Hazrat Fatimah az- Zahra (S.A.) and the Great Islamic Revolution
By: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi
Fatimah (s.a.), the daughter of the Prophet, since her early childhood, lived with the great Islamic revolution which her father, the master of the creation, had led and it made a destructive quake in the society of Mecca. This great revolution aimed at destroying the people’s beliefs that were based on idolatry and polytheism. They worshipped idols away from their Creator. They offered sacrifices for these lifeless idols and beseeched them to satisfy their needs. The tribes of Quraysh hanged their idols on the walls of the Kaaba as a sign of pride.
The Prophet (S) mocked the idols of Quraysh and called for destroying and purifying the Kaaba from them. Historians say that the idols of Quraysh were about three hundred; the most important and of highest position of which for the people of Mecca were Hubal, Lat, Uzza, and Manat.
The People of Quraysh devoted themselves for these idols and believed in them absolutely. They invoked them submissively and devotedly. Abu Sufyan, the chief of the Umayyad family and one of the heads of Quraysh, was the most devoted one to Hubal. He was completely terrified when he saw the Prophet (S) circumambulating the Kaaba and reciting the hymn of Islam “Labbaykallahumma labayk…”. He lost his mind and cried out, ‘Glorify Hubal!’ The Prophet (S) said, ‘O Abu Sufyan, Allah is higher and more glorified.’
The people of Quraysh were very faithful to their idols. A group of them went to the Prophet (S) and suggested to him that he was to worship their idols for a year and they were to worship Allah another year. Then, the Sura of al-Kafiroon (109) was revealed to him: “Say: O unbelievers! I do not worship that which you worship. Nor do you worship Him Whom I worship. Nor am I going to worship that which you worship. Nor are you going to worship Him Whom I worship. You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion.” 109: 1-6
The people of Quraysh were alarmed and unable to bear more when the Prophet (S) announced his call to destroy the idols and purify the Kaaba from them. They considered that as a defeat on their entity of beliefs. They tried their best to stand against and resist the Prophet (S) with all means.
It is worth mentioning that the resistance and enmity of Quraysh to the Prophet (S) were not only because of his mocking at their idols and refuting their worship, but also there were-as I think-other factors behind that:
The Prophet (S) had adopted the noble values and high ideals that raised man to highest ranks. These values and ideals were unlike the manners and morals of the people of Quraysh and they clashed with their economic interests. The following are some of those noble values:
From the great principles that Islam had announced was the equity among all people despite their colors, races and languages. In Islam, there is no difference between the poor and the rich, the rulers and the subjects. The all are equal before the law, and in rights, duties and responsibilities. Allah has said, “O mankind, surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may know each other; surely the most honorable, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct.” 49:13
The Prophet (S) said, ‘There is no preference to an Arab over a foreigner, nor a white over a black except by God-fearing.’ This equity was sacred and delicious to the poor and the disabled like Ammar bin Yasir, Bilal al-Habashi, Abdullah bin Mas’ud, and others who absolutely believed in Islam, whereas the chiefs, masters and notables of Mecca refused this principle and rose to resist the messenger of Allah (S) and they tortured severely whoever believed in him from among their slaves and weak people.
In the pre-Islamic era, woman suffered all kinds of severity and oppression. She was deprived of all her natural rights. The following are some kinds of the oppression against woman:
A. Burying Alive Female Children
The worst kind of oppression at all, against woman in the pre-Islamic age was the burying alive of females. Allah says in the Qur’an, “When one of them receives tidings of the birth of a female, his face remains darkened, and he is wroth inwardly.” 16:58
Some tribes, when their women gave birth to females, hurried to burry them alive. There was a famous saying among them that “burying the girls is from the nobilities”. Allah has said, “And when the girl-child that was buried alive is asked; for what sin she was slain.” 81:8-9
B. Woman was Deprived of Inheritance
From the other oppressive procedures that the pre-Islamic age followed against woman was depriving her of the inheritance from her father and husband. However, Islam had cancelled that and legislated this right for her and made her equal to man in this concern that she could inherit and bequeath.
