|Chapter 27: Preparations for The Wedding|
A non-planned period of time elapsed between the engagement and the wedding ceremony, because Imam Ali (A.S.) was too shy to ask the Prophet to assign a day for the wedding, while he wanted to protect Fatima's pride by refraining from asking Ali to do so. A month or more passed by before Imam Ali said anything regarding the wedding. Aqeel (Ali's brother) asked him about the reason for the delay in holding the wedding ceremony and encouraged him to prepare for the wedding and to ask the Prophet to assign a date for it. Despite Ali's shyness, he accompanied Aqeel to the Prophet's house to fulfill his wishes. On their way to the Prophet's house, they met Umme Ayman who, when told the reason for their visit, asked them to leave the matter to her. She, in turn, informed Umme Salama and the Prophet's wives who gathered in Aisha's house, where the Prophet was, and said:
"May our parents be your sacrifice! We are gathered here in regard to that, had Khadija been alive would have brought happiness to her life!!!" When hearing Khadija's name, the Prophet cried and said:
"Surely Khadija believed me when men did not, and helped in establishing Allah's religion, and granted me her belongings in its path. Allah-Exalted is His Name-commanded me to bring the good
news to Khadija that (she has) a house in Paradise made of brocade and emeralds, where there is not roaring nor strain." Umme Salama said:
"May our parents be your sacrifice, O Messenger of Allah!! Surely everything you have praised Khadija for is true, but she departed to her Lord! May He bring happiness to her and gather us with her in the Paradise of His satisfaction and Mercy. Messenger of Allah! Your brother from among the people of the world who is also your cousin, Ali Ibn Abu Talib, wished that you specify a day for the wedding so that he may be united with his wife Fatima."
The Prophet answered: "Why doesn't Ali ask me to do so?" She replied: "Shyness prevents him!' He said: "Umme Ayman, go call Ali for me." When Umme Ayman came out, she found Ali (A.S.) waiting for the answer. Upon her request he, entered the house and shyly sat near the Prophet who said to him:
"Do you wish to be wedded to your wife?"
Ali replied: "Alright, it is to your honor!! If you wish, the wedding can take place tonight or tomorrow night, if Allah wills." The Prophet said: "So prepare a house for Fatima."
Ali then said: "The only house I can acquire is Harithah Ibn al-Numan's." The Prophet said: "Surely we are shy for Harithah Ibn al-Numan, for we have taken the majority of his houses!"' When Harithah heard about this, he proceeded towards the Prophet and said:
"Messenger of Allah, I and my property belong to Allah and His Messenger. By Allah, there is nothing more beloved to me than that which you take; it surely is more desirable to me (that you take it) than if you leave it (for me)!!"
Consequently, Harithah, motivated by his strong faith and
belief in good deeds, granted Ali (A.S.) one of his houses. Imam Ali (A.S.) furnished one of the rooms by spreading sand on the floor and erecting a pole for hanging the water container. In addition to some gifts that were given to him by some companions, he also purchased a jug and jar and laid a piece of wood between two walls for hanging clothes, and placed a ram's skin on the floor and put a pillow made of fiber on it, The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) ordered Ali (A.S.) to hold a dinner because Allah, the Exalted, is pleased with those who do so; for the social good it does-such as bringing people together and implementing love and harmony among them.
It is noteworthy that Lady Fatima Zahra (A.S.) excelled in giving on the path of Allah; she possessed generosity that no other woman can claim to be equal to.
Al-Asfouri wrote in his book Nuzhat al-Majalis v.2, p.226, on the authority of Ibn al-Tawous: "The Prophet had a new dress made for Fatima (as a gift) for her wedding; she had just one old patched dress. On her wedding night, someone knocked on the door and said: "I ask the household of Prophethood to give me an old dress." At first, Fatima was going to give him her old dress, but then remembered the Quranic verse:
'By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love (prefer)'
She then gave the poor man her new dress. Consequently, Gabriel descended and said:
"O Muhammad! Allah sends Him peace upon you; He commanded me to greet Fatima and (give her the gift He sent her) which is a dress from Paradise, made of silk brocade etc."
(Returning to the feast), when the food had been prepared, the meat cooked, the bread baked and the dates and butter obtained, the Prophet started spitting the dates and mixing them with the butter to replace sweetmeat for the wedding.
