Hadrat Fatimah Zahra(A.S.) Pleads Her Case
After all else failing, the holy Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra(A.S.), in her desperation and frustration, causes a great controversy among all the Muslims. By personally going to her Father's Mosque of Al-Madinah, after prayers had ended, to publicly expose and demand the immeadiate return of her rightful inheritance from Abu Bakr and his supporters, who Pleads Her Case
The Fatimah Al-Zahra(A.S.) had now exhausted all possible avenues in her pursuit to reclaim her rightful inheritance to the Fadak, given to her by her Father The Holy Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(S.A.W.). But sadly her pleas fell on deaf ears. For this reason and on the grounds of proving that she has been oppressed by those who professed righteousness under false pretences of faith and piety. At a very last resort the holy Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra(A.S.), daringly went to her Father's Mosque, to face her adversaries and delivered to them the most eloquent of words in her defense, which left the assembly speechless. She chose to proceed to the Mosque at a time when it was crammed with people, in order that her words reached the ears of all the people, who were somewhat accessories after the fact due to their silent approval of the events that occurred after the Holy Prophet's demise. She addressed the assembly in a speech that was both harmonious and systematic. It was an impeccable speech in that it contained no minced words, and was free of equivocation, distortion and slander. Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra(A.S.) used the occasion to firstly acquaint the people with Allah, The Most Exalted, and to disclose the merits of the Islamic religion and to clarify the cause and effect of the Islamic Laws. With this introduction she succeeded in securing the full attention of the assembly and created an appropriate atmosphere in which she could deliver her final statement which contained the underlying intentions and reasons that forced her to leave her house and proceed to the Mosque. And the reasons which warranted her leaving her house were, of course, the misappropriation by the so-called then self appointed caliph Abu Bakr of: The Fadak which was legally hers.
Hadrat Fatima's Protest against Abu Bakr's Actions
Hadrat Fatima (A.S.) felt grieved by Abu Bakr's actions, and was so displeased with him that when she knew of his attempt to seize Fadak, she accompanied a group of women to the Masjid-un-Nabi in the holy city of Madina. There she sat down and delivered the following speech:
Hadrat Fatima's Historical Speech
Praise be to Allah for that which He bestowed (upon us); And thanks be to Him for all that which He inspired; and commended in His Name for that which He Provided: Form prevalent favors which He created, And abundant benefactions which He offered and perfect grants which He presented; (such benefactions) that their number is much too plentiful to compute; Bounties too vast to measure; Their limit was too distant to realize; He recommended to them (His creatures) to gain more (of His benefaction) by being grateful for their continuity; He ordained Himself praiseworthy by giving generously to His creatures; I bear witness that there is no God but Allah Who is One without partner, a statement which sincere devotion is made to be its interpretation; hearts guarantee its continuation, and illuminated in the minds is its sensibility.
He Who can not be perceived with vision; neither be described with tongues; nor can imagination surround His state. He originated things but not from anything that existed before them, and created them without examples to follow. Rather, He created them with His might and dispersed them according to His will; not for a need did He create them; nor for a benefit (for Him) did He shape them, But to establish His wisdom, Bring attention to His obedience, manifest His might, lead His creatures to humbly venerate Him, and to exalt His decrees. He then made the reward for His obedience, and punishment for his disobedience, so as to protect His creatures from His Wrath and amass them into His Paradise.
I too bear witness that my Father, Muhammad(S.A.W.), is His Slave and Messenger, Whom He chose prior to sending him, named him before sending him; when creatures were still concealed in that which was transcendental, guarded from that which was appalling and associated with the termination and nonexistence. For Allah the Exalted knew that which was to follow, comprehended that which will come to pass, And realized the place of every event. Allah has sent him (Muhammad) (S.A.W.) as perfection for His commands, a resolution to accomplish His rule, and an implementation of the decrees of His Mercy. So he found the nations to vary in their faiths; Obsessed by their fires, Worshipping their idols, And denying Allah despite their knowledge of Him. Therefore, Allah illuminated their darkness with my Father, Muhammad, (S.A.W.) uncovered obscurity from their hearts, and cleared the clouds from their insights. He revealed guidance among the people; So he delivered them from being led astray, led them away from misguidance, guided them to the proper religion, and called them to the straight path.
