The Grievances of the Holy Prophet's Daughter
By Sayyid Mahdi Alizadeh Musavi
It was a while that people had not heard Fatima’s (SA) somber tone. One didn’t hear those heart-rending and distressing lamentations anymore. The people who used to see her everyday, accompanied by her children, walking meekly towards Baqi’ graveyard, had not seen her for some time. Ali (AS) too no longer went to the Baqi’ graveyard at nights to bring home his wife and children, after they had wept all day long. Medina was submerged in a boring silence. Maybe the people thought that Fatima (SA) had gotten tired of weeping and would soon forget all that had befallen her, as time passed.
The house of Ali (AS) too was overshadowed by a horrifying silence. There was not a sound from the house and not many people paid visits. But inside the house, in one of the small and humble rooms, on an old rug, an eighteen-year-old lady, with the grandeur of all history, was lying quietly and tranquilly. Her eyes had sunk in and the marks of constant weeping could be made out on her face. Despite her age the unfavorable tide of events had carved deep wrinkles into her face. The monster of bodily weakness had not left her alone for quite a while. She had a stitch in the waist and her arm hardly moved. It was as if during this short period, every bit of her existence had poured out of her heavenly eyes in the shape of tears, and nothing was left of her body, but a bundle of skin and bones.
Her soul too was afflicted with many wounds. From its every corner sad reflections rooted in old pains used to rise up, which would disturb all her constitution. Her pure and heavenly emotions had cracked, and were just a step from total collapse. Her legs failed her. She tried to get up with the intention of going to Baqi’, but as she rose, her breath would be numbered and dizziness would set on her. Fatima (SA) was lying ill.
Ali (AS) took total care of her and not for a moment would have left her side. Whenever his eyes fell on Fatima’s (SA) sad and sickly face, he sighed deeply. This was gradually burning his heart and turning it into a heap of ashes. He longed to shed tears but probably he couldn’t, because he always felt the weight of the children’s astounded and depressed eyes on himself.
Zainab (SA), though no more than three years old, from the time she made out the signs of illness on her mother’s face, began serving her like an experienced nurse. Although she wiped the drops of tear off the sunken eyes of her mother, her own small and innocent eyes were always sparkling because of the beautiful dew of tears. Whenever the mother opened her eyes and stared into her daughter’s beautiful face, she could see that in the not very far away future the current of events would take Zainab (SA) in, and this would be the beginning of a hard and arduous road.
It seems that Hasan and Hussein (AS) too had perceived that this illness was not like any other. They felt with all their senses that a bitter event was on the brink of happening but they couldn’t think about it. They just wept and watched for their father’s command to do what he says for their mother.
Asma’ the widow of Ja’far Tayyar and the mother of Muhammad Abi-Bakr too took care of Fatima (SA) as a kind mother. She was an old friend who had never left Fatima (SA) alone. Since the time when Khadija (SA) in the last moments of her life had entrusted Asma’ with taking care of Fatima (SA), saying, “be a mother to my daughter”, Asma’ had always been at Fatima’s (SA) service.
Everyone tried so that Fatima (SA) would regain her health as soon as possible. It was enough for her just to make a sign and everyone in the house would hurry to see what it is that she needed. Everybody had a bad feeling. The environment of the house had got even gloomier since the illness of Fatima (SA) and this was more than anyone else felt by the children.
But Fatima (SA) tried to keep the news of her illness in her own house. Maybe she didn’t want those who had left her in the burning deserts of unkindness, now feeling pity for her.
However the illness of the Prophet’s (SAW) daughter, particularly at such a young age was not an easy matter and after a while this painful news was known throughout Medina. Everyone felt anxious and horrified. It seemed that the people of Medina too had learnt that Fatima (SA) was experiencing her last days of life. That was because those who had seen the door peg injuring Fatima (SA) on the ribs, knew how the daggers of accusation and defamation, and the many instances of oppression had ripped her soul into pieces. They knew well what the remorse after the Prophet’s (SAW) death had done to Zahra’s (SA) bereaved heart.
