The Noble Lineage of Fatimah az- Zahra (S.A.)
By: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi
There is no lineage in the earth higher than the lineage of Fatimah, the principal of the women of the worlds.
The father of Fatimah (a.s.) is the master of the creation and the chief of mankind who had opened the horizons of intellect and light, and established the civilization that had saved man from the abysses of sins and superstitions that he had sunk in. Her father was a treasure from the treasures of Allah and a gift from Him for His people to teach them the Book and wisdom, though they were, before him, ignorant and in manifest error.
It was her father who had changed the history of man, where the weak were easy bites for the strong, girls were buried alive, and idols were worshipped instead of the One and Only Creator, into a shiny life where all people were equal, where there was no preference for man to woman, and where reason ruled over man instead of superstitions. It was her father who had freed man from ignorance, bad habits and poverty.
It was enough for Fatimah (s.a.) that she was the daughter of the messenger of Allah, His beloved and His last prophet, and it was enough for Fatimah that she was the most beloved, and the closest to her father from among all his children and from among all people.
The mother of Fatimah (s.a.) was Khadijah bint Khuwaylid who was called as “the mistress of the women of Quraysh” in the pre-Islamic era, and “the Mother of the Believers” in Islam. She was from a noble, honored, glorious house. She met with the Prophet (S) in Qusay who was the fourth grandfather of the Prophet (S) and the third grandfather of her, and this lineage ended to Prophet Abraham (a.s.). No woman from Quraysh was like her in her high position and lofty rank. She was the first spark in the great Islamic Revolution that spread light everywhere and destroyed the forts of atheism and polytheism.
Here, we talk in brief about some concerns of this great lady who was the mother of the best woman Allah had ever created in the earth; Fatimah (s.a.) the mother of the Prophet’s two grandsons, al-Hasan al-Husayn (a.s.) whom the Prophet’s progeny stemmed only from.
The Wealth of Khadijah
Lady Khadijah (s.a.) was so wealthy that no one of the merchants of Quraysh had wealth like hers. Historians say that the merchants of Mecca traded with the capitals of Lady Khadijah (s.a.). They went to some countries like Sham to sell their goods there, and to bring clothes and some kinds of food that the people of Mecca needed. Therefore, her wealth grew bigger and bigger.
The Prophet (S) Trades with her Money
Prophet Muhammad (before prophethood) suggested to his uncle Abu Talib, who loved him too much, that he wanted to trade with the money of Lady Khadijah (s.a.), and Abu Talib agreed to his suggestion.
Al-Wafidi says that it was his uncle Abu Talib, who encouraged him to trade with the money of Lady Khadijah (s.a.) by saying to him, ‘O my nephew, I am a man of no money, and life is difficult for us, and severe years have struck us and left us neither with money nor with trade. These are the caravans of your people ready to go to Sham, and Khadijah (s.a.) sends men to trade with her money and get profits. If you go to her, she will prefer you to all others because she has been informed about your fidelity and purity, though I hate for you to go to Sham, and I fear for you from the Jews. I was informed that she had hired so-and-so for two camels, and we do not accept for you like what she had given to him. Do you want me to talk to her about you?’1
The Prophet (S) said, ‘As you like uncle.’
The Prophet (S), or his uncle Abu Talib asked Lady Khadijah (a.s.) to trade with her capital, and she responded delightedly for she knew that Muhammad was honest and with high morals unlike the youth of Quraysh who were involved in play and pleasures.
She gave him some monies and sent with him her servant Maysarah. The Prophet (S) went to Sham. He sold his goods in Sham, bought others from there, and came back. He made great profits that no one from those, who traded with the money of Lady Khadijah (s.a.), had ever made before him. Maysarah was astonished by the wonders he saw in his travel with the Prophet (S). He saw a cloud moving over them to make a shadow for the Prophet (S) and he saw the Prophet’s special looks at the heaven that showed deep faith in Allah.
Lady Khadijah was pleased with the talk of her servant. She loved the Prophet (S) and thought he would have a great future that would include all the earth.