Allah then chose to recall him back in mercy, love and preference. So, Muhammad (S.A.W.) is in comfort from the burden of this world, he is surrounded with devoted angels, the satisfaction of the Merciful Lord, and the nearness of the powerful King. So may the praise of Allah be upon my Father, His Prophet, Trusted one, the chosen one from among His creatures, and His sincere friend, and may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
Hadrat Fatima(A.S.) then turned to the crowd and said:
Surely you are Allah's slaves at His command Prohibition; You are the bearers of His religion and revelation; You are Allah's trusted ones with yourselves; and His messengers to the nations. Amongst you does He have righteous authority; A covenant He brought unto you, and an heir He left to guard you; That is The eloquent book of Allah; The truthful Quran; The brilliant light; The shining beam; Its insights are indisputable; Its secrets are revealed; Its indications are manifest; and its followers are blessed by it. (The Quran) leads its adherents to goodwill; and Hearing it leads to salvation; with it are the bright divine authorities achieved, His manifest determination acquired, His prohibited decrees avoided; His manifest evidence recognized, His satisfying proofs made apparent, His permissions granted, and His laws written.
So Allah made belief to be purification for you from polytheism. He made: Prayer - An exaltation for you from conceit. Alms - A purification for the soul and a (cause of) growth in subsistence. Fasting - An implantation of devotion. Pilgrimage - A construction of religion. Justice - A harmony of the hearts; Obeying us (Ahlul-Bayt) Management of the nation. Our leadership (Ahlul-Bayt). Safeguard from disunity. Jihad (struggle) - A strengthening of Islam. Patience - A helping course for deserving (divine) reward. Ordering goodness (Amr Bi Maruf) Public welfare. Kindness to the parents - A safeguard from wrath. Maintaining close relations with one's kin-A cause for a longer life and multiplying the number of descendants. Retaliation (Qesas) -For sparing blood (souls). Fulfillment of vows - subjecting oneself to mercy. Completion of weights and measures - A cause for preventing the neglect of others' rights. Forbiddance of drinking wine - An exaltation from atrocity. Avoiding slander - A veil from curse. Abandoning theft-a reason for deserveing chastity. Allah has also prohibited polytheism so that one can devote himself to His Lordship.
Therefore; Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam; Obey Allah in that which He has commanded you to do and that which He has forbidden, for surely those truly fear among His servants, who have knowledge.
Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.) then added:
0 People! Be informed that I am Fatima(A.S.), and my father is Muhammad (S.A.W.) I say that repeatedly and initiate it continually; I say not what I say mistakenly, nor do I do what I do aimlessly. Now hath come unto you an Apostle from amongst yourselves; It grieves him that you should perish; ardently anxious is he over you; To the believers he is most kind and merciful. Thus, if you identify and recognize him, you shall realize that he is my father and not the father of any of your women; the brother of my cousin (Ali) (A.S.) rather than any of your men. What an excellent identity he was, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his descendants. Thus, he propagated the Message, by coming out openly with the warning and while inclined away from the path of the polytheists, (whom he) struck their strength and seized their throats, while he invited (all) to the way of his Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; He destroyed idols, and defeated heroes, until their group fled and turned their backs. So night revealed its dawn; righteousness uncovered its genuineness; the voice of the religious authority spoke out loud; the evil discords were silenced; The crown of hypocrisy was diminished; the tightening of infidelity and desertion were untied, So you spoke the statement of devotion amongst a band of starved ones; and you were on the edge of a hole of fire; (you were) the drink of the thirsty one; the opportunity of the desiring one; the fire brand of him who passes in haste; the step for feet; you used to drink from the water gathered on roads; eat jerked meat. (Lady Fatima (S.A.) was stating their lowly situation before Islam) You were despised outcasts always in fear of abduction from those around you.
