"Hazrat Fatima (S.A.) is the role-model for women throughout history and for all"
Reviewing the personality of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) from the viewpoint of Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and Ayatullah al-Uzma Khamenei:
In the history of Islam, for very group or stratum of society, there is a suitable role-model who is guiding light for salvation and on the path to perfection. The role-model for women, as declared by Allah (s.w.t.) and His Prophet (s.a.w.) is Hazrat Fatima-Zahra (s.a.). As rightly stated by the noble Prophet (s.a.w.) : "Fatima is the best of all women of the world (Sayyidatu Nesae Al A'lameen), and a role-model for all Muslim women."
Referring to this, Imam Khomeini (r.a.) said : "The history of Islam is witness to the immense respect that the Prophet (s.a.w.) had for Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) which also powerfully reflects on the importance of women in society. If they are not superior to men, they are definitely not any inferior."
At a time when people buried their daughters alive, with the birth of hazrat Fatima-Zahra (s.a.), Allah (s.w.t.) revealed the Chapters of Kauthar, Qadr and Dahr to praise her auspicious birth. By kissing Hazrat Fatima's (s.a.) hand and by praising her virtues, the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.) firmly established the value of women in the Islamic society. This Fatima (s.a.) is the role-model of all women of the world, her greatness is not limited to any particular time period or location. As stated by the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.), Fatima (s.a.) is the best woman ever, from the beginning of time, up to its end.
Emphasizing on this point, Ayatollah Khamenei has said : "Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) is the role-model for women throughout history and for all generations, past, present and future. The Divine aspect of human beings is perfectly manifested in her."
If we study the history of mankind, we find that certain people have been looked upon as exemplars for certain qualities that they have perfected. But Hazrat Fatima-Zahra (s.a.) is a role model for everyone, in all aspects, be it ethics, spirituality or Gnosticism. The level of her knowledge was so high that even the angels descended upon her. From the spiritual aspect, too, she was very detached from worldly distractions and was praised by Allah (s.w.t.) and His Prophet (s.a.w.). She prayed a lot and used to tremble and shed tears of awe and love during her worship.
Referring to the qualities of Hazrat Fatima (s.a.), Ayatollah Khamenei says : "A multi-dimensional human being, a brave warior in the way of Islam, a knowledgeable lady who at the same time played her role as a house wife and affectionate wife and mother, to perfection - such was Hazrat Fatima-Zahra (s.a.). Her life was very simple, and she had very frugal needs or expectations."
Addressing the women of the world, Ayatollah Khamenei said : "Hazrat Fatima-Zahra (s.a.) was the best exemplar for all women and Muslims should learn from her."
Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) proved that like men, a woman too, can reach the most sublime levels of ethics and worship on the mystical path.
Ayatollah Khamenei says : "The very existence of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.), along with her skills of eloquence, her political and social expertise and powerful foresight, demonstrates how a Muslim woman can attain high spiritual and mystical positions at a young age."
With a role-model such as this great personality, Muslim women should never feel weak or helpless but should in fact gather more awareness about the high status that Islam grants to a woman. A study of life of this great lady would clearly show us that the path to ascension is wide open for every for every woman.
In fact, it is Hazrat Fatima-Zahra (s.a.) who has already trodden that the path and is a guide for other women to follow. Elaborating on this point, Ayatollah Khamenei says : "Hazrat Fatima was like a bright light in the lives of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and Imam Ali (a.s.). This it is natural that taking her as a role-model, would be very beneficial for Muslim women."
Declaring the Birthday of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) as "Woman's Day", Imam Khomeini (r.a.) has said : "This day is like the day of revival of real womanhood and the day of foundation-building for the important and respectable role, woman play in the society." Elsewhere, addressing groups of women he said : "If you don't learn from her asceticism, piety, modesty and other virtues, you have not even understood the true essence of womanhood."
The Status of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.)
Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) was a very knowledgeable person, a fact that was acknowledged by friends and foes alike. In fact, from time to time, she would make herself available for people who needed answers or clarifications on difficult and complicated issues. Her sermons, poems and sayings are evidence of her intellectual, strength of character and nobility of mind. She was an embodiment of all virtues of womanhood. She was an exemplary daughter, a loving and supportive wife, a caring mother and a powerful and aware member of society.
In spite of all these feminine qualities, Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) was also a very courageous lady who accompanied the noble Prophet (s.a.w.) in thirty wars. She was also well-aware of her rights and whenever necessary stood up for them, instead of suffering like a helpless victim. These qualities are also well-reflected in the lives of her great children Imam Hassan (a.s.) and Imam Hussein (a.s.), and Hazrat Zainab (s.a.) and Umme - Kulthum (s.a.) who are also well-known for their piety, goodness, courage and generosity.
Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) inherited the genius, wisdom, determination, will-power, piety, patience, knowledge and nobility from her illustrious father, both in words and deeds. Her generosity and compassion for the poor was such that no destitute or beggar ever returned from her door unattended.
Thus, we can see how, in a short span of her life, this grand lady demonstrated how a woman can play different roles powerfully, and positively influence the course of history by her social contribution.
Let us conclude this discussion with a saying from Imam Khomeini (r.a. ) : "We must all try to follow in the footsteps of Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) and should try to learn from her piety and knowledge, especially since Allah (s.w.t.) has not limited knowledge to only a few but has made it available for all seekers. Also, each and every individual can attain to high degrees of piety, a quality that is again not limited to the elite."