Fatimah Zahra's Martyrdom and the Spot of Her Grave
It is reported that Fatimah died on the 13th Jamadi-al-Awwal or third of Jumada 'l-Akhir in the eleventh year of the hijrah. She survived the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) by only ninety-five days.
The Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali(A.S.) himself took charge of her washing. It is reported that Asma' daughter of `Umays assisted him in washing her. Asma' related: "Fatimah(A.S.) had stated in her will that no one should wash her corpse except 'Ali(A.S.) and I. Thus we washed her together, and the Commander of the Faithful prayed over her along with Hasan(A.S.) and Husayn(A.S.), `Amman ibn Yasir, Miqdad, `Aqil, az-Zubayr, Abu Dharr, Salman, Buraydah and a few men of Banu Hashim. They prayed over her in the night, and in accordance with her own will 'Ali the Commander of the Faithful buried her in secret."
There is much disagreement among traditionists as to the exact spot of her grave. Our own traditionists have asserted that she was buried in the Baqi `. Others said that she was buried in her own chamber, and that when the Umayyad rulers enlarged the Mosque of Medina, her grave came to be in the sanctuary. Still others argued that she was buried between the grave and pulpit of the Prophet. It is to this that the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) alluded in his saying: "There is between my grave and pulpit a garden of the gardens of Paradise." The first view is unlikely, while the two other views are nearer to the truth. Thus, those who wish to apply the principle of caution (ihtiyat) when performing ziyarah, or pilgrimage, to her grave, should do so in all three places.
A Quiet Funeral
In the darkness of the jet-black night, when eyes were asleep and voices were silent, a Heavenly procession left Imam Ali's house while carrying the Messenger of Allah's daughter to her final abode. This was on the night of the third of Jamadi Al-Thani (the second), 11 A.H.
The heartbreaking procession moved towards an unknown location followed by a small number of devoted ones... They were Ali(A.S.), Hasan(A.S.), Hussain(A.S.), Zainab(A.S.) and Umm Kulthum(A.S.)... Abu Dhar, Ammar, Miqdad, and Salman were following them.
Where are the thousands who inhabited Medina?! One asks, and the answer came: Fatima (A.S.) requested that they may not be present at her funeral! The family and their friends hurry to bury Fatima... then they rush back to their own homes so that no one would know where Fatima was buried!
In such a matter, the first start from Ahlul-Bayt set after the sun (the Prophet) and left everyone with the only light of Imamate! Here I was asked: "What do you think about the end of the life of Fatima(A.S.)? What will be the position of those who oppresses her in the hereafter!?" I waved my hand to him... So long... with no word...dead silence...So long! But wait. Can't you hear the Commander of the faithful...the known hero...Ali...Don't you realize that he is crying? Yet, who would not cry for being separated from the Mistress of women? Listen to him, he is speaking to the Prophet(S.A.W.):
"O Prophet of Allah, peace be upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.)! My patience about your chosen (daughter) has been exhausted and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heart-rending event of your separation. I laid you down in your grave while your last breath had passed (when your head) between my neck and chest. 'Verily we are Allah's and verily unto Him shall we return.' (2:56)
Now the trust has been returned and what had been given has been taken back. My grief knows no bounds, and my nights will remain sleepless till Allah chooses for me the house in which you are now residing. Certainly your daughter would apprise you of the joining together of your Ummah (people) for oppressing her. You ask her in detail and get all the news about the position. This happened when a long time had not elapsed and your remembrance had not disappeared. My salam be on you both, the salam of a grief stricken not of a disgusted or a hateful person; for if I go away, it is not because I am weary (of you); and if I stay, it is not due to lack of belief in what Allah has promised those who endures."
At sunrise people gathered to participate in Hadrat Fatima's funeral, but they were informed that the darling of Allah's Messenger (S.A.W.) had been secretly buried during the night. Meanwhile, Ali (A.S.) made the shapes of four fresh graves in Baqi' so as to conceal the location where Fatima was buried.
When the people entered the graveyard, they were confused as to which spot was actually Lady Fatima Zahra's grave; the people turned towards each other and with feeling of guilt said:
"Our Prophet (S.A.W.) has not left behind but one daughter, yet she has died and was buried without our participation in the funeral or the prayer rituals. We do not even realize the place where she has been buried!"
Noticing that a revolt might be ignited because of the emotional atmosphere that event created, the governing party announced:
"Select a group of Muslim women and ask them to dig these graves so that we may find Fatima(A.S.) and perform prayers on her.
" Yes! They attempted to execute the plan, violating Hadrat Fatima's will and causing Imam Ali's (A.S.) attempts to hide the grave to lay veinly. Have they forgotten Ali's sharp sword and his well-known courage! Did they really think that Imam Ali(A.S.) would remain indifferent to their outrageous actions up to the point of letting them dig Fatima's grave?!
Imam Ali (A.S.) did not fight back after the Holy Prophet's (S.A.W.) demise because he considered the Muslim's unity and overall interests. Yet, this did not mean that he would ignore their villainous crimes against Hadrat Fatima(A.S.) even after her death.
In other words, Imam Ali(A.S.) was asked by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) to have patience, but only to a certain extent; when Imam Ali(A.S.) received the news of the about to be executed plot, he put on his fighting gear and rushed towards Baqi'.
A man from among the people called out:
"This is Ali Ibn Abu Talib(A.S.) leveling his sword and saying:
'If anyone moves even a more stone from these graves, I shall strike even the "back of the last follower of the unjust.'
People who realized Imam Ali's seriousness, took his threats with complete belief that he would do just as he said if anyone were to appose him. Yet, a man from the governing ones addressed Imam Ali (A.S.) by saying:
"What is the matter, Abu Al-Hasan?! By Allah, we shall dig her grave out and perform prayers on her."Imam Ali (A.S.) then grabbed the man by his clothes, shook him and threw him to the ground and said:
"Son of the Sawada! I have abandoned my right to prevent people from forsaking their faith, but as regards Fatima's grave, by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you and your followers attempt to do anything to it, I will irrigate the ground with your blood!"
At this, Abu Bakr said:
"Abu Al-Hassan, I ask you by the right of Allah's Messenger, and by Him Who is above the Throne: leave him alone and we will not do anything which you would not approve of..." Thus, until this day, the location of Hadrat Fatima Zahra's grave remains a secret.