Yet, Allah rescued you through my father, Muhammad (S.A.W.) after much ado, and after he was confronted by mighty men, the Arab beasts, and the demons of the people of the Book Who, whenever they ignited the fire of war, Allah extinguished it; and whenever the thorn of the devil appeared, or a mouth of the polytheists opened wide in defiance, he (S.A.W.) would strike its discords with his brother (Ali) (A.S.), who comes not back until he treads its wing with the sole of his feet, and extinguishes its flames with his sword. Ali(A.S.) is diligent in Allah's affair, near to the Messenger of Allah, A master among Allah's worshippers, setting to work briskly, sincere in his advice, earnest and exerting himself (in service to Islam); While you were calm, gay, and feeling safe in your comfortable lives, waiting for us to meet disasters, awaiting the spread of news, you fell back during every battle, and took to your heels at times of fighting. Yet, When Allah chose His Prophet from the dwell of His prophets, and the abode of His sincere (servants); The thorns of hypocrisy appeared on you, the garment of faith became worn out, The misguided ignorant spoke out, the sluggish ignorant came to the front and brayed. The he camel of the vain wiggled his tail in your courtyards and the your courtyards and the Devil stuck his head from its place of hiding and called upon you, he found you responsive to his invitation, and observing his deceits.
He then aroused you and found you quick (to answer him), and invited you to wrath, therefore; you branded other than your camels and proceeded to other than your drinking places. Then while the era of the Prophet was still near, the gash was still wide, the scar had not yet healed, and the Messenger was not yet buried. A (quick) undertaking as you claimed, aimed at preventing discord (trial), Surely, they have fallen into trial already! And indeed Hell surrounds the unbelievers. How preposterous! What an idea! What a falsehood! For Allah's Book is still amongst you, its affairs are apparent; its rules are manifest; its signs are dazzling; its restrictions are visible, and its commands are evident. Yet, indeed you have cast it behind your backs! What! Do you detest it?
Or according to something else you wish to rule? Evil would be the exchange for the wrongdoers! And if anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), it never will it be accepted from him; And in the hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost. Surely you have not waited until its stampede seized, and it became obedient. You then started arousing its flames, instigating its coal, complying with the call of the misled devil, quenching the light of the manifest religion, and extinguished the light of the sincere Prophet. You concealed sips on froth and proceeded towards his (the Prophet) kin and children in swamps and forests (meaning you plot against them in deceitful ways), but we are patient with you as if we are being notched with knives and stung by spearheads in our abdomens, Yet-now you claim-that there is not inheritance for us! What! "Do they then seek after a judgment of (the Days of) ignorance? But How, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgment than Allah?
Don't you know? Yes, indeed it is obvious to you that I am his daughter. O Muslims! Will my inheritance be usurped?
O son of Abu Quhafa(Abu Bakr)! Where is it in the Book of Allah that you inherit your father and I do not inherit mine? Surely you have come up with an unprecedented thing. Do you intentionally abandon the Book of Allah and cast it behind your back? Do you not read where it says: 'And Sulaiman inherited Dawood'? And when it narrates the story of Zakariya and says: 'So give me an heir as from thyself; (One that) will inherit me, and inherit the posterity of Yaqoob' And: 'But kindred by hood have prior rights against each other in the Book of Allah' And: 'Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance) to the male, a portion equal to that of two females' And: '...If he leaves any goods, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the pious ones.
' You claim that I have no share! And that I do not inherit my father! What! Did Allah reveal a (Quranic) verse regarding you, from which He excluded my father? Or do you say: 'These (Fatima and her father) are the people of two faiths, they do not inherit each other?' Are we not, me and my father, a people adhering to one faith? Or is it that you have more knowledge about the specifications and generalizations of the Quran than my father and my cousin (Imam Ali)? So, here you are! Take it! (Ready with) its nose rope and saddled! But if shall encounter you on the Day of Gathering; (thus) what a wonderful judge is Allah, a claimant is Muhammad(S.A.W.), and a day is the Day of Rising. At the time of the Hour shall the wrongdoers lose; and it shall not benefit you to regret (your actions) then! For every Message, there is a time limit and soon shall you know who will be inflicted with torture that will humiliate him, and who will be confronted by an everlasting punishment.