They had understood that Fatima (SA) was on the brink of a voyage and that it was death that had set up its tent in her house. The women of Medina who had heard of the condition of the Prophet’s (SAW) daughter paid her a visit in order to try to relieve her broken heart by the elixir of love and consolation.
When they were admitted to see Fatima (SA), they said: “O’ daughter of the Prophet (SAW), how has been your night?”
Eyes were set on Fatima (SA) and her painful condition would have touched any person’s emotions. Seeing Fatima (SA) in such a condition after a period of just over a month, made the women of Medina astonished. Each one of them in her mind was considering the answer Fatima (SA) would give. Maybe they thought Fatima (SA) will moan of her illness or would speak of its symptoms.
But Fatima (SA), rather than thinking about her illness was occupied by the dark and unknown future, and by the deviation of the people her father had tried for years to enlighten. Fatima (SA) had accepted all the pains just for the sake of the religion and could not under such conditions, when Islam’s future was under threat, think about herself. So in answer to the question asked, she said things that may awaken the people from their state of ignorance:
“For me the night passed and the morning fell as I despised your world and was bothered and offended because of your men. I chewed them like a morsel of food and found them to be bitter and lethal, so I spat them out. When I deliberated on their behavior, I was vexed by them. In fact how ugly is the bluntness of swords and the feebleness and desperation of your men after all their efforts and endeavors, and how reproachable are the corrupt beliefs and the deviated motives. “You will see many of them befriending those who disbelieve; certainly evil is that which their soul have sent before for them...” (5:80) and without a doubt they are always bound by this responsibility and certainly the weight of the responsibility and the vileness of its usurpation will be recorded for eternity, and they will always carry the disgrace and shame.
“Woe unto them! How they took away the succession of the Prophet (SAW) from its original abodes and took it from the house into which Gabriel came, to another house and put it out of the reach of the persons who were acquainted with the affairs of the religion and the world. Know that this is a great loss.”
Fatima (SA) knew well who was the guide of the society and who could direct it through the inhospitable terrain and from among the problems and take it to fruition.
“By God I swear, if your men hadn’t united to take away the succession the Prophet (SAW) had left for Ali (AS), certainly he would have guided it safely and would have got this camel to the end intact, and its movement would have been a painful movement and would have lead it to the clean springs and quenched their thirst. Ali (AS) wanted only goodness and beneficence and would not have misused public funds. He would not have taken anything from the riches of the world more than was necessary; as much as some water to quench the thirst and some food to quench hunger. In such a situation people would have been able to distinguish well those who are Godly from those who are worldly. And “And if the people of the towns had believed and guarded (against evil) We would certainly have opened up for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they rejected, so We overtook them for what they had earned.” (Al-A’raf/ 96) and “Do they not know that Allah makes ample the means of subsistence to whom He pleases, and He straitens; most surely there are signs in this for a people who believe.” (Az-Zumar/52).”
Fatima (SA) knew that this is the last chance and nothing should be left unsaid: “So now come and hear! The longer you live, the more the world will show you astonishing events. “Say: Allah guides to the truth? Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed,...” (Yunus/35).” But what has Fatima (SA) seen that makes her cry out in such a way? Why does she, in her sickbed while fever and faintness have taken away her energy, says such pounding words?
“But I swear by my own life, the egg of corruption has been broken and it will not be long that every part of the society is infected with this corruption. From now on milk the lethal blood and poison from the breast of the camel, and it’s here that the followers of falsehood will incur a loss. And know that the next generation will find out how you have acted! Know that your hearts will find calm in sedition!”
Fatima’s (SA) words were no longer advice and counsel. There was horror in the eyes. They knew that Fatima (SA) is the daughter of the same Prophet (SAW) who was aware of the secrets of the Heavens and the Earth. Fatima’s (SA) face too was determined. It could easily be understood from her face that she was certain of what she said. She continued thus, as all the women’s eyes were fixed on her holy lips:
“I promise you sharp bare swords and the attack of a reckless oppressor and the disturbance of the affairs of your lives and the dominance of oppressors. These will trample upon your rights and will reap you with their swords like ears of wheat. So how miserable you are, and what an end awaits you, while the truth of affairs is concealed from you!”
