Chapter 39: Fatima's Modesty and Spending in The Path of Allah
 

(162) Fatima was known to be very modest and humble. Because as man's desire of the Hereafter increases, his worldly lusts decrease; and when someone realizes the greatness and seriousness of the Day of Judgement, the worldly life becomes of little value to him. Besides, as man's reasoning and ability advances, his desire for lusts greatly decreases.

Have you not seen that children play, have fun, become sad and fight over worthless objects; but as they grow up and their senses mature, they refrain from such actions because they consider them to be degrading to their personalities and contradicting to the rules of observing dignified conduct.

This is the case of righteous worshippers of Allah who look down to the ephemeral things of this world, and their hearts cannot be attached to its vanities. They do not like this world for its worldly belongings, rather they enjoy living to gain good deeds and further worship Allah, the Exalted. They collect money to spend it in the way of Allah, feed the hungry, clothe and support the need and deprived. These were also the fundamentals of modesty on which Lady Fatima Zahra (A.S.) depended. She deeply understood this worldly life, and realized the extent of the Hereafter. It is not amazing to learn that Fatima (A.S.) was satisfied with the minimum requirements of life; she chose for herself the noble trait of

(163)

preferring others over herself and aiding them, as we." as resenting sumptuous extravagant living. It is a small wonder, indeed, for Fatima was the daughter of the most modest whose religious and social life required him to live in modesty; and Fatima was the first person expected to follow the steps of her father, the modest Messenger.

Fatima's marital life was also surrounded by modesty and satisfaction. Her husband Ali (A.S.) was a devout follower of the Prophet of Islam, and there was not a man known who was more modest than Ali (A.S.). Imam Ali (A.S.) was the man who used to speak to the silver and gold in the treasury by saying:

"O you yellow and white, deceive someone else save me!!" It has been reported that once a beduin approached Imam Ali (A.S.) for help. The Imam then ordered his agent to give the beduin a grant of one thousand dinars, the later exclaimed:

"Gold or silver dinars?"

Imam Ali (A.S.) replied: "They are both just stones to me, so give the beduin that which is more beneficial to him."

Here we relate several narrations, which speak of Fatima's modesty and generosity:

1. The author of the book Bisharat A-Moustafa was quoted by Al-Bihar v.10 to have written:

Imam Sadiq (A.S.)quoted Jabir Ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari as saying:

"One day when we had finished the Asr prayer with the Messenger of Allah an old Arab immigrant man, who was wearing worn-out clothes and was barely able to walk because of his old age and weakness came by. The Prophet asked the old man about his affair; the old man answered: "Prophet of Allah I am starving, so feed me, I am naked, so clothe me, and poor, so help me.'

(164)

The Prophet then said: 'Surely I find nothing to give you. Yet, he who guides to goodness is equal to him who performs it. So go to the house of she who loves Allah and His Messenger, and Allah and His Messenger love her. The one who prefers Allah over herself I mean Fatima.' Fatima's house was near the Prophet's house. He asked Bilal to lead the man to her house. When the old man reached the house, he cried out: 'Peace be upon you, O household of prophethood, the (dwellers of the place where) angels frequently visit, where Gabriel-the holy spirit-descends to bring what the Lord of the Worlds reveals.'

Fatima said: 'Peace be upon you; who are you?'

The old Beduin answered: 'I am an old Arab man; I have immigrated to your father, The Master of mankind, from a distant place. Daughter of Muhammad, I am hungry and in need of clothing, so console me-may Allah bless you.' When this occurred, the Prophet, Ali, and Fatima had not eaten for three days. Yet, Fatima gave him a tanned ram skin, which was used as Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain's bed.

Then Fatima told the poor man: 'Take this, may Allah substitute it for you by a better gift by selling it.'

The old man replied: Daughter of Muhammad, I complain to you of hunger and you give me a ram's skin? How can I eat with this?' When Fatima heard what the old man had to say, she gave him the necklace, which was given to her by Fatima Bint Hamza Ibn Abd al-Muttalib. The old man took the necklace and went to the Mosque to meet the Prophet who was sitting in the presence of his companions. He went to the Prophet and said: 'Messenger of Allah, Fatima Bint Muhammad gave me this necklace and said: 'Sell it, for Allah will grant you a solution to your problem.'

