Fatimah Zahra (AS)

Lady Fatima (p)’s speech to the women of Medina

 

 

When Fatimah (s.a.) became ill, Muslim women came to visit her. They asked her, ‘How are you doing, daughter of the messenger of Allah?’ She said, ‘By Allah, I have been resenting your world, and detesting your men. I have cast them away after testing them and hated them after examining them. Thus, away with the men of playing after seriousness, striking the soft rocks, slackening the spears, the foolishness of judgments, and deviation of fancies!

“Certainly evil is that which their souls have sent before for them, that Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide.” 5:80

Certainly, I have girt them with its noose, burdened them with its load, and waged its raid on them. So, may the unjust people be killed, cursed, and damned. Woe unto them! Whereto did they move it from the position of the mission, the bases of the prophethood and the place of descent of Gabriel, who is aware of life and religion’s affairs? That was the great loss. What did they deny from Abul Hassan (Ali)? Yes, they denied the beating of his sword, his carelessness about his death, his deadly assaults, and his anger for the sake of Allah. By Allah, if they turned away from the reign, which the Prophet had handed over to him (to Imam Ali), he would catch it tenderly and he would move without harm or worry. He would lead them to a fresh flowing fount and would return them with satiety while he himself would not profit of anything but a little just to break his acute thirst and hunger. If they did so, they would be granted blessings from the Heaven and the earth [1] and they would be rewarded by Allah according to their deeds. Come on to see! As long as you live, time shall show you wonders! I wish I knew on what proof they have relied, to what refuge they resorted and to what tie they clung, and on whose progeny have they encroached and spoke against! Evil indeed is the patron, and evil indeed is the associate, and evil indeed is this change for the unjust! By Allah, they exchanged the good with the bad and the daring with impotent. Disgrace be for a people, who think they do well. Surely they themselves are the mischief makers, but they do not perceive. Woe to them!

“Is he then who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge?” 10:35

By Allah, it [2] was impregnated so wait until it bears, then milk pure blood and fatal venom to the full of the bucket! Then they will perish who say false things and the successors will know what bad the earlier ones have established. Then be at ease and wait relaxedly for the sedition. Rejoice at a sharp sword, an assault of a tyrant enemy, general commotion and despotism, which will make your victuals so insignificant and your gathering separate. Alas, what a pity! How will you be while it has been obscured to your sights? Shall we then force you to accept it when you are averse to it? And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and blessings be on Muhammad, the last of the prophets and the master of the messengers.”[3]

The women were overcome with terrible silence, and bitter distress, and their eyes were full of tears. They went back home and informed their husbands about Fatimah’s distress and what she said. Then they (the husbands) knew how much they had betrayed Fatimah (s.a) and shortened in supporting her.

In this speech, Fatimah (s.a.) denied the offensive attack against the house of the Prophet (S) and the center of the revelation and knowledge in Islam, and denied the plundering of the caliphate and putting it in other than its actual place. She mentioned the reasons that made the people turn their backs to Imam Ali (a.s.) and treat him badly. It was the assaults of his (Imam Ali) sword that harvested the heads of the polytheists and the unbelievers of Quraysh. That caused the people of Quraysh to bear grudge and enmity against Imam Ali (a.s.) who did not flatter anyone in the way of Allah. He said, ‘By Allah, I will take back the right of the oppressed from their oppressors, and I will drive the unjust with their noses until I will bring them to the way of the truth even if they are unwilling.’[4]

She said that what made the people of Quraysh try their best to avenge on Imam Ali (a.s.) was his utmost courage and carelessness about his death in the fields of jihad against the polytheists and atheists. He devoted himself to keep alive the religion of Allah and spread monotheism. These reasons besides the unique virtues and talents that Allah had granted him with and his infinite devotedness and loyalty to the Prophet (S) made the people bear grudge and envy against him.

She also said that if the nation entrusted Imam Ali (a.s.) with the affairs, he would rule them with pure justice that no one in his state would be wronged at all, would be loyal and truthful to the nation secretly and publicly, and that he would take the nation to the bliss of safety, ease and peace. If Imam Ali (a.s.) undertook the reigns of the rule, he would not enjoy even a bit of the wealth of the state and people, and would participate with the poor and the deprived in their pains and sufferings. And that came true when he assumed the caliphate after the killing of Uthman bin Affan, the third caliph. He was satisfied with a coarse garment and two loaves of barley bread. He did not build himself a house when being a caliph. He participated with the poor and the deprived in their clothes and food. He said, ‘Would I be satisfied with myself to be said: “Ameerul Mo'minin” while I do not participate with them in the calamities of time and be an example to them in the difficulties of living?’[5]

The history of the East, or even of the entire world, has never seen a ruler like Imam Ali (a.s.) in his asceticism, piety, justice and disdaining from the subjects’ properties.

Fatimah (s.a.) stated that if Imam Ali (a.s.) was entrusted with the affairs of Muslims, bounties and blessings would spread everywhere and people would eat from above their heads and from under their feet, but Muslims prevented themselves from this great blessing and they exchanged the good with the bad and the just with the unjust and they turned away from the one who would guide them to the right path.

She thought deeply on that which the nation would suffer because of turning the caliphate away from the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and saw that sedition would afflict the Muslims, separate their unity, and notch their bonds. She too saw that Muslims would be overwhelmed by unjust and oppressive ones, and this soon came true. The Umayyads and the Abbasids seized the reigns of the nation and subjugated the Muslims. They oppressed the people, and spread terror and violence throughout the Muslim world. Hence and due to these reasons, Fatimah (s.a.) resisted the government of Abu Bakr and asked the Muslims to overthrow it.