When everything was ready, he asked Ali to invite the people to the feast. When Ali reached the Mosque, he found it crowded with people-all were at the Mosque, from the poor immigrants who lived there to the Ansars. Nevertheless, Ali's generosity and noble-heartedness did not allow him to invite some people and exclude others, especially since everyone wanted to be invited to the Prophet's daughter's wedding feast. Ali's belief in Allah's power and the Prophet's blessed heart, motivated him to call out loud:
"O people, answer the call for the feast of Fatima Bint Muhammad"
Men and women from all around Medina gathered in the house. They ate, drank and even took food to their homes. The blessings of the Prophet were obvious on that day, for not only the food was enough to feed everyone, but also it did not decrease at all. The Prophet asked for food containers to be brought and filled them and sent them to his wives and left a special container for Fatima and her husband.
By sunset, the wedding night had begun; it was time for Fatima to depart to her new home. Everything went well, for the Prophet had made all the necessary preparation for the wedding. Despite the simplicity and modesty of her wedding, Fatima's marriage ceremony was surrounded by signs of greatness, excellence and beauty. Al-Haithami wrote in Majma' Az-Zawaed that Jabir said: "We were present at Fatima and Ali's (may Allah be pleased with them) wedding ceremony, and indeed we have not seen any ceremony better than that one..."
The Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H.) ordered his wives to embellish Fatima (A.S.) before the wedding; they perfumed and dressed her with jewellery. They all helped to ready Fatima; some
combed her hair while others embellished and dressed her in the dress brought by Gabriel from Paradise. Allah's Messenger (P.B.U.H.) paid special attention to Fatima Zahra (A.S.), which he did not bestow on his other daughters for the following reasons:
A. Her special characteristics and noble traits.
B. Her husband is Ali Ibn Abu Talib, who is known for his talents and longstanding service to Islam-besides being the Prophet's cousin.
C. The Prophet also knew that his daughter was going to be included in the verse of purification, the verse of Mubahelah (supplication), and the verse of Kinship.
D. Fatima also is the mother of the Holy Imams who will lead humanity until the Day of Resurrection.
The night of Fatima's wedding arrived. Because every girl needs her mother on her wedding night, Fatima missed Khadija and felt very much like an orphan. With his noble and special attention to Fatima, the Prophet wished to fill Khadija's space; the Prophet called Ali (A.S.) and Fatima, who proceeded towards him-Fatima was in her long heavenly dress overtaken with shyness. He (P.B.U.H.) brought his gray horse and asked Fatima to ride it and ordered Salman to lead while he (P.B.U.H.) followed them.
Yes, indeed, Fatima's wedding was attended by heavenly creatures as well as people, for she is a human huri.
Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi in Tareekh Baghdad v.5, p.7, Al-Hamvini in Duraral-Simtain, Al-Dhahabi in Mizan al-Etedal, Garani in Akhbar al-Dowal, and Qandouzi in Yanabi' al-Mawaddah have narrated that Ibn Abbas said:
"When Fatima was taken to Ali's house on her wedding
night, the Prophet proceeded her, Gabriel was on her right, and Michael on her left, and seventy thousand angels followed her. These angels praised and glorified Allah until dawn!!
The Hashemit men, Abdul Muttalib's daughters, and Muhajerin and Ansar's women all accompanied Fatima's caravan that night. The Prophet's wives joyfully led the caravan; they were also the first to enter the house.
Upon arriving, the Prophet placed Fatima's hand in Ali's hand and said:
"May Allah bless his Messenger's daughter; Ali this is Fatima, you are responsible for her (or I entrust her to you) Ali, what an excellent wife Fatima is!!
Fatima, what an excellent husband Ali is!!
O Allah, bless them, bless their lives, and bless their children O Allah, surely they are the most beloved to me from among your creatures, so love them too, and assign for them a guardian I place them and their progeny under Your protection from the curse devil."
The Prophet then asked for a jug of water; he sipped a small amount of the water and after gargling with it, placed it back in the jug. He then called for Fatima (A.S.) and sprayed her head and shoulders with that water and did the same thing to Ali (A.S.). Thereafter, he ordered the women to leave the house. They all left except Asma Bint Umais. When he (P.B.U.H.) noticed that she had stayed behind, he exclaimed: 'Didn't I ask you to leave?'
She answered: 'Indeed, O Messenger of Allah!
