Why Was Hazrat Fatima az-Zahra (S.A.) Martyred?
By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
We are clad in black these days to mourn a young lady who in order to safeguard the spirit and letter of God's Revealed Word for ensuring eternity of humanitarian values, not just sacrificed her peace and life, but also gave to the world illustrious offspring who courted martyrdom so that truth stands forever triumphant over falsehood.
Who was she? What calamities befell her? Why was she martyred? Where is her grave?
Thought-provoking questions indeed. The answers provide a painful revelation of realities, especially in view of the fact that she lies in an unmarked and unknown grave despite her peerless position as the most immaculate lady of all time. She had willed that her burial be carried out in the dead of night without her tormentors knowing that she had passed away - let alone attend her funeral.
Let us introduce her in her own words. In a sermon in the most eloquent Arabic that deals with the fundamentals of faith and stands as a beacon of guidance to any seeker of truth till this day, this is how she addressed those who in blind pursuit of the power of this transient world had usurped the political rights of her husband and deprived her of her patrimony of the famous Orchard of Fadak: "O People! Know that I am Faţema. My father is Muhammad, whom Allah has praised along with his progeny. That which I say first, I shall say last; and I say not anything mistakenly, nor do anything in vain."
She spoke of monotheism or God's indivisible Oneness (Towheed); of Divine Justice (Adl); and of how her father had enlightened the Arabs with the message of Islam "while you were, on the edge of an abyss of fire" (Holy Qur'an, 3:103); and were drinking unclean and fetid (dirtied by camels) water, eating carrion, and were abject outcasts. So Allah the Exalted and the Glorified, rescued you through Muhammad (SAWA)."
Her words could certainly be called food for thought, as she dwelt on Ma'ad (the Day of Resurrection when mankind will be meted out reward or punishment in the Divine Court depending on their deeds), and took up the vital issue of Wilaya or the authority her father, the Seal of Prophets, had vested in her husband on Divine Commandment at Ghadeer-Khom (18th Zilhijja 10 AH) so as to ensure that Muslims will never go astray after him on the firm basis of adherence to the Thaqalayn - the Two Invaluable Things, i.e. God's Revealed Word the Holy Qur'an and the Ahl al-Bayt.
The ruler and the regime, or more properly the ringleaders of the scandalous event of Saqifa Bani Sa'dah, hung their heads down in shame as they listened in rapt attention to the voice coming from behind the curtain that was placed between the Prophet's daughter and themselves.
Fatema (SA) reprimanded those who still claimed to be Muslims in spite of breaching the allegiance they had sworn to the Divinely-decreed leadership of Imam Ali (AS) at Ghadeer, hardly two months and ten days before the passing away of the Prophet. She cautioned them against committing such a cardinal sin that would not just sow the seeds of sedition in society but would also lead to trampling of all humanitarian values by future generations all over the globe, as has been sorry state of affairs of the world ever since.
"Hypocrisy became manifest among you; and the garment of religion became worn out. And Satan raised his head from his hiding place, calling you; so he found you responsive to his invitation; and attentive to him, in deceits.While the Book of Allah is among you; its issues are clear; and its precepts, brilliant; and its signs, luminous; and its forbiddances, evident; and its commands, obvious; and surely you have cast it behind your backs!
Then Hazrat Fatema az-Zahra (SA) turned to the issue of the seizure of the Orchard of Fadak from her by the regime on the clumsy pretext that Prophets do not leave inheritance to their children. She unraveled the falsehood of this alleged hadith by quoting the Holy Qur'an: "Is it the judgment of (the times of) ignorance that they seek? And who is better than Allah to judge, for people with certitude?" (5:51)
She was explicit in the defence of her own rights, and subsequently the rights of all women that were being trampled by the coup leaders: "So do you not know? Yes! It is obvious to you, just like the bright sun, that surely I am his (the Prophet's) daughter. O Muslims! Should I be overcome, in regard to my inheritance? O son of Abi Quhafah (Abu Bakr)! Is this in the Book of Allah that you inherit from your father and I do not inherit from my father? Have you deliberately forsaken the Book of Allah and thrown it behind your backs, while it says: "And Solomon inherited David! (27:16)
She also mentioned Zachariah's prayer to the Lord to grant him an heir, "Who should inherit me, and inherit from the family of Jacob" (19:6)
She went on eloquently to expose her opponents in their true colours by saying: "And you claim that there is no share for me, and no inheritance from my father!!! Or you mean to say that the adherents of two (different) faiths do not inherit from one another? And were my father and I, not of the same faith?!!! Or are you more knowledgeable to the specifics and generals of the Qur'an than my father and my cousin (husband Imam Ali)?
Her famous sermon found in all authoritative books of hadith and history including those written by our Sunni brethren puts a big question mark on the caliphate when it says: "Now hang firmly to this cheap dromedary of caliphate of yours and release it not. But beware; the hump of this camel is injured while there are blisters and holes in its feet. It carries the scars of ignominy and the sign of the wrath of Allah. Eternal shame is attached to it."
The regime responded in the most roguish manner by storming the house of the Prophet's daughter, pinning her between the door and the wall to the extent that she suffered miscarriage, and dragging her husband for a forced swearing of allegiance to the usurpers. As a result Fatema (SA) left the world a heartbroken martyr, whose wounds remain fresh and crying for justice in the Divine Court against oppression.