Hadrat Fatima(A.S.) then turned towards the Ansars and said:
O you people of intellect! The strong supporters of the nation! And those who embraced Islam; What is this short-coming in defending my right? And what is this slumber (while you see) injustice (being done toward me)? Did not the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) my father, used to say: 'A man is upheld (remembered) by his children'? O how quick have you violated (his orders)?! How soon have you plotted against us? But you still are capable (of helping me in) my attempt, and powerful (to help me) in that which I request and (in) my pursuit (of it).
Or do you say: "Muhammad (S.A.W.) has perished;" Surely this is a great calamity; Its damage is excessive its injury is great, Its wound (is much too deep) to heal. The Earth became darkened with his departure; the stars eclipsed for his calamity; hopes were seized; mountains submitted; sanctity was violated, and holiness was encroached upon after his death. Therefore, this, by Allah, is the great affliction, and the grand calamity; there is not an affliction which is the like of it; nor will there be a sudden misfortune (as surprising as this).
The Book of Allah-excellent in praising him-announced in the courtyards (of your houses) in the place where you spend your evenings and mornings; A call, A cry, A recitation, and (verses) in order: It had previously came upon His (Allah's) Prophets and Messengers; (for it is) A decree final, and a predestination fulfilled: "Muhammad(S.A.W.) is not but an Apostle: Many were the apostles that passed away before him. If he died or was slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heel, not the least harm will he do to Allah, but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude." O you people of reflection; will I be usurped the inheritance of my father while you hear and see me?! (And while) You are sitting and gathered around me? You hear my call, and are included in the (news of the) affair? (But) You are numerous and well equipped! (You have) the means and the power, and the weapons and the shields. Yet, the call reaches you but you do not answer; the cry comes to you but you do not come to help?
(This) While you are characterized by struggle, known for goodness and welfare, the selected group (which was chosen), and the best ones chosen by the Messenger (S.A.W.) for us, Ahlul-Bayt. You fought the Arabs, bore with pain and exhaustion, struggled against the nations, and resisted their heroes. We were still, so were you in ordering you, and you in obeying us. So that Islam became triumphant, the accomplishment of the days came near, the fort of polytheism was subjected, the outburst of fabrication subsided, the flames of infidelity calmed down, and the system of religion was well-ordered. Thus, (why have you) become confused after clearness? Conceal matters after announcing them? Turned on your heels after daring? Associated (others with Allah) after believing? Will you not fight people who violated their oaths? Plotted to expel the Apostle and became aggressive by being the first (to assault) you?
Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah whom you should more justly fear, if you believe! Nevertheless, I see that you are inclined to easy living; dismissed he who is more worthy of guardianship (Ali) (A.S.); you secluded yourselves with meekness and dismissed that which you accepted. Yet, if you show ingratitude, you and all on earth together, yet, Allah free of all wants worthy of all praise.
Surely I have said all that I have said with full knowledge that you intent to forsake me, and knowing the betrayal which your hearts sensed. But, it is the state of soul, the effusion of fury, the dissemination of (what is) the chest and the presentation of the proof Hence, Here it is! Bag it (leadership and) put it on the back of an ill she-camel, which has a thin hump, with everlasting grace, marked with the wrath of Allah, and the blame of ever (which leads to) the Fire of (the wrath of) Allah kindled (to a blaze), that which doth mount (right) to the hearts; For, Allah witnesses what you do, and soon will the unjust assailants know what vicissitudes their affairs will take!!
And I am the daughter of a Warner (the Prophet) (S.A.W.) to you against a severe punishment. So, act and so will we, and wait, and we shall wait."
The end of Hadrat Fatima's speech.
