Janab Fizzah: The Learned Abysinian Housemaid of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.)
The Muslims in the life time of the Holy Prophet (saw ) were brought up to learn the Holy Quran as Ibadat ( Devotion ), to recite it as Devotion, to write it down as Devotion, to teach their children and other people and make them learn it by heart and understand it as Devotion. They became so learned Abysinian familiar with it that they used the Verses of the Holy Quran in their daily conversation. History records that Janab Fizzah, the noble Abysinian housemaid of Hazrat Fatima Zahra, the Lady of Paradise, the daughter of the Holy Prophet ( saw ) was in the habit of using the verses and words of the Holy Quran in her conversation.
Abul Qasim Qashiri relates the dialogue between Fizzah and Abdullah bin Mubarak; I saw a woman passing through the desert who had fallen behind the caravan, and asked her " Who are You and where are you from ?."
She said : " Say Salaam !.... Soon shall ye know it ." ( Chapter 6 Verse 67 )
I learned that she expected me to greet her and say Assalam O Alaikum first, before any question. I did as she reminded, and inquired why she was in this desert.
She answered : " Whomesoever God guideth, then none shall beguile . " ( Chapter 39 Verse 37 )
I gathered that she was left behind and thus restless, so I asked again are you a human being or a jinn ?
She returned : " O children of Adam ! Be Ye adorned at every time of prostration ." ( Chapter 7 Verse 31 )
I discovered that she was a human being, so I continued my enquiry, Where are You coming from ?
She said : ".... Who are called to from a place far off. " ( Chapter 41 Verse 44 )
I found out that she was coming from a place far off and inquired her destination.
She immediately responded: " ........ And for God is incumbent upon mankind the Pilgrimage of the House..... " ( Chapter 3 Verse 97 )
I realized that she was going for Hajj ( Pilgrimage of the Kaaba ), and asked her how many days she had been traveling ?
She told me : "Indeed created We ( God ) the heavens and the earth and what is between them to in Six days . " (Chapter 7 Verse 54 ) and ( Chapter 50 Verse 38 )
I concluded it was six days. I requested her to have food and water if she was so inclined.
She politely indicated : " We ( God ) made them not such bodies that do not eat food, and
they will not abide ( in this world ) for ever. " ( Chapter 21 Verse 8 )
She accepted my refreshment. Then to catch the caravan, I suggested her to make haste.
She reminded me again : " God tasks not any soul beyond ( individual ) ability...... " ( Chapter 2 Verse 286 )
I told her that if she could not do so, let her ride on the back of my camel behind me.
She recited another Quranic Verse : " If there were therein gods besides Allah, then verily both ( the heavens and the earth ) would have been disordered ...." ( Chapter 21 Verse 22 )
It was a reminder of piety that when a man was not a husband of a woman, it was un-lawful to ride together on the same animal. [It is an Islamic Law concerning the relatives of persons of prohibited degree Namahiram ].
Qashiri says that he got down and requested her to ride the camel.
She occupied the seat and recited : " Hallowed is He who subjected this ( animal ) unto us ." ( Chapter 43 Verse 13 ).
She thanked Allah who brought the animal under her control. When we reached the caravan, I asked her do you know any one among them ?
She recounted : " O Dawud ( David ), We have appointed thee a vicegerent in the earth .........." ( Chapter 38 Verse 26 );
" And Muhammad is not but an Apostle ...... " ( Chapter 3 Verse 144 );
" O Yahya ( John the Baptist ) ! Hold thou the Book fast !" ( Chapter 19 Verse 12 );
" O Musa ( Moses ) ! Verily it is, I am God the All-Mighty ." ( Chapter 27 Verse 9 )
I understood that Dawud, Muhammad, Yahya and Musa were the names of her sons. When the boys appeared, I asked her who they were ?
She said in her habitual manner : " Wealth and Children are the adornment of this World " (Chapter 18 Verse 46 )
I recognized them as her sons. The woman looked at her sons with the feeling of contentment and uttered
" ... O my father ! Employ him verily the best of those who canst employ is the strongman and trusted ones. " ( Chapter 28 Verse 26 )
In these words of the Quran, she informed the sons indicating towards me that " ..... This man offered me a gift ( i.e help ), so verliy God giveth manifold increase to whomsoever He willeth . " ( Chapter 2 Verse 261 )
The sons grasped their mothers indications, and so they paid me twice as much as I ought to have been paid. To satisfy my curiosity I asked the sons, Who is this honorable Lady that speaks nothing but the Quran ?. They responded that she was their mother, the housemaid of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her and her progeny ), the daughter of the Holy Prophet ( saw ) and the wife of Amir al-Momineen Ali (A.S.). She was raised under the shade of supreme knowledge and piety of the daughter of the Prophet ( saw ). Since 20 years she spoke nothing but the Quran in her daily conversations.
May Allah Bless her soul ( Amen ! ) ........
Reference : -
Essence of The Holy Quran
The Eternal Light by
Ayatullah Agha Haji Mirza Mahdi Pooya
Edited by Syed Muhammad Murtaza &
Husain P Taylor ISBN 0-944880-02-9 ( Hard Back )
03-7 ( Paper Back )