May my parents be your sacrifice; I did not intend to disobey you, but I promised Khadija to take her place on this night.' The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was moved by
this; he cried and said to Asma: 'By Allah, is this the reason that made you stay behind?' She said: 'Yes, by Allah!' He (P.B.U.H.) then said: 'Asma, may Allah fulfillfor you the needs of this world and the Hereafter.'
Chapter 28: The Year of Fatima's Marraige
Opinions of the historians and narrators differ from one to another regarding the year of Lady Fatima Zahra's marriage. Sayid Ibn Tawoos wrote in Al-Iqbal on the authority of Sheikh Mufid:
"Fatima's marriage took place on the night of the 21st of Muharram, 3 A.H." Al-Misbah: "Zul Hijja first or sixth." and, Al-Amali: "Her marriage took place sixteen (16) days after the death of Ruqiyya, Uthman's wife, after he returned from Badr. This means that it took place at the beginning of Shawwal."
Asma Bint Umais and Umme Salama under the Spotlight Asma was Ja'far Ibn Abu Talib's wife. It is a given fact that he had immigrated to Habashah with his wife and a group of Muslims several years before Hijra. It is also known that Ja'far returned to Medina after the Muslims conquered Khaibar in 5 A.H. These findings are unanimously agreed upon by all historians.
Nevertheless, we have seen that Asma was present when Khadija passed away in Mecca, and at Fatima's wedding ceremony according to many narrations, which state her name as Asma Bint Umais al-Khathamia. The following historians state that she was present at Fatima's wedding ceremony: The author of Kashf Al-Ghummah,
Hadhrami in Rashfat al-Sadi, p.10, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in al-Manaqib, Al-Haithami in Majma' Az-Zawaed, Nisaee in Khasaes pg 31 and Muhib Ad-Din Tabari in Dhakhaer al-Uqbi. They depend on the narrations of: Abu Abbas Khawarazmi from Al-Hussain Ibn Ali (A.S.), Sayid Jalal al-Din Abu al-Hamid Ibn Fakhr al-Musawi, and Dulabi from Imam Baqir and his father (A.S.) How can we comprehend the contradiction between these narrations and the fact that Fatima's marriage took place after the battle of Badr, or even Uhud in 2 A.H.?
Actually, this is a historical problem that has not yet been solved despite the various attempts made by Sheikh Majlisi in Bihar v.10. More interesting is the following statement that was mentioned in Safinat al-Bihar on the authority of Mujahid in which Asma was said to have been present at Aisha's marriage. In the statement it was claimed that Asma said: "I was the one who, in the company of other women, prepared Aisha and brought her to the Messenger of Allah. By Allah, he had not but a cup of buttermilk which he drank and gave to Aisha; but she was too shy to take it, so I said to her: 'Do not reject it; it is from the hand of the Prophet.'
She then took it and after drinking some, he (P.B.U.H.) said: 'Give some to your friends.' But the women did not desire any.
The Prophet then said: 'Do not gather hunger and lying together.'
I said: 'Messenger of Allah, is it considered lying if one of us says she does not like something?'
The Prophet replied: 'Surely lying is counted (against the person) up to the point that even a small lie is recorded too."
As we said, this narration shows that Asma was present at
Aisha's marriage, which took place before that of Fatima's. Moreover, it is unanimously narrated that Asma was present when Imam Hussain (A.S.) was born in 4 or 5 A.H. All these events are known to have taken place before conquering Khaibar and Ja'far Ibn Abu Talib's return to Medina. In an attempt to clarify the issue, Muhammad Ibn Yusuf (as Sheikh Majlisi also said in Bihar v. 10) wrote in Kefayat al-Talib, concerning Asma's presence at Fatima's wedding:
"This is an authentic finding, exactly as Ibn Batta narrated. But mentioning Asma Bint Umais's name is not accurate, for this Asma is Ja'far Ibn Abu Talib's wife... Asma who attended Fatima's wedding, is Asma Bint Yazid Ibn Sakan al Ansari. As for Asma Bint Umais, she remained in the company of her husband in Habashah until he returned to Medina, the day Khaibar was conquered in 7 A.H. While Fatima's marriage took place several days after the battle of Badr."
Regardless of this, I say that the narrations clearly state Asma Bint Umais's name; therefore, this justification cannot be taken into account. Besides, Asma Bint Yazid was an Ansarian woman, hence could not have been present at Khadija's death. Her presence in Mecca at that time was not mentioned by any other historian.