(165)

When the Prophet heard what the man had to say, he cried and said: 'Indeed, Allah will grant you a solution, for Fatima Bint Muhammad, the Mistress of all women gave you this necklace.'

Meanwhile, Ammar Ibn Yasir (may Allah bless his soul) said: 'Messenger of Allah, do I have your permission to buy this necklace?' The Prophet answered: 'Buy it Ammar, surely if all of mankind and Jinn participate in buying it Allah will not torture them in Hellfire.' Ammar said: 'How much do you want for it?'

The old Beduin said: A meal of bread and meat, a Yemeni shirt to cover my private parts and to perform my prayers in front of my Lord, and a dinar so I can return to my family.'

Ammar, who had just sold his share of booty from the battle of Khaibar, told the man: I will give you twenty (20) dinars, two hundred (200) dirhams, a Yemeni shirt, my horse to take you home, and your need of wheat bread and meat.'

The old then said: 'What a generous man you are!!'

When Ammar had fulfilled his promise to the old man, the later came back to the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) who said: Are you satisfied and clothed?'

The old man said: Yes, and I have become rich; may my father and mother be your sacrifice.'

The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) then said: 'So reward Fatima for her kindness.'

The old man supplicated: 'O Allah, surely You are our God whenever we ask You;

'We have no other God to worship besides you;

'You are the one who grants us beneficence in all conditions;'

'O Allah, grant Fatima that which no eye has ever seen, and ear has ever heard ....'

During that time, Ammar had perfumed the necklace with mush

(166)

wrapped it in a Yemeni shirt, and gave it to one of his slaves by the name of Sahm, who he had bought with the money that he had received for selling his share of the Khaibarian booty. He told Sahm:

'Take this necklace and give it to the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H.) and tell him that I give you to him also.' When Sahm had delivered the message, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said: 'Take the necklace to Fatima and I give you to her also.' When the slave had told Fatima the message, she (A.S.) took the necklace and told the slave that he was free.

Upon hearing Fatima, Sahm laughed, so Fatima asked him about the reason that made him laugh. He answered: 'I smiled when I thought of the abundance of goodness put in this necklace; it fed a hungry man, clothed a naked man, satisfied a poor man, freed a slave and came back to its original owner."

2. Al-Majlisi, quoting Fural Ibn Ibrahim's interpretation of The Holy Quran in his book Al-Bihar, said:

'Abu Saeed al-Khudari said: One morning Ali Ibn Abu Talib woke up very hungry and said:

'Fatima, do you have anything to feed us?'

She answered: 'No, by Him who honored father with Prophethood, and honored you with successorship, we have nothing edible this morning, and we haven't had any food for two days save that which I have preferred to give you and our two children, Hassan and Hussain.'

Ali (A.S.) said: 'Fatima! Why didn't you tell me, so I could bring some food for you?'

Fatima answered: 'Abu Al-Hassan, I surely become ashamed before my God to ask you to do something you cannot do.' At this, Ali Ibn Abu Talib left Fatima, with full trust that Allah would help him. He borrowed a dinar, and while he was holding the dinar and trying to buy some food for his family, he came upon Miqdad Ibn Al Aswad.

(167)

The sun had burnt Al-Miqdad's face and feet on that exceptionally hot day. When Ali (A.S.) saw him, he exclaimed surprisingly: 'Miqdad, what brings you out of your home at this hour?'

Miqdad answered: 'Abu Al-Hassan, ask me not about what I have left behind in the house.'

Ali (A.S.) said: 'My brother, I cannot leave you without knowing your problem.'

Miqdad then said: 'Abu Al-Hassan, for Allah's sake and your sake leave me alone, and do not ask about my condition!!'

Imam Ali said: 'My brother, you should not hide your condition from me.'

Miqdad replied: 'Abu Al-Hassan, now that you insist, by Him who honored Muhammad with Prophethood and honored you with successorship, nothing forced me out of my house save poverty. I left my children starving; when I heard their cries, there remained no place for me on earth-I have come out of my house in depression; this is my story.'