Islam had honored woman by making her responsible for the education of generations and giving her the right in choosing a husband though with her father’s consultation.
Islam treated woman in a noble way of reverence and honoring, and this was strange to the people of that age and far from their manners.
C. Getting Married to One’s Father’s Widow
From the habits of the pre-Islamic age was when a man died, his eldest son would throw his shirt over his father’s wife (his step-mother) and so he would possess her. He could get married to her if he liked; otherwise he could marry her to whomever he liked and get her dowry for himself.
Islam had forbidden the marriage of a dead man’s son to his father’s wife. Allah has said, “And marry not those women whom your fathers married”. 4:22
Islam had also prohibited taking the dowry of woman for oneself at all. In the pre-Islamic era, people possessed women (their step-mothers) as they possessed any other property. If they liked, they would get married to them, or marry them to others and take their dowries, or force them to remain unmarried until they would die. Islam had freed woman from all those ties and given her a frame of honor and dignity.
Prohibition of Adultery
Adultery was something familiar among people in the pre-Islamic era. Mo’awiya bin Abi Sufyan ascribed openly (illegitimate) Ziyad bin Abeeh to his father (Abu Sufyan) who had committed adultery with Ziyad’s mother.
Islam had prohibited adultery and considered it as one of the worst major sins. Of course, this prohibition contradicted the natures of most of the people of Quraysh who had grown up with vices and sins.
Prohibition of Usury
The Prophet’s mission clashed with the interests of the capitalist people of Quraysh who depended on usury in increasing their capitals. Usury was widespread in Mecca. Al-Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib was one of those who practiced it. Islam had prohibited usury and considered it a major sin for it made some few persons very wealthy and the majority of people very poor and wretched.
Prohibition of Alcohol
Wine was lawful in the pre-Islamic age and all classes of people drank it. Islam had prohibited it and called it as rijs (dirt, infamy, abomination). The prohibition of wine was against the desires and pleasures of that society; therefore, they rose to resist Islam.
Fighting against Poverty
The Prophet (S) tried his best and with all means to remove poverty from the society because it was and is a fatal disaster. Islam had legislated some taxes on certain yields, gold, silver, sheep, cows and camels to be paid to the poor and the needy. It had also imposed on Muslims a joint life of solidarity and others means which would remove poverty and neediness.
Spreading of Knowledge
One of the noble values that Islam had adopted was the spreading of knowledge among all people and doing away with ignorance. The Prophet (S) had made seeking knowledge as an obligation on all Muslim men and women, for certainly no nation could have a considerable position in the world without being armed with knowledge and sciences.
These are some noble values and high ideals that the Prophet (S) had undertaken and they were strange for the ignorant society of Mecca. Therefore, the people of Mecca of all classes rose to resist the Prophet (S) and put out the light of his mission.
Fear of Quraysh
The people of Quraysh were terribly terrified by the Prophet’s mission which was as a thunderbolt on them. Their slaves and the disabled believed in this mission because Islam opened to them new horizons of dignity and honor, and brought them good tidings of a noble future and that they would be the masters of the society and men of authority whereas the masters would be slaves and servile. The weak believed devotedly in Islam and therefore, they were treated with utmost severity and were tortured savagely. Among those who were tortured, were Yasir, Sumayyah, and their son Ammar.
Anyhow, the tyrants of Quraysh resisted the Islamic mission with all means they had such as:
Inciting their Children to Harm the Prophet (S)
Quraysh encouraged their children to harm the Prophet (S) and shoot him with stones. They did so to be excused before Abu Talib, the Prophet’s uncle and defender and to claim that it was their children who did so. Imam Ali (a.s.) chased and hit them. He was too strong though he was in his early years yet. He attacked the children and hurt them by beating and kicking. When the Prophet (S) went out, Imam Ali (a.s.) walked behind him, and so when the children saw him, they ran away frightened to their parents.
Accusing the Prophet (S) of Madness
One of the means that Quraysh followed in fighting the Prophet (S) was accusing him of madness. They accused him of so because he came to them with a religion and laws opposite to their minds that were dominated by ignorance and stupidity.
