Martyrdom of Hadrat Fatima Zahra (S.A.)
By: Dr. Yasin T. al-Jibouri
On p. 218, Vol. 2, of al-Tabari’s Tarikh, al-Tabari says,
“Ali buried her at night, and Abu Bakr did not call the athan (to announce her death).”
Fatima (Ú) did not survive more than seventy-five days after the demise of her father. She breathed her last on the 14th Jumdi I, 11 A.H. Before her demise, she told her will to her husband, Imam Ali (Ú), thus:
1. O Ali, you will personally perform my funeral rites.
2. Those who have displeased me should not be allowed to attend my funeral.
3. My corpse should be carried to the graveyard at night.
Thus, Imam Ali (Ú), in compliance with her will, performed all the funeral rites and accompanied exclusively by her relatives and sons carried her at night to Jannatu'l-Baqi `, where she was laid to rest and her wishes fulfilled.
Having buried her, in the darkness of the night, her husband, the Commander of the Faithful Ali (Ú) composed these verses of poetry:
Why did I stand at the graves to greet,
The tomb of the loved one, but it did not respond?
O loved one! Why do you not answer us?
Have you forgotten the friendship among loved ones?
The loved one said: How can I answer you
While I am held hostage by soil and stones?
Earth has eaten my beauties, so I forgot about you,
And I now am kept away from family and peers;
So, peace from me to you, the ties are now cut off
And so are the ties with loved ones.
On p. 136 of Dalaa’il al-Imama ÏáÇÆá ÇáÇãÇãÉ, we are told that those who attended Fatima’s burial in the darkness of the night were, besides her husband Ali (Ú), none other than both her sons al-Hassan and al-Hussain (Ú), her daughters Zainab and Umm Kulthum, her maid Fidda and Asmaa daughter of Umays. The author, as quoted on p. 92, Vol. 10 of the newly published edition of Bihar al-Anwar, adds the following: In the morning of the eve in which she (Fatima) was buried, al-Baqi’ was found to have forty new graves. When the Muslims came to know about her death, they went to al-Baqi’ where they found forty freshly built graves, so they were confused and could not identify her grave from among all of them. People fussed and blamed each other. They said, “Your Prophet left only one daughter among you. She dies and is buried while you do not attend her demise or perform the prayers for her or even know where her grave is.”
Those in authority among them said, “Bring from among the Muslims’ women those who would inter these graves till we find her, perform the prayers for her and visit her grave.” The report reached the Commander of the Faithful, Allah’s blessings with him, so he came out furious, his eyes reddened, his veins swollen and wearing his yellow outer garment which he always put on whenever there was trouble, leaning on his sword, Thul-Fiqar, till he reached al-Baqi’. A warner rushed to people to warn them saying, “Here is Ali ibn Abu Talib has come as you can see, swearing by Allah that if anyone moves a brick of these graves, he will kill each and every one of them.”
He was met by ‘Umar [ibn al-Khattab] and some of his companions and said, “What is wrong with you, O father of al-Hassan?! By Allah, we shall inter her grave, and we shall perform the [funeral] prayers for her.” Ali (Ú) took hold of ‘Umar’s garment, shook him and threw him on the ground and said, “O son of the black woman! As regarding my right [to succeed the Prophet as the caliph], I have abandoned it for fear people might revert from their religion. As for Fatima’s grave, I swear by the One Who holds Ali’s soul in His hands that if you and your fellows want to do any such thing, I shall let the earth drink of your blood, all of you; so, if you want, stay away from it, O ‘Umar.”
Abu Bakr met him and said, “O father of al-Hassan! By the right of the Messenger of Allah (Õ) and by the right of the One on the Arsh, leave him, for we shall not do anything which you dislike.” Ali (Ú) left ‘Umar alone. People dispersed and did not make any further attempt. This incident shows the reader how Abu Bakr was blessed with a higher degree of wisdom than ‘Umar.
Following are verses of poetry in honor of Fatima, Head of the Women of Mankind, composed by the late Shaikh Muhsin Abu al-Hubb Senior presented to all ladies who descended from Fatima:
When they mention Eve, I say that Fatima is her pride,
Or if Mary is mentioned, I say that Fatima is superior.
Can anyone underestimate a father such as Muhammad?
Or does Mary have a lion cub more brave than Fatima’s?
Each had a status at her birth that puzzles sages’ minds:
This to her date tree resorted, so of fresh ripe dates she ate,
Giving birth to Jesus without fright, how so when the guard
Is the most brave night sojourner?
And to the wall and the door’s slab did this resort,
Prophet’s daughter, so she aborted what she was bearing.
She fell, and her fetus [Muhsin] fell with her, surrounded by
Every one of a mean descent and lowly birth:
This rogue rebukes her, that one reprimands her,
This one dismisses her, that one even kicks her…
Though before her was the lion of lions being led
By the rope…, so, is there a greater calamity?
Fatima will come on the Judgment Day to complain
To the Lord of the Heavens, and she will wail,
And you will know who her fetus was, why she wails
Why she presents a complaint from which the heavens shake:
“Lord! My inheritance and my husband’s right did they confiscate
“And, moreover, all my sons did they kill, O Lord!”
Here is a poem composed by the Christian poet Abdul-Maseeh al-Antaki (of Antioch city) in praise of Fatima al-Zahra (Ú), for those who agree with our [religious] views and those who do not have all testified to Fatima’s distinction: She is the Mistress of all Women of Mankind from the early generations to the very last:
Among women, hers is a unique birth:
No other daughter of Eve comes to her distinctions close.
One from whose forehead the sun’s rays shine,
From her standing places glitter glows.
She is the peer of the honored one and only who
In his feats and supreme honors is her only match.
Arabs seek competent peers for daughters to marry
A tradition which they refuse to forgo.
Any marriage without a competent peer they regard
As a shame on them that debases them among peers.
Who can match in lineage the daughter of the Chosen one?
Who among the Arabs in honors matches her?
Who suits Taha (Õ) to be his son-in-law,
A marriage tie that brings happiness to one who wins it
Other than Ali, the one loved by the Chosen One?
He accepted Guidance since the Messenger called for it.
Next to the Chosen One, he is the best of Quraish
Since the Almighty created its souls.
And he is the hero of Islam well known
By those wars that raised his status.