The Marriage of the Prophet with Khadijah
Lady Khadijah (s.a.) believed, with no bit of doubt, that Muhammad would be the prophet by whose mission the world would shine. It was he whom the prophets of Allah had brought good tidings about before. She proposed to him to marry her, and she gave him some money (so that he would give it to her as if it was his) to be as her dowry.
The Prophet (S) told his uncle Abu Talib who became very pleased for that, because he knew Khadijah (s.a.) and knew her high position and honor. He knew that she refused to get married to the masters and chiefs of Quraysh when they asked for her hand. Abu Talib, Hamza and other uncles of the Prophet (S) went to Khuwaylid, the father of Khadijah (s.a.), who received them warmly and was pleased with this marriage.
The Speech of Abu Talib
On the occasion of the engagement of the Prophet (S) and Khadijah (s.a.), Abu Talib made a speech saying, “Praise be to Allah, Who has made us from the progeny of Abraham and the offspring of Ishmael, and made for us an inviolable country, and a House of pilgrimage, and made us the rulers over people. Then, Muhammad bin Abdullah, my nephew, is one that no one of the youth of Quraysh is compared to him unless he is preferred to him by his piety, virtue, determination, reason, discernment and nobility, though he is of little money, but money is a transient shadow and a loan that shall be given back. He has a wish towards Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, and she has like that. Whatever dowry you would like, I shall pay.”2
Khuwaylid agreed and Khadijah (s.a.), who was forty years old, was carried in procession to the house of her husband Muhammad (S) who was twenty-five years old then.
Lady Khadijah (s.a.) got married by her own option and freedom, turning her back to the traditions of her age that it was man who would propose to woman and not vice versa. Khadijah (s.a.) took her big wealth with her to the Prophet (S) who spent it neither on himself nor on her, but on the Islamic mission. The wealth of Khadijah (s.a.) was one of the pillars that Islam depended on in its success.
The marital relation between the Prophet (S) and Khadijah (s.a.) was based on love, kindness and sincerity. It was the best marital life in Mecca. Khadijah was so sincere to the Prophet (S) and the Prophet (S) found with her all love and care that he had missed because of the death of his parents whom he had lost since his early childhood.
In the Cave of Hara’
The Prophet (S) liked loneliness in the cave of Hara’. He spent long times there pondering on the signs of Allah, and on all facts in the universe that proved the existence of a Great Creator. His loyal wife watched and cared much for him. She feared too much for him. She would sent someone after him to guard him3. She was certain that he would be the great prophet that Allah had chosen to save man from the darkness of ignorance.
In the cave of Hara’, the Prophet (S) received the message of Allah the Almighty. Gabriel came down to him, honored him with the prophethood, and ordered him to recite a sura from the Book of Allah. It was the sura of “Iqra’; al-Alaq”. The Prophet (S) got up and the angel was with him. Wherever he turned he saw him. The Prophet (S) went home frightfully. He talked to his wife about what he saw and heard and she cried out, “Allah guards us. O cousin, be delighted and be firm! I swear by Him, in Whose hand the soul of Khadijah is, that I see you will be the prophet of this nation. Allah will not disgrace you at all, for you keep relation with your kin, are truthful in your speech, give deposits back to their owners, carry food (for the needy), entertain guests and relieve the distresses of others.”4
This speech of Khadijah (s.a.) relieved the Prophet (S) and made him feel safe and calm. When the Prophet (S) went to bed, Gabriel came to him again carrying with him another Sura. The sura recited, “O you who are clothed. Arise and warn” 74:1-2
It was no time for sleep. He had to rise and struggle to save man from ignorance and the slavery to other than Allah the Almighty. The Prophet (S) jumped from his bed and told his wife Khadijah (s.a.) what he saw again. She encouraged him with more resolution.