In the light of these findings, I deem it necessary to clarify that Asma Bint Umais had actually immigrated with her husband to Habashah, but repeatedly returned to Mecca and Medina. This becomes clear especially when we realize that the distance between Jedda and Habashah is limited to that of the width of the Red sea, which in not so difficult for a journey. This historical confusion came about because her repeated trips were not adequately recorded, just as Abu Dhar's immigration to Habashah with Ja'far was not given enough attention. This conclusion is supported by the following tradition which
Al-Majlisi wrote in Bihar v.1, quoting Mawlid Fatima: "Ibn Babawaih said:
'The Prophet ordered Abdul Muttalib's daughters... (until he said): The Prophet, Hamza, Aqeel, Ja'far, and Ahlul-Bayt followed the caravan."
It is clearly stated in this narration that Ja'far, Asma's husband, was present; which, as we said, supports our conclusion. In addition to this, the Prophet's immigration to Medina took place after Khadija's death, and Ja'far traveled to Habashah twice. The second journey took place before Hijra and after Khadija's death. Thus, it becomes easy to understand how Asma was present at the time of Khadija's death. There is confusion in historical findings regarding the reason for the presence of Umme Salama's name in the events preceding Fatima's marriage; i.e., the Prophet leaving some of Fatima's dowry with her, and the women's consultation with her-despite the fact that he married her in 4 A.H., while Fatima's marriage took place in 2 A.H. Thus, the question arises as to what role she played in these events even though she was not yet married to the Prophet?
There are two probable answers that can be given to this question. First: Perhaps there was a mistake in recording the year she was married to the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) But this is not based on any historical or scientific findings and therefore cannot be taken into account.
Second: Since Lady Umme Salama was the Prophet's cousin, it was expected of her to participate in different stages of the wedding and to keep part of Fatima's dowry in her possession according to the Prophet's wish. I prefer the second opinion. Yet I leave it to Allah, for He is the Omniscient.
Chapter 29: Fatima's House
The contemporary civilized world realizes the importance of paying due attention to certain spots and structures, which are connected to identified noble people or valuable entities. Thus, laws related to this matter have been legislated, such as diplomatic immunity for specific individuals and buildings, and laws which regulate the use of public places, universities, temples, and so on, that are related to science, religion, and culture.
The importance of these actions and laws was known to Allah, the Exalted and His chosen worshippers from the beginning. Rules and regulations which govern entering mosques, especially the Sacred Mosque in Mecca, such as preventing certain groups of people like the infidels, the junub, and menstruating women from entering them, are a reflection of this fact. Other examples of such laws are: the necessity to keep these places pure; the importance of respecting the sanctity of mosques; the forbiddance of hunting in and around Mecca during certain periods of time.
Fatima's house is certainly one of these places, which is surrounded by sanctity, holiness and exaltation. It was built on respect, honor and righteousness. Those who realize know the value of her house.
Sheikh Majlisi (may Allah bless his soul) reported on the
authority of Anas Ibn Malik that Buraidah said:
"Allah's Messenger read the verse: "In houses, which Allah hath permitted to be raised to honor; for the celebration in the, of His name: In them is He glorified in the mornings and in the evenings." (5: 36) A man then exclaimed: "Whose houses are these, O Messenger of Allah?"
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) answered: "Prophet's houses."
Abu Bakr said: "Messenger of Allah, is this one of these houses (He meant Fatima's house)?" The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) replied: "Yes, it is among the best of them!!"
Ibn Abbas also said: "I was in the Prophet's mosque when someone read:
'In houses which Allah hath permitted to be raised in honor;...' So I said: 'Messenger of Allah; which houses?'
He said: 'Prophet's houses;' and pointed to Fatima's house." It has been narrated in Al-Kafi that Abdullah Ibn Ja'far al-Ansari said:
"Once, the Prophet of Allah proceeded towards Fatima's house while I was with him; when we reached the door, he pushed the door (slightly) and said:
Fatima (A.S.) answered: 'Alaik as-Salam, Messenger of Allah.'
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) then said: 'May I come in?' She said: 'I do not have my veil on, O Messenger of Allah.' He said: 'Fatima, cover your head with your cloak'
When she had done so, he said: 'Assalamu Alaikum'
She answered: 'Alaik-as-Salam, Messenger of Allah.' He repeated the request for permission to enter the house with me, and she gave us permission."