They accused him of madness whereas he was the creative mind and thinking brain of humanity…This claim was unsuccessful, and the Islamic mission moved fast like light that lit the paths and cleared the ways.
Accusing him of Magic
Quraysh rumored that Muhammad was a magician and he was not sent by the Heaven just as the Pharaoh had accused Prophet Moses (a.s.). They accused the Prophet (S) of that because he recited for them verses from the Book of Allah which were like miracles in eloquence and rhetoric. This claim was unsuccessful too.
Torturing the Believers
Quraysh poured their grudge on the disabled who announced their faith in Islam and others of the youth and women. They punished them severely. They tortured Yasir, Sumayyah and Ammar extremely badly. When the Prophet (S) passed by them and saw them moaning under torment, he felt pain and said, ‘Be patient O family of Yasir! Your promise is the Paradise.’
Yasir and Sumayyah were martyred under the torment of Quraysh but their son Ammar was saved after suffering great torment.
The believers, men and women, suffered all kinds of torture until they were obliged to emigrate from Mecca to Abyssinia where Quraysh followed after them to bring them back to Mecca to kill them, but the king of Abyssinia did not respond to Quraysh and he let the emigrants live in his country safely.
Fatimah (SA) with her Father
Fatimah (s.a.) lived the calamities of her father and saw the persecution and harms that he suffered. She suffered and felt pain for her father too much.
Narrators narrated that ibn Mas’ud said, ‘One day, when the Prophet (S) was offering prayer in the Kaaba, Abu Jahl and a group from the villains of Quraysh were in the Kaaba. Abu Jahl said to his companions ‘Which of you can bring the placenta of the camel of so-and-so and put it on the shoulders of Muhammad when he prostrates?’
One of them fetched the placenta with its blood and dung and put it on the Prophet’s shoulders while he was prostrating. The villains burst into laughing. Ibn Mas’ud hesitated to lift it from the Prophet’s shoulder who still kept on prostrating. Some man hurried to Fatimah (s.a.) and told her about what happened to her father. She came with her maid. She removed the placenta from her father and prayed to Allah against those who did that. When the Prophet (S) finished his prayer, he invoked Allah loudly against those villains. The Prophet (S) used to repeat his supplication three times whether he prayed to Allah for something or prayed to Him against someone. He said, ‘O Allah, I invoke You against Quraysh!’
He said that three times. When they heard him saying that, they stopped laughing and were afraid of his invocation. Then he said, ‘O Allah, I invoke You against Abu Jahl bin Hisham, Utba bin Rabee’a, Shaybah bin Rabee’a, al-Waleed bin Utba, Umayya bin Khalaf, Uqba bin Abi Ma’eet…’
Ibn Sa’d said, ‘By Him Who has sent Muhammad with the truth, I have seen those, whom the Prophet prayed to Allah against, fell on the day (battle) of Badr and then they were drawn to the well of Badr.’1
Fatimah (s.a.) lived with her father and saw what he suffered of calamities and distresses which the villains and sinners of Quraysh poured on him. She suffered and felt pain and fear for her father.
Quraysh Agree on Killing the Prophet (S)
When the Prophet (S) was afflicted by the death of his uncle Abu Talib, who was his defender and the defender of Islam, there was no strong fort in Mecca to which he might resort. He lost the power that defended him against the tyrants and oppressors of Quraysh, and so he was determined to leave Mecca and resort to Medina where there were his supporters and guards of his mission. When Quraysh knew of that, they feared that the Prophet (S) would establish a state and a strong army and then he would avenge on them for the disasters and harms they had afflicted on him. Therefore, they held a conference in Dar an-Nadwa (council) and discussed the dangers that they would face if the Prophet (S) left Mecca. They all agreed on killing him whatever the cost would be. Iblis attended their conference -as historians mentioned- and suggested to them that forty men each one from a certain tribe should commit the murder and so all tribes would participate in killing him so that his supporters and the believers would be unable to avenge him. They assigned a certain day for that and called it “the day of mazhamah; jamming”. Allah revealed to his Prophet (S) about what the people of Quraysh had plotted against him.2
The Prophet’s Immigration to Yathrib
When the day that Quraysh had determined to kill the Prophet came, the forty men surrounded the Prophet’s house from all sides carrying their swords to tear the Prophet’s body and put out the light of Allah. The tribe of Quraysh wanted to avenge its idols and restore its social position that had been lost because of the Islamic mission.