It appears from recorded historical events, that Hadrat Fatima (A.S.) was successful at the beginning in persuading Abu Bakr to hand back Fadak to her; listen to part of a speech he (according to some historians) delivered after hearing Hadrat Fatima's speech Abu Bakr said:
"O daughter of the Messenger of Allah... Surely the Prophet is your father, not anyone else's, the brother of your husband, not any other man 's; he surely preferred him over all his friends and (Ali) supported him in every important matter, no one loves you save the lucky and no one hates you save the wretched. You are the blessed progeny of Allah's Messenger, the chosen ones, our guides to goodness, our path to Paradise, and you-the best of women-and the daughter of the best of prophets, truthful is your sayings, excelling in reason. You shall not be driven back from your right...But I surely heard your father saying: 'We the group of prophets do not inherit, nor are we inherited. Yet, this is my situation and property, it is yours (if you wish); it shall not be concealed from you, nor will it be stored away from you.
You are the Mistress of your father's nation, and the blessed tree of your descendants. Your property shall not be usurped against your will, nor can your name be defamed. Your judgment shall be executed in all that which I possess. This, do you think that I violate your father's (will) ?"
Hadrat Fatima(A.S.) then refuted Abu Bakr's claim that the Prophet (S.A.W.) had stated that prophets couldn't be inherited, and said:
"Glory be to Allah!! Surely Allah's Messenger (S.A.W.) did not abandon Allah's Book nor did he violate His commands. Rather, he followed its decrees and adhered to its chapters. So do you unite with treachery justifying your acts with fabrications?
Indeed this-after his departure-is similar to the disasters which were plotted against him during his lifetime. But behold! This is Allah's Book, a just judge and a decisive speaker, saying:
'One that will (truly) inherit Me, and inherit the posterity of Yaqub,' and 'and Sulaiman inherited Dawood.' Thus, He (Glory be to Him) made clear that which He made share of all heirs, decreed from the amounts of inheritance, allowed for males and females, and eradicated all doubts and ambiguities (pertaining to this issue which existed with the) bygones. Nay! But your minds have made up a tale (that may pass) with you, but (for me) patience is most fitting against that which you assert; it is Allah (alone) whose help can be sought."
It is apparent that Abu Bakr chanced the mode with which he addressed Hadrat Fatima (A.S.) after delivering her speech. Listen to his following speech; which is his reply to Hadrat Fatima's just reported speech. Abu Bakr said:
"Surely Allah and His Apostle are truthful, and so has his (the Prophet's) daughter told the truth. Surely you are the source of wisdom, the element of faith, and the sole authority. May Allah not refute your righteous argument, nor invalidate your decisive speech. But these are the Muslims between us-who have entrusted me with leadership, and it was according to their satisfaction that I received what I have. I am not being arrogant, autocratic, or selfish, and they are my witnesses."
Upon hearing Abu Bakr speak of the people's support for him, Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.) turned towards them and said:
"O people, Who rush towards uttering falsehood and are indifferent to disgraceful and losing actions! Do you not earnestly seek to reflect upon the Quran, or are your hearts isolated with locks? But on your hearts is the stain of the evil which you committed; it has seized your hearing and your sight, evil is that which you justified, cursed is that which you reckoned, and wicked is what you have taken for an exchange! You shall, by Allah, find bearing it (to be a great) burden, and its consequence disastrous. (That is) on the day when the cover is removed and appears to you what is behind it of wrath. When you will be confronted by Allah with that which you could never have expected, there will perish, there and then, those who stood on falsehoods."
Although parts of Abu Bakr's speeches can not be verified with authentic evidence, and despite the fact that we have already mentioned part of the actual speech which Abu Bakr delivered after Hadrat Fatima's arguments, it appears certain that Abu Bakr was finally persuaded to submit Fadak to her.
Nevertheless, when Hadrat Fatima(A.S.) was leaving Abu Bakr's house, Umar suddenly appeared and exclaimed:
"What is it that you hold in your hand?"
Abu Bakr replied:
"A decree I have written for Fatima(A.S.) in which I assigned Fadak and her father's inheritance to her."
Umar then said
"With what will you spend on the Muslims if the Arabs decide to fight you?!" Umar then seized the decree and tore it up!.