Khadijah with Waraqah
Khadijah (s.a.) went to her cousin Waraqah bin Nawfal who was a virtuous man and had taken knowledge from the Torah and the Bible from priests and scholars. Waraqah became delighted with the talk of Khadijah (s.a.) and said enthusiastically and faithfully, ‘The Most Holy, the Most Holy! By Him in Whose hand the soul of Waraqah is, you would believe me that the Great Law, that had come to Moses and Jesus, has come to him. Surely, he is the prophet of this nation. Say to him to be firm!’5
Khadijah (s.a.) went back to the Prophet (S) and told him what Waraqah said. She encouraged and gave him more confidence. The Prophet (S) was pleased to hear that.
Khadijah and Ali the First Muslims
All historians say that Khadijah (s.a.) was the first one who believed in Islam and embraced the mission that Allah had revealed to His slave and messenger Muhammad (S) and then Ali Ameerul Mo'minin (a.s.).
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “...and there was no house, then, that gathered in Islam save the messenger of Allah (S), Khadijah, and me the third of them.”6
Ibn Abbas said, ‘Ali was the first one who believed (in Islam) from among people after Khadijah.’7
Imam Ali (a.s.), when he turned a Muslim, was seven years old, and it was said nine years.8
Muhammad (S) became prophet on Monday, and he, with Khadijah (s.a.) and Imam Ali (a.s.), who was a young boy then, offered the prayer in the Kaaba on Tuesday.9
Afif al-Kindi said, ‘Once in the pre-Islamic age, I went to Mecca to buy some clothes and perfumes for my family. I went to al-Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib (one of the Prophet’s uncles) who was a merchant. While I was sitting with him sitting looking at the Kaaba and the sun was high in the sky, a young man came, looked at the sky, and stood up towards the Kaaba. After no long, a young boy came and stood on his right, and then a woman came and stood behind them. The young man bowed, and the boy and the woman bowed with him. Then, the young man prostrated himself, and the boy and the woman prostrated too. I astonishedly said, ‘O Abbas, it is a great thing!’
Al-Abbas said, ‘Yes, it is a great thing! Do you know who this young man is?’
I said, ‘No.’
He said, ‘He is Muhammad bin Abdullah, my nephew. Do you know who this young boy is?
I said, ‘No.’
He said, ‘He is Ali bin Abi Talib. Do you know who this woman is?’
I said, ‘No.’
He said, ‘She is Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Muhammad’s wife. My nephew (he pointed to Muhammad) told me that his Lord, the Lord of the heaven and the earth, had ordered him with this religion. By Allah, there is no one on the earth in this religion except these three ones.’10
Khadijah (s.a.) was with the Prophet (S) all the time. She did not let him alone even in his circumambulation around the Kaaba. Abdullah bin Mas’ud said, ‘The first time I knew about the matter (prophethood) of the messenger of Allah (S) was that once, I came to Mecca with some uncles of mine. We were guided to al-Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib who was sitting at the well of Zamzam. While we were sitting with him, a young man came from the gate of as-Safa. He was reddish-white….wearing white clothes. He was like a fullmoon. On his right, there was a beardless, beautiful young boy, and after him a veiled woman. He went to the (Black) Rock and kissed it, and the young boy kissed it, and then the woman did so. Then, he circumambulated the House (the Kaaba), and the boy and the woman circumambulated with him.
We said, ‘O Abul Fadhl (al-Abbas), we have not known such a religion among you. Has something happened?’
Al-Abbas said, ‘This is my nephew Muhammad, the boy is Ali bin Abi Talib, and the woman is Khadijah.’
Ibn Mas’ud said, ‘By Allah, we have not known anyone on the face of the earth worshipping Allah by this religion except these three ones.’11
Khadijah and Ali (peace be on them) were the first ones who believed in the Prophet (S) and embraced the new religion.
Moral Assistance to the Prophet (S)
Khadijah (s.a.), the Mother of the Believers, stood with the Prophet (S) supporting and assisting him in bearing the severest harms and persecution he received from Quraysh.