Imam Ali (A.S.) cried when he heard the story; he cried until his beard was wet from tears and said: 'By Allah, that which forced you out of your house and also forced me out of my house; I borrowed a dinar, but I prefer you to have it.' When Imam Ali (A.S.) had given the dinar to Miqdad, he went to the Mosque and performed his Dhuhr (noon), Asr (afternoon) and Maghrib (evening) prayers. When the Messenger of Allah had completed his prayers, he signaled Ali, who was in the first line, to follow him. Ali (A.S.) obediently followed him out of the Mosque and after the Prophet greeted him said:

'Abu Al-Hassan, do you have some food for dinner so that I can accompany you?'

(168)

Imam Ali was too shy to answer the Messenger; but the Prophet of Allah (P.B.U.H.) had detailed knowledge about the dinar and what had happened to it; for Allah, the Exalted, had revealed to His Prophet to have dinner at Ali's house that night. When Ali did not answer, the Prophet said:

'Abu Al-Hassan, why don't you say no, so I may leave you; or yes, so I may accompany you?' Imam Ali (A.S.) said: 'Accompany me!!'

The Prophet then took Ali's hand and proceeded toward Fatima's house. When they arrived, Fatima was just finishing her prayers and there was a pan oil fire behind her. When she heard the Prophet coming, who was the dearest person to her, she greeted him and he wiped his hand on her head and said:

'How is your evening, my daughter?'

She answered: 'Fine!'

He then said: 'Give us some dinner, may Allah bless you, and surely He has.'

Fatima (A.S.) placed the pan in front of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and Ali Ibn Abu Talib...

At that moment, the Messenger of Allah put his hand on Ali's shoulder and said:

'Ali, this is a substitute for your dinar. This is a reward from Allah for the dinar; surely Allah grants whoever He wills without limit.' The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) cried and said:

"Praise be to Allah, Who insisted on rewarding you in this world, too, and made you Ali-like Zakariya and Fatima like Maryam Bint Imran, for whenever Zakariya entered the Mehrab, he found Maryam with her subsistence."

3. It is quoted in v.10 of Bihar that Imam Hussain (A.S.) quoted Imam Hassan (A.S.) as saying:

"Once, on a Friday night, I watched my mother, Fatima, pray all

(169)

night long. She kept making Ruku' and prostrating until dawn. I heard her supplicate for the believers by name; but she did not supplicate for herself, so I asked:

'Mother, why don't you supplicate for yourself as you supplicate for others?'

She answered: 'Son! Prefer your neighbour over yourself. "'

4. Al-Hassan al-Basri said:

"There was not a woman in this Ummah more submitting (to Allah) than Fatima. She used to pray until her feet became swollen."

5. Al-Bihar:

'The Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H.) said:

"As for my daughter Fatima, she is the mistress of all women; from the beginning of history until the end. She is part of me; she is the light of my eye and the fruit of my heart.' 'Fatima is my spirit, which I hold in me; she is a human huri. Whenever she keeps up prayer in her Mehrab before her Lord, her light illuminates to the angels in Heaven just as a star shines to mankind on Earth. So Allah, Exalted is His name, says to the angels:

'My angels, look at my servant, Fatima, who is the mistress of all my female servants, keeping up prayers before Me. Her limbs shake from fear of Me and she worships Me whole heartedly. Bear witness that I have safeguarded her Shiites (followers) from Hellfire..."'

6. Idat Ad-Da'i:

"Fatima (A.S.) used to breath quickly while praying, for fear of Allah. Speaking about Fatima's worship is endless; especially her supplication to Allah, the Exalted, for she realized the deep meaning of worship and supplication to Allah, and came to enjoy keeping up prayer before the Almighty. Yet, this is no strange matter, because it is in regard to her father that the Quran says:

'Ta Ha

(170)

We have not sent down the Quran to thee to be (an occasion) for thy distress.' Because the Prophet would pray for long hours, Allah, the Exalted, revealed this verse to him as relief and comfort."

(171)


Chapter 40: Fatima's Glorification of Allah


It is reported in Bihar that Ali (A.S.) said to a man from Bani Sae'ed:

"Should I speak to you about Fatima and Myself?