Fatimah (s.a.) felt great pain and distress for her father’s fate. She did not know what was going to happen to him if he left Mecca. She resorted to Allah and prayed to Him sincerely to save her father from the plots and evils of Quraysh.
Imam Ali Sleeps in the Prophet’s Bed
It was a noble deed that was recorded for Imam Ali (a.s.) with a pen of light and honor. He was the first fedai for the Prophet (S). The Prophet (S) asked him to put on his (the Prophet) green garment and sleep in his bed that night to make those villains believe that he was the Prophet (S), and thus the Prophet (S) would be safe from killing. Imam Ali (a.s.) received the Prophet’s order with delight and pleasure. He was very happy to be a sacrifice for his brother and cousin.
The Prophet (S) went out of his house. He took a handful of earth and threw it on the men of Quraysh and said, ‘How ugly, mean faces!’
He went on while reciting, “And We have made before them a barrier and a barrier behind them, then We have covered them over so that they do not see.” 36:9
The sleeping of Imam Ali (a.s.) in the Prophet’s bed and sacrificing himself for the Prophet (S) was a shiny page from his sacred jihad. Allah has revealed about him, “And among people is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah.” 2:207
This situation had a great, important role in the success of the Islamic mission that no one other than the imam had ever had.
Imam Ali (a.s.) remained sleeping in the Prophet’s bed. When the dawn came, the forty villains attacked the Prophet’s bed with their unsheathed swords. Imam Ali (a.s.), like a lion, surprised them with his sword. They hesitated and cried out: ‘Where is Muhammad?’
Imam Ali (a.s.) replied violently, ‘Have you made me a guard over him?’
They left drawing with them disappointment and failure, for the Prophet (S) had slipped away from their hands. Quraysh tried the best to take information from Imam Ali (a.s.) about the direction which the Prophet (S) had set out to, but they failed and the imam did not respond to them a bit. Therefore, Quraysh bore a grudge against Imam Ali (a.s.) and looked at him spitefully. Imam Ali (a.s.) did not care for them; rather, he disparaged them.
Yathrib Receives the Prophet (S)
The messenger of Allah (S) kept on his journey until he was near Yathrib (Medina). When the people of Yathrib knew about his coming to their land, they all hurried to receive him while chanting: “The full moon has shone for us From Thaniyyatul Wada’.
It is incumbent on us to thank (Allah), As long as there is someone inviting for Allah.”3
That day was memorable in Yathrib and matchless in history. When the Prophet (S) settled in Yathrib, he began establishing his great state; the state of the Qur’an that had undertaken the decisive matters of all nations and peoples of the earth and established the human rights. The Prophet (S) was delighted and pleased when he saw the warm reception of the people of Yathrib that made him certain of getting supporters to build his new state.