Ibn Isaaq said, ‘Whenever the messenger of Allah heard something that he hated (from the people of Quraysh) and accusing him of lying, Allah relieved him by Khadijah. When he came back to her, she encouraged and comforted him. She believed him and made the troubles of people easy to him. She did so until she joined her Lord.’12
Lady Khadijah (s.a.) offered her great wealth to support Islam. She spent all what she had to propagandize for the Islamic mission. When Quraysh confined the Prophet (S) and the Hashemites in Shi’b Abi Talib and imposed a severe economical blockade on them, Khadijah (s.a.) supplied them with all what they needed throughout the period of the blockade which was more than two years.
Lady Khadijah (s.a.) offered to Islam all her wealth until she became poor where she had no mat to sit on.
Greetings from Allah to Khadijah
Lady Khadijah (s.a.) had a very high position near Allah the Almighty. Allah had thanked her great services and assistance to the Prophet (S) in supporting Islam. Many true traditions were transmitted saying that Allah had sent her greetings and peace through His slave and messenger Muhammad (S).13
Her House in the Paradise
For the lofty position Khadijah had near Allah, Allah had endowed her with a house in the High Paradise. It would be one of the high palaces that Allah had prepared for the good believing men and good believing women. It is related that the Prophet (S) had said, ‘I have been ordered to bring good news of a house of reeds in the Paradise for Khadijah. There will be neither clamor nor pains in it.’14
This will be her reward from her Lord for the great services she did to Islam and the great favors she did Muslims.
Her Position near the Prophet (S)
Lady Khadijah (s.a.) occupied the feelings and emotions of the Prophet (S) and had a very high position near him. He loved her too much and was loyal to her.
Aa’ishah, the Prophet’s wife said, ‘The Prophet, when going out of home, often mentioned Khadijah (after her death) and praised her. Once, he mentioned her, but I became jealous and said, ‘She was but an old woman that Allah has given you in place of her better than her.’
The Prophet (S) became angry until his forelock shook because of anger, and then he said, ‘No, by Allah, Allah has not given me in place of her better than her. She believed in me when people disbelieved, comforted me with her money when people denied me, and Allah had granted me offspring from her where He had not granted me from other wives.’15
Once, Halah, Khadijah’s (s.a.) sister, came to Medina and visited the Prophet’s (S) house. When the Prophet (S) heard her voice, which was like the voice of Khadijah (s.a.), in the yard of the house, he said, ‘O my Lord, she is Halah bint Khuwaylid…’
Aa’isha could not control herself and she said, ‘What do you remember from an old woman from the old women of Quraysh?... She died since long, and Allah has given you in place of her better than her.’16
The Prophet (S) became angry and he shouted at Aa'isha, ‘No, by Allah, Allah has not given me better than her. She believed in me when people disbelieved, believed me when people accused me of lying, comforted me with her wealth when people denied me, and Allah granted me offspring from her when he did not grant me from wives other than her.’ 17
When the Prophet (S) slaughtered a sheep, he said (to servants), ‘Take (some meat) to the friends of Khadijah!’
Once, Aa'isha said to him, ‘Why do you do that?’
He said, ‘I do like her beloveds.’18
In another tradition, it was narrated that the Prophet (S) had said, ‘I have been granted her love.’19
Envy overcame Aa'isha when she often heard the Prophet (S) praising Khadijah (s.a.). She said, ‘I did never envy a woman like I did Khadijah. The messenger of Alla h (a.s.) did not marry me except after her death.’20
The soul of Khadijah (s.a.) was with the Prophet (S) wherever he went. His soul was full of her love. He often and always remembered her and prayed Allah to have mercy on her.
The Gifts of Allah on her
Allah the Almighty had endowed Khadijah with gifts that no other one of the Prophet’s wives had been endowed with. From the great gifts of Allah to her was that Allah had made her the mother of the best woman Allah had ever created in the earth since the beginning of the creation until the Day of Resurrection; Fatimah (s.a.) the principal of the women of the worlds, and made her the grandmother of the two grandson of the Prophet (S), two infallible imams, and two masters of the youth of Paradise; Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (peace be on them), and the grandmother of Lady Zaynab (s.a.), the first wronged and oppressed woman in Islam. Allah had made Khadijah (s.a.) the grandmother of the infallible imams who were His authorities on His people. These heavenly gifts that Khadijah had been endowed with had not been given to any woman other than her at all.