And then so that everyone would know that Fatima (SA) had put all her efforts into preventing these events, she said: “Can I make you do something that you do not want to?”
That day no one truly understood the meaning of Fatima’s (SA) words. But fifty years later when the caliphate of Muslims was at a far distance from its original abode, Fatima’s (SA) predictions one by one turned into reality.
It was the year 61 from Hijri and Yazid intoxicated by power, in the luxurious and glorious palaces of Sham, was making a game of the high values of Islam. He could no longer even bear the name of the Prophet (SAW) on the high minarets. In this year in order to wipe out his enemies, he sent an army of thirty thousand horsemen towards Medina, lead by Muslim ibn A’qbah. Muslim’s army entered Medina and after a few moments the mosque of God’s Prophet (SAW) was under the hooves of the horses of the soldiers from Sham. The army of Sham did not even show respect to the Prophet’s (SAW) grave and killed so many people besides the heavenly grave that the blood was leveled with the grave itself.
Plunder and looting in those days was such that children’s rugs were taken away also. In one of these days, members of this bloodthirsty army entered the house of Abu-Sa’id Khedry, one of the prominent companions of the Prophet (SAW). Abu-Sa’id was in his old age and after the many years he had lived had lost his eyesight. The soldiers who had come to the house of this wise old man, expecting to loot his possessions despite searching for a long time found nothing, because another group had preceded them and taken all the furniture in the house. Abu-Sa’id was sitting on the bare ground. The soldiers, finding nothing, came towards him and with cruelty plucked out all his beard and eyebrows, while he was crying all the time: “I am Abu-Sa’id Khadry; I am the friend and companion of the Prophet (SAW)!”
After a few days that dead bodies, weeping eyes, and destroyed houses had turned Medina into a horrifying spectacle, Muslim gathered together the people of Medina and said to them: “Do you confess to be the slaves of Yazid-ibn-Mu’aviah?” And while disgrace and misery was evident in their faces they said: “Yes!”
Fatima (SA) was aware of these disasters and was crying for the people who had put themselves knowingly at the risk of such uncountable calamities. She knew that if Ali (AS) had taken control of the government, such disasters never would have taken shape in the history of Islam. The aforesaid example is just one example of the pains, disasters, and disgraces that took place as a result of the usurpation of the caliphate and the deviation of Islam from its true path in different epochs of Islam.
They were sitting in silence and without a sound. Heads were bent down and eyes were staring at the ground. Since their women had narrated the words of Fatima (SA) for them, they couldn’t calm themselves down even for a moment. They knew Fatima (SA) well and were aware that she never said anything vainly. Without a doubt she had seen some realities in the mirror of her purity, and that was why she had treated the women like that. No matter how hard they tried, their hearts did not calm down. They knew well that they have chosen the wrong way and that was the reason why fear and horror had dominated their souls.
But no matter how hard they had searched their souls, they had not found the elixir of courage and motivation for supporting righteousness in their souls, and so they had come in the last moments just for Fatima (SA) to read shame and mistake in their words.
Fatima (SA) could not bear it anymore. Again the same old and rotten words were repeated. As if in these people’s minds reason was an alchemy not to be found. Maybe the memory of the feverish and silent nights and the perplexity in the alleys of Medina and the unemotional words of the Muhajirs and Ansar had come to life in her mind. She saw that advice and counsel no longer had any place among the people, and that only experience could show them reality. While turning her face away from them, she said with some irritation: “Get away from me! After committing sin eagerly, now dishonestly you ask for pardon, because there are no excuses for you!”
Fatima’s (SA) fiery words to the women, and then her decisive encounter with a group of men from the Muhajirs and Ansars shook the body of the rulers of the day. Desperation could be read easily in the faces of many of the people. Many of them were stuck at the horrifying crossroad of doubt and the usurping rulers knew well that as long as Medina was under the shadow of such a condition, the foundations of government in the not far future would fall apart as a result of the waves of opposition, and on the other hand the next generations in the court of history would not ignore the pains and the grievances of the Prophet’s (SAW) daughter.