She was my spouse who was the most beloved to the Prophet. Once, she carried water using a waterskin until it scarred her chest, she ground (grain) using a hand mill until blisters appeared on her hands, she swept the floor until her clothes became dusty and lit the fire under the cooking pot until her clothes became mud colored from the smoke.

Fatima was inflicted by great pain as a result of this, so I said to her:

'Why don't you ask your father for a servant to relieve you from these jobs?'

When Fatima (A.S.) went to the Prophet she found that he had company; and was too shy to talk to him, so she left the house. But the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) knew that she had come for something."

Imam Ali (A.S.) continued:

"The next morning, the Prophet came to the house while we were still under our quilt and said: 'Assalamu Alaikum!'

Yet because we were ashamed (of being under the quilt), we preferred to remain silent.

The Prophet once again said:

'Assalamu Alaikum!'

Once again we remained silent. Then for the third time the

(172)

Prophet said 'Assalamu Alaikum'. Now we feared that he would depart, for it was the prophet's habit to say Assalamu alaikum three times and then wait for permission to enter or leave.

So I said:

'Wa Alaik As-Salam, Messenger of Allah! Come in.'

He (P.B.U.H.) sat near our heads and said: 'Fatima, what was your need when you came to Muhammad yesterday?' Imam Ali added: "I was afraid that she (Fatima) would not tell him, so I pulled my head from under the cover and said: "I will inform you, Messenger of Allah!

Surely she carried water using a water skin until her chest was scarred, she ground (grain) using a hand mill until blisters appeared on her hands, she swept the floor until her clothes became dusty and lit the fire under the cooling pot until her clothes were mud colored from the smoke. So 1 said to he:

'Why don't ask your father for a servant to relieve you form these jobs?'"

The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) upon hearing this, said: 'Shall I teach you something that is better for you than a servant

(173)

and a world with everything in it? After every prayer say: Allahu Akbar thirty four (34) times, Alhamdulillah thirty three (33) times and Subhan Allah thirty three (33) times then conclude that with la illaha ila Allah. Surely this is better for you than that which you wanted and the world and its belongings.'

Thus, Fatima adhered to this glorification after every prayer; and it came to be known as 'Tasbih Fatima.' 'Abu Haroun, surely we command our children to adhere to 'Tasbih Fatima' the same way we command them to perform prayers. So perform the tasbih, for whoever adheres to it shall never be miserable.'"

In reference to Fatima's beads, it was reported in Makarim al-Akhlaq that it was made of woven wool threads which had knots by the number of Takbir (Allahu Akbar), until when Hamza Ibn Abdal Muttalib (A.S.) was martyred, she made them from the mud of his grave.

Since the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (A.S.), people have been using the mud surrounding his tomb for making beads for the great blessings, which lie in it.

Imam Sadiq (A.S.) said: "Beads should be made with blue thread and thirty four (34) beads, which was the way Fatima's beads were made after Hamza's martyrdom."

There are various narrations, which were reported about "Tasbih Fatima's" importance and order. Yet, the most famous order on which our jurisprudents agree is to start with Allahu Akbar, then Subhan Allah, and end with Al-Hamdulillah. When we review the aforementioned narrations, it becomes clear that Lady Fatima Zahra (A.S.) performed her housework by herself, despite her honor and nobility, and that Ali (A.S.) helped her to do the housework.

It has been reported in Bihar that Imam Ali (A.S.) said:

"Once, the Messenger of Allah came to us while Fatima was

(174)

sitting near the pot and I was cleaning some lentils; when the Prophet saw us he said: 'Abu Al-Hassan!'

I said: 'At your service! O Messenger of Allah!'

He then said: 'Listen to me, for I say not save that which is the word of Lord: There is not a man who helps his wife in her housework, save that with very hair on his body a whole year of worship-during which he fasted the days and kept up the nights in prayer is counted for him....'

(175)


Chapter 41: The Prophet's Love for Fatima


It is difficult to define the extent of the Prophet's love for Fatima (A.S.) for she occupied a special place in his heart like no other person did. The Prophet's love for Fatima was mixed with respect and exaltation; and in addition to being motivated by the father/daughter relationship, this love was granted to her for the special talents and noble traits Fatima enjoyed. Perhaps we can go to the extent of saying that the Prophet was commanded to love and respect Fatima (A.S.), a matter that led him to speak openly about her greatness and talents and her nearness to Allah-and His Messenger-on every possible occasion.