To the Paradise
Diseases attacked the Mother of Believers, Khadijah (s.a.) and death approached her soon. In the last moments of her life, she felt pain whenever she looked at her only daughter Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.) who was a young child then. She looked at Fatimah (s.a.) with pain and sigh. She recommended the Prophet (S) to take much care of her.
It was not long until Khadijah (s.a.) left to the better world and her pure soul rose towards its Creator surrounded by angels and received by the prophets with takbir and tahlil.21
The Prophet (S) was afflicted by the great loss of Khadijah (s.a.) who filled his life with satisfaction and tranquility, and relieved him from the persecution of the oppressors of Quraysh. He was very sad when she died.
Anyhow, he washed, enshrouded and offered the prayer on her. He dug a grave for her and buried her in it.22 The loss of Khadijah (s.a.) caused the Prophet (S) a great sorrow until he called that year where also his uncle Abu Talib died in it “the year of sorrow”.
Death took Khadijah (s.a.), who was the most loyal to the Prophet (S), the most loving, and the best supporter to him and to his mission.
Khadijah (s.a.) left her daughter Fatimah (s.a.), who was a young child yet, overcome by grief and sorrow. Fatimah (s.a.) lost her kind, loving mother since her early years, and then she took the role of her mother toward her father (a.s.) who still faced the harms and aggressions of Quraysh. Fatimah (s.a.) comforted the loneliness of her father after her mother, relieved his sufferings, and served him with her love and kindness until she was called “the mother of her father”.
1. Uyoon al-Athar, vol.1 p.57. At-Tabari in his Tareekh, vol.2 p.126, mentioned that Khadijah had suggested to the Prophet (S) to go to Sham trading with her money.
2. Sharh Nahjol Balaghah by ibn Abil Hadid, vol.3 p.316.
3. As-Seera an-Nabawiyyah by ibn Hisham, vol.1 p.253.
4. Tareekh at-Tabari, vol.1 p.205.
5. Tareekh at-Tabari, vol.2 p.206, as-Seera an-Nabawiyyah, vol.1 p.254.
6. Encyclopedia of Ameerul Mo'minin Imam Ali, vol.1 p.80, as-Seera an- Nabawiyyah, vol.1 p.254.
7. Imta’ al-Asma’, vol.1 p.16.
8. Sahih of at-Tarmithi, vol.2 p.301, Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol.3 p.21, Kanzol Ummal, vol.6 p.400.
9. Tahthib al-Kamal, vol.20 p.482.
10. Khasa’iss an-Nassa’iy, 3, Musnad of Ahmed bin Hanbal, vol.1 p.309, Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol.8 p.14.
11. Majma’ az-Zawa’id by al-Haythami, vol.9 p.222, Kanzol Ummal, vol.7 p.56.
12. Al-Isabah, vol.4 p.273, al-Istee’ab, vol.6 p.275.
13. Al-Isabah, vol.4 p.274 quoted from Sahih of Muslim, vol.2 chap. of “the Virtues of Khadijah” and from Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol.3 p.186, and others.
14. Musnad of Ahmad bin Hanbal, vol.3 p.197, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol.5 p.48.
15. Fatimahh wel Mufadhdhalat min an-Nisa’ (Fatimahh and the preferred women), p.66.
16. Sahih of Muslim, vol.7 p.134.
17. Al-Istee’ab, vol.4 p.182.
19. Sahih of Muslim, vol.7 p.134, al-Isabah, vol.8 p.63.
20. Al-Isabah, vol.8 p.62.
21. Takbir is saying “Allahhu Akbar; Allah is great”, and tahlil is saying “la ilaha illallah; there is no god but Allah”.
22. Ad-Durr al-Manthur, p.180.