Imam Ali’s Immigration to Yathrib
When the Prophet (S) emigrated from Mecca to Medina, Imam Ali (a.s.) began fulfilling what the Prophet (S) had instructed him with, such as paying deposits back to their owners and repaying his (the Prophet) debts. After he had fulfilled all that, he accompanied the Fatimahs (Fatimah bint Asad - Imam Ali’s mother , Fatimah bint Muhammad - the Prophet’s daughter and Fatimah bint az-Zubayr bin Abdul Mutallib) and began the immigration to Yathrib (Medina). A group from Quraysh followed after him to prevent him and his travel-mates from traveling, but he struggled against them bravely. He killed one of them and made the rest run away.4 Imam Ali (a.s.) and his fellows covered the desert until they arrived in Yathrib. Imam Ali’s feet had swelled because of walking and he was too tired. Therefore, he could not go to meet the Prophet (S) who himself came to meet Imam Ali (a.s.). When the Prophet (S) saw Imam Ali (a.s.), he embraced him and began crying out of mercifulness for his feet. The Prophet (S) took some of his saliva and wrapped it on Imam Ali’s (a.s.) feet and they recovered. After that Imam Ali (a.s.) did not feel any pain in his feet.5
As for Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.), she was too eager to meet her father. They embraced and kissed each other. The Prophet (S) received her darling daughter with honor and reverence. She was eight years old then. She arrived in Medina on Thursday, the fifteenth of Rabee’ul Awwal.6
At the Battle of Uhud
Fatimah (s.a.) witnessed the battle of Uhud and saw the defeat of Muslims that was about to efface all the manifestations of Islam except for the jihad of her cousin Imam Ali (a.s.) and his great struggle; otherwise, Quraysh would do away with the Prophet (S) and uproot Islam and destroy all its pillars and forts.
Anyhow, Muslims were not afflicted with a disaster in all their battles during the time of the Prophet (S) like that one. Muslims were defeated because the battalion that had been ordered by the Prophet (S) to remain on the mountain to guard the back of Muslims opposed the orders. When the army of the polytheists that was in front of the Muslim army fled and left their baggage, the Muslims left their positions on the mountain and hurried to seize the baggage. Khalid bin al-Waleed, who was one of the leaders of the polytheists, saw that and reorganized his forces and attacked the Muslims from behind and before them. Seventy Muslims were martyred among whom was Hamza the Prophet’s uncle. The Prophet (S) was wounded with several wounds. His face was wounded, his front tooth was broken and the helmet on his holy head was smashed.
Fatimah (s.a.) came with Ameerul Mo'minin (a.s.) to the Prophet (S). Imam Ali (a.s.) poured water on the Prophet’s wounds but the bleed did not stop. Fatimah (s.a.) burnt a piece of mat and put the ash on the wounds which stopped the bleeding.7
The Battle of Al-Ahzab
The armies of the polytheists attacked Medina, the capital of Islam, under the leadership of Abu Sufyan to do away with the mission of Islam and get people back to their first ignorance. The Muslims dug a trench around Medina to keep it safe according to the suggestion of Salman al-Farisi, the loyal companion of the Prophet (S). The Prophet (S) himself worked with the Muslims in digging the trench.
Fatimah (s.a.) came to her father with a piece of bread. Her father asked, ‘O Fatimah, what is this?’
She said, ‘It is from a loaf that I have baked for my son. I have brought this piece for you.’
The Prophet (S) said, ‘It is the first food to enter your father’s mouth since three days.’8
Yes! This is the altruism and the asceticism of the prophets.
The Prophet with his Daughter in Travel and Residence
The Prophet (S) was too sincere to his daughter and he preferred her to all his kin. When he wanted to travel, Fatimah (s.a.) was the last one whom he saw off, and when he came back from travel, she was the first one whom he visited, and then he went to his house.9
Fatimah (s.a.) also witnessed with her father, the conquest of Mecca.10 She saw her father’s great victory and the submission and subservience of Quraysh to him.
1. Sahih Muslim, vol. 5 p.180, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 1 p. 132.
2. Imta’ al-Asma’ by al-Maqrizi, vol. 1 p. 38.
3. As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah (the Prophetic biography) by Ibn Katheer, vol. 2 p.269, as-Seerah an-Nabawiyyyah by Ibn Hisham, vol. 2 p. 79.
4. Encyclopedia of Imam Ameerul Mo'minin, vol. 1 p.219.
5. Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 4 p. 92.
6. Tareekh at-Tabari, vol. 2 p. 80.
7. Sahih Muslim, vol. 5 p.178, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 7 p. 19-20.
8. Thakha’ir al-Uqba, p.47.
9. Sunan Abi Dawud, vol. 3 p.291, Musnad Ahmed bin Hanbal, vol. 5 p.275.
10. Al-Maghazi, vol. 3 p.1087.