This reality is supported by the fact that the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) did not pay this much attention to any of his other daughters. Thus, it can again be concluded that his love and respect for Fatima was motivated by some reason other than fatherhood. In addition to Fatima's noble traits and special talents, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) knew what was going to happen to her after his death and the great miseries and sorrows, which she would be inflicted with by some so-called Muslims, after his departure to the Heavens. So the Prophet intended to make clear to his Ummah the greatness and excellence of Fatima so as to clarify the falsity of those who would oppose Fatima in the future.

The following are various reports that illustrate the love and respect the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) held for Lady Fatima (A.S.)

(176)

1. Bihar v. 10-Imam Sadiq (A.S.) reported that Fatima (A.S.) said:

"When the following verse was revealed:

'Deem not Summons of the Apostle among yourselves like the summons of one of you to another,' (24: 63) 'I feared to call the Messenger of Allah, 'Father'; so I began calling him Messeenger of Allah. He ignored me two or three times and finally said: 'Fatima, this verse was not revealed about you or your family, nor does it include your progeny; for you are from me and I am from you. Rather, this verse was revealed regarding the vain and crude Quraishans who are arrogant and spendthrifts. Call me Father; it surely is better for the heart and more satisfying to the Lord.'"

2. Aisha Bint Talha quoted Aisha as saying:

"I have not seen anyone more similar to the Messenger in speech and dialogue than Fatima. Whenever she entered the house, he would greet her, kiss her hands and ask her to sit near him. Likewise, when he entered the house, she would greet him, kiss his hands and etc....."

3. Bazl al-Harawi said to al-Hussain Ibn Roah:

"How many daughters did the Messenger of Allah have?"

Ibn Roah said: "Four"

Bazl then asked: "Who was the best of them?"

He said: "Fatima"

Bazl said: "Why was she the best while she was the youngest and least company to the Prophet of Allah (P.B.U.H.)?" Ibn Roah then said: "(She was the best) because she possessed two special characteristics: 1. She inherited the Messenger of Allah.

2. The Prophet's progeny are her children. Besides, Allah gifted her with these traits because He knew her sincere adherence and pure intention (to worship Him)."

(177)

4. Khawarizmi wrote in his book Maqtal al-Hussain that Huthiefa said:

"The Messenger of Allah used to kiss Fatima all over her face before he went to sleep ...."

5. Ibn Umar said:

"Once the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) kissed Fatima's head and said: 'May your father be your sacrifice; stay as you are ...."

6. According to Dhakhear al-Uqbi, Aisha said:

"Once the Messenger of Allah kissed Fatima's throat so I said, Messenger of Allah! You have done something which you have not done before!"

The Prophet answered: "Aisha, whenever I long for Paradise, I kiss Fatima's throat."

7. Qandouzi reported that Aisha said:

"Whenever the Prophet returned from a trip, he would kiss Fatima's throat and say:

"From her, I do smell the fragrance of Paradise."

Furthermore, the following narrations have been reported by both Shiite and Sunni scholars:

1. The Messenger of Allah said:

"The best of women of Paradise are: Khadija Bint Khowailid, Fatima Bint Muhammad, Asia Bint Muzahim (Pharaoh's wife) and Maryam Bint Imran."

2. He also said:

"The best of the women of the world are four: Maryam Bint Imran, Asia Bint Muzahim, Khadija Bint Khowailid, and Fatima Bint Muhammad." (These two narrations have been reported in Musnad Ahmad v.2, p.293)

3. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) also said:

"Among the women of world,the following are among(the best):

(178)

Maryam Bint Imran, Khadija Bint Khowailid, Fatima Bint Muhammad, and Asiya-Pharaoh's wife."