   

Unacceptable Excuse

Abu Bakr and his friend Umar tried to appease Fatimah (s.a.) to give their caliphate a kind of legality. They asked permission to visit her but she refused to receive them. Then for another time they tried and she refused again. They went to Imam Ali (a.s.) and asked him to intercede for them with her, and she responded to Imam Ali (a.s.). When they came to her, she turned her face away from them. They begged her to pardon them. She said to them, “I adjure you by Allah, did you not hear the messenger of Allah say: ‘the pleasure of Fatimah is my pleasure and the displeasure of Fatimah is my displeasure? Whoever loves Fatimah my daughter loves me, whoever pleases Fatimah pleases me, and whoever displeases Fatimah displeases me’?”

They both said that they did hear the Prophet (S) say that.

She raised her hands towards the heaven and said, ‘I make Allah and His angels bear witness that you both displeased me and did not please me. When I meet the messenger of Allah, I shall complain to him against you.’ She turned towards Abu Bakr and said to him, ‘By Allah, I will pray Allah against you in every prayer that I offer.’[6]

How heavy words they were! They were heavier than the strikes of swords. The ground shook under the feet of these two sheikhs. They left Fatimah’s house with a great disappointment. They understood how much the wrath that they had burdened themselves with was.

   

Deep Sorrow

The sorrow at the loss of her father tore Fatimah’s heart. Every moment she remembered him with regret and distress. She longed for the voice of Bilal, her father’s caller, who stopped calling the azan after the Prophet’s death. He responded to her and began calling the azan. When she heard him say “Allahu Akbar”, she remembered her father and could not control her tears. She began weeping. When Bilal recited “Ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasoolullah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”, she sighed and fell to the ground unconscious. People shouted, ‘O Bilal, give up! The daughter of the messenger of Allah has left this life.’ Then, Fatimah (s.a.) recovered consciousness and asked Bilal to keep on reciting the azan, but he did not do. [7]

Disasters and calamities attacked Fatimah (s.a.) one after the other, the worst of which was the people’s denying of her right and their excessiveness in harming her. They ignored her position and the Prophet’s recommendation about her. That left deep sorrow and distress in herself. She resorted to crying for she found relief in it until she was considered as one of the Five Criers [8] who kept on staying sad and crying.

Anas bin Malik, who was one of the men who put the Prophet (S) in his last abode, visited Fatimah (s.a.) to console her on her father’s death. She said to him, ‘How were your souls pleased to pour earth on the messenger of Allah?’

Anas stopped talking. He sank into deep sorrow and left shedding tears. [9]

Fatimah (s.a.) insisted on her cousin and husband Imam Ali (a.s.) to show her the shirt in which he had washed her father (the ritual wash of the dead). He brought her the shirt. She began eagerly kissing and smelling it. It was the shirt that touched her father’s body before being in his last abode. She felt great pain and sorrow until she lost consciousness. [10]

The image of her father appeared to her in every moment of her short life that she lived after him. She cried most of her time. Historians say that people could not bear her continuous crying, for her house was next to the mosque of the Prophet (S) where people always held meetings. They complained of her to Imam Ali (a.s.) and asked him that she should assign a certain time for her weeping and mourning for her father because they found rest neither at day nor at night. Imam Ali (a.s.) asked her for that and she responded. In the day, she with her children al-Hasan, al-Husayn and Zaynab (peace be upon them), went to a big tree outside Medina and sat under its shadow. She spent all the day weeping for her father there, and a little before the sunset, she came back home with her children. People purposely cut that tree. After that, she wept under the heat of the sun. Imam Ali (a.s.) built her a house there and called it “the House of Sorrows”. This house remained (until now) as a symbol of the pains and sufferings she met from her father’s companions.

It is said that Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) said this verse of poetry,

“By her highness, I will not take
After “the House of Sorrows”, a house of joy.”

Fatimah (s.a.) spent the day in that sad house soliloquizing and weeping for her father bitterly. When the night came, Imam Ali (a.s.) went to bring her with the children back to their house. Sorrow, weeping, and mourning tore Fatimah’s tender heart, and diseases attacked and weakened her body… And thus was the reward of the people to their Prophet’s household! [11]

    

Source:  WORLD COUNCIL OF SHIA CENTERS

   


1- Her speech means: (If they let Imam Ali be the caliph, as the Prophet had ordered, he would rule with justice and fairness. He would never burden them with more than their abilities. He would make them live in luxury and ease while he himself would live in asceticism).

2- She referred to the situation of the rulers and the public.

3- A’lam an-Nisa’, vol.4 p. 128-129.

4- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 32 p. 49.

5- Ibid., vol. 33 p. 474.

6- Al-Imama wes-Siyasa, vol. 1 p. 14, A’lam an-Nisa’, vol. 3 p. (1214), Imam Ali bin Abi Talib by Abdul Fattah Abdul Maqsud, vol. 1 p. 218.

7- Fatimah az-Zahra’ Bahjatu Qalb al-Mustafa, p. 113.

8- The Five Criers were Adam, Jacob, Joseph, Ali bin al-Husayn (Imam as-Sajjad), and Fatimah (s.a.). Refer to Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11 p. 204.

9- Sunan Ibn Maja, 18, al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya, vol. 2 p. 381.

10- The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali, vol. 1 p. 168.

11- The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali, vol. 1 p. 286. It is said that it is the mosque of Fatimah (s.a.) that lies in al-Baqee’.

   

 

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