the Pride of the Virgin Mary (peace upon her) was forced to leave the world, a martyr.
“O Father! So great was the magnitude of calamities upon me after you; had they befallen bright days they would have turned into dark nights.”
What we recited to you is part of a moving elegy of a daughter at the grave of her father. Although in the prime of youth, she was bent and leaning on a staff, because of severe pain in her ribs. She was lamenting the rough treatment meted out to her by a roguish group of her father’s companions, who, not just seized her patrimony and deprived her husband of his political rights, but also battered upon her the blazing door of her house, as a result of which she suffered broken ribs and miscarriage. The stillborn Mohsin, thus became the first victim of the Prophet’s progeny to be martyred by those claiming to be Muslims. So grave were her sufferings that she was destined to live no more than 75 days – according to another account 95 days – after her father’s departure from the mortal world. Let us present to you some more passages of the moving elegy of Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA), whom God has hailed in the holy Qur’an as Kowsar or the Heavenly Fountain of Perpetual Abundance.
"Father! I remain bewildered and lonely; confused and lonesome. My voice is subdued. My back is broken. My life is disturbed… Surely, after you, (God's) revelations, the place of Gabriel's descent and Michael's station have vanished. Father! Motives have changed and gates have been shut in my face."
"Father! I will forever be sorrowful until we are reunited… Father! We became after you among the oppressed. Father! People shun us after you, after we were glorified by your presence…"
"Father! How gloomy are your meeting places (without your presence)! How pained I am for you, until I soon join you! How bereaved is Abu'l-Hasan (Imam Ali), the father of your two (grand)sons Hasan and Husain; your beloved one; he whom you brought up as a youth, and made your brother as a man; the most beloved of your companions to you; Abu'l-Hasan, who was the first to migrate and help you."
The mourner of the Prophet’s daughter, wherever they might be around the world, including the Prophet’s city Medina, from where her soul flew to the ethereal heavens, have no specific spot to visualize as her shrine, since Fatema Zahra (SA) does not have a tomb.No one knows where exactly the noblest-ever lady was laid to rest, because she did not want even the shadow of her tormentors to fall on her grave. Here is part of her Last Will to her weeping husband, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn AbiTaleb (AS), for whose divinely-decreed right of leadership of the ummah, she sacrificed her life: "I ask you not to let anyone who did injustice to me to witness my funeral, for they are certainly enemies of mine, and the enemies of Allah's Messenger. Don't give them the chance to pray over me, nor to any of their followers. Burry me at night when eyes are rested and sight is put to sleep."
Her words are indicative of the degree of harm she suffered at the hands of the neo Muslims, who despite their claim to be heirs of the political legacy of her father, totally disregarded the Prophet’s statement: “Fatema is a part of me; whoever hurts her has hurt me, and whoever hurts me, has indeed displeased God.”
Indeed, as Muslims of all denominations are unanimous, Fatema Zahra (SA) is the most virtuous lady of all times. According to the works of such outstanding scholars amongst our Sunni brethren – such as Ahmad ibnHanbal, Tirmidhi, Hakem Nishabouri, Tabaranietc – she is the daughter at whose doorstep Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) used to salute every morning before the dawn prayers following revelation of the Verse of Purity, that is, ayah 33 of Surah al-Ahzaab, which vouchsafes the pristine purity of the Ahl al-Bayt.
“Indeed, Allah desires to keep away uncleanness from you Ahl al-Bayt, and preserve you thoroughly purified.”
The narrators also agree that whenever the Prophet used to leave Medina, Fatema (SA) was the last one he bade goodbye, and on return she was the first and foremost one to be greeted by him.It is an indisputable fact that the Prophet used to stand to his feet whenever she entered his presence. This was not the doting of a middle-aged father on his only surviving child, but the commandment of the Creator. In this regard, Ayesha – one of the several wives the Prophet had married in the last ten years of his life in Medina out of social necessity after the passing away in Mecca of his loyal wife of 25 long years, Fatema's (SA) mother Khadijat-al-Kubra (SA) – says: “Never have I seen any one resembling the Messenger of Allah (SAWA) in his way of standing and sitting more than Fatema – may Allah grant her more honour. When she came in to see him, he would rise to his feet, take her hand, kiss her and seat her where he was seated…”
In Sahih Bukhari, the Prophet is quoted as saying: “Fatema is a part of me, whoever displeases her has displeased me."
But why would anyone displease such a paragon of virtue? 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, less than two years before the Prophet's departure from the world? No one can deny these facts, but alas, no sooner did the Prophet pass away, things abruptly changed for his beloved daughter and her family. The political right of her husband, Imam Ali (AS) was usurped at Saqifa Bani Sa'dah by a group greedy for rule of the Islamic state, which did not belong to them. Next, her own rights were seized including the patrimony of the Orchard of Fadak which the Prophet had given her in his lifetime, and whose income she spent for the upkeep of the poor and the destitute.
Matters worsened by the day. In order to defend not just her own rights or the rights of inheritance of Muslim women, but also the divinely-decreed right of Imam Ali (AS), she delivered the memorable sermon in the court of the caliph and his clique – a flawlessly eloquent sermon that till this day continues to provide guidelines for Muslims concerning the fundamentals of faith, including Monotheism, Divine Justice, Prophethood, Imamate, and Resurrection. Her words fell on deaf ears and failed to jolt the conscience of the neo-Muslims who had spent almost their entire life in idol-worship and all other abominable crimes and sins of the Days of Ignorance. The irony of Islamic history is that despite the testimony of the holy Qur’an in her favour and that of her husband and sons, as the barometers of true faith, the chief conspirator of the scandalous event of Saqifa Bani Sa’da, while battering the flaming door upon her, had threatened to burn the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet to death, if Imam Ali (AS) doesn’t give oath of allegiance to his candidate for the caliphate. And when the injured Fatema (SA) clung to the raiment of her husband as he was being dragged by the ruffians, with a rope around his neck, this rascal had ordered his slave Qunfudh to whip the hands of the Prophet’s daughter.
Fatema (SA) was not lamenting her sufferings, or that of her husband and her children, although she knew by the Grace of God that the deviationist trend which had started at Saqifa Bani Sa'da while the Prophet was being laid to rest by his divinely-decreed vicegerent, Imam Ali (AS), will one day see the rise of the charlatan Yazid to the caliphate and the tragedy of Karbala, where her household would be slaughtered mercilessly by those masquerading as Muslims. She was actually grief-stricken for the catastrophe befalling Islam, as had been the case with the messages of the past Prophets, for example, Moses and Jesus, whose teachings had been distorted into Judaism and Christianity. She thus left the world in the state of profound grief. Imam Ali (AS) carried out the wishes of his beloved wife in the dead of night, at an unmarked and still unknown spot in Medina, so that the shadow of those that had displeased her, the Prophet and God, would never fall upon it, nor would any future blasphemers, such as the Wahhabis of our times, would be able to desecrate it.
"O Allah! Send blessings on Fatema the Truthful, the Spotlessly Pure, the Dearest of the Most Dearest (Person) to You, Your Prophet… whom You chose, favoured and gave preference over all women of the universe."