(Al-Esti'ab and al-Isabah)

These three narrations name the four best women but do not specify the best of them. However, there are many authentic narrations, which clearly state that Fatima was the best of all women, including these honorable ladies. In fact, this is an undisputable fact, which both Shiite and Sunni scholars unanimously agree. Among the sayings of Sunni scholars who reported narrations to this effect are:

1. Masrouq reports that Aisha told him:

"We, the Prophet's wives, were gathered around him when Fatima walked towards us; by Allah her walk is exactly the same as that of the Messenger of Allah when he saw her, he greeted her by saying: 'Welcome my daughter.' He then asked her to sit to his right or left. He then whispered something to her that caused her to cry; when he saw her sadness, he whispered something else to her which caused her to laugh. (When I saw this) I said to her: 'The Messenger of Allah bestowed you with a special secret, yet you cry?'

When the Prophet left I exclaimed: "What did he whisper to you?"

Fatima answered: 'I would not announce the secret of the Messenger of Allah!'

After the Prophet's death, I said to her: 'I insist on you-by my right over you-to tell me (what he told you)!'

She said: 'Yes, I will tell you now. The first time he whispered to me, he told me that Gabriel used to review the Quran with him once a year, but this year he reviewed it twice. So, he said, I think the time of my departure is near. Therefore, fear Allah and be patient, for I will be a good (person) to proceed you.' Fatima added: 'so I cried, as you saw.

(179)

When he noticed my sadness, he once again said to me: 'Fatima, is it not satisfying to you to be theMistress of believing women (or the Mistress of the women of my Ummah)?"

1. Baghawi in his book Masabeh As-Sunna writes that the Prophet said to Fatima:

"Is it not satisfying to you to be the Mistress of the women of the world?"

2. Hakim Nishabouri reported in his book Mustadrakthat he said to Fatima:

"Is it not satisfying to you to be the Mistress of the women of the world, this Ummah and believing women?"

Although there is a large number of narrations, which state that Fatima (A.S.) was the Mistress of all women. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal mentions at the end of the first narration that he also informed Fatima (A.S.) that she was the first one to follow him after his death.

3. Bukhari reported in v.5, p.21 and 29 of his Sahih that Allah's Messenger said:

"Fatima is part of me, he who harms her harms me."

This narration has been reported with a variety of words which all have the same meaning; it has been reported by more than fifty narrators. For instance, Abu al-Faraj wrote in his Al-Aghani v.8, p.307:

"When Abdullah Ibn Al-Hassan was still young, he visited Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz who sat him in an honorable place, paid much attention to him and fulfilled his wishes. Ibn Abdul Aziz then pinched the boy's stomach and said: "Remember this when it is time for intercedence."

When Abdullah Ibn Al-Hassan left, Umar's family blamed him for doing so with a young boy. But Umar said: 'A trustworthy man informed me that the Messenger of Allah

(180)

said: "Surely Fatima is part of me, pleases me that which pleases her. "

Umar then added: 'and I know that had Fatima been alive, what I did with her descendant (Abdullah), would have pleased her.' His Family then said: "But why did you pinch his stomach and say what you said to him?"

Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz then said: "There is not a man from Bani Hashim who does not have the right of intercedence; and I hope to be included among those through this boy."

Samhoudi comments on this narration by saying:

"This proves that anyone who hates or harms a descendant of Fatima, makes himself subject to harming the Prophet On the contrary, if someone pleases them, he also pleases the Prophet."

Moreover, Sahaili added: "This narration leads us to the conclusion that he who curses her (Fatima), becomes an infidel; and he who praises her, praises her father."

4. Bihar v.10: Imam Ja'far Ibn Muhammad (A.S.) and Jabir Ibn Abdullah al-Ansari said:

"Once the Prophet saw Fatima wearing a cloak of camel skin while grinding (grain) with her hands; and holding her child. Tears came from the Prophet's eyes and he said:

'Daughter! bear with the hardships of this world and later you will enjoy the blessings of the Hereafter.' Fatima replied: 'Messenger of Allah, praise be to Allah for His benefactions and thanks be to Him for his gifts.' (It was then that) Allah revealed: "And soon will the Guardian-Lord give thee (that wherewith) thou shalt be well pleased." In conclusion, it can be derived from the above narrations

(181)

that Fatima Zahra (A.S.) was the nearest of all to Allah's Messenger The love, affection and harmony that they shared was unique. Thus, we realize that it was not strange that he taught Fatima the best deeds and guided her to the noblest traits and best conduct.