Fatimah, A Role Model for Women of All Time

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hedieh Ghavidel

Active Image

Fatimah was born in the city of Mecca to the holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. It is said that at the time of her birth Khadijah sent for her kinswomen to assist her. They refused to help her, saying she had betrayed her tribe by supporting Mohammad (PBUH).

Fatimah was lovingly cared for by her mother until the age of five when khadijah passed away thereafter she was brought up by the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

During her short life, Fatimah was seen as the perfect example of a Muslim daughter, wife and mother. Muslim women have been encouraged to follow her example, as she is the perfect model of the Qur'anic verses about women.

Fatimah was said to have been wise, pious, chaste, generous, benevolent, self-sacrificing, patient and extremely eloquent. She possessed strong willpower and is believed to have been immaculate and sinless.

She is known by the names Batoul (the pure one), Hania (the affectionate one), Zakeah (the chaste), Siddiqua (the honest), Mubarakah (the blessed one), Muhadathah (one who is spoken to by the angels), Tahira (virtuous), Adhra (chaste) and Zahra (the splendid one).

Although she led a life of poverty, she was extremely compassionate and shared whatever she had with others. It is said that Fatimah's generosity and compassion was of such an extent that no destitute or beggar ever returned from her door unattended.

Fatimah, Sayyeda-Tun-Nisa-el-Alameen (the leader of all women of the universe), remained at her father's side through the difficulties he suffered at the hands of the Quraysh tribe in Mecca. The holy Prophet (PBUH) cherished her deeply and said, "Fatimah is the peace of my heart".

When she became of age, many of the Prophet's (PBUH) companions expressed their desire for taking her hand in marriage. He turned them all down, however, saying he was waiting for a divine order.

Finally, after arriving in Medina, Ali ibn Abu Talib asked for her hand in marriage. When the prophet asked Fatimah if she would consent to the wedding, she bowed her head in modesty, her silence indicating her consent.

Although she has not been mentioned in the Qur'an by name, some of the verses in the holy book are believed to be associated with her.

Surat al-Kawthar, the 108th sura of the Qur'an, is about Fatimah. After the Prophet's son passed away, one of the unbelievers mocked him, saying Mohammad would be forgotten since he had no sons. This sura was then revealed and the Prophet (PBUH) explained to his companions that these verses meant his name would continue to live through his daughter's offspring.

In the 33d verse of surat al-Ahzab, the 33d sura of the Qur'an, the phrase 'people of the house' (Ahl al-bayt) is understood to have been in reference to Muhammad (PBUH), Fatima, her husband Ali and their two sons.

The devout Fatimah had four children, Hassan, Hossein, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum. Imam Hossein once said, "I often witnessed my mother deep in prayer from dusk till dawn."

After her father's death, a grief-stricken Fatimah also faced the questioning of her husband Ali's leadership and her rightful inheritance.

When Fatimah and the rest of the Prophet's family were performing the prophet's funerary rites, some of the companions came together to decide for the future of the Muslim community.

Three days later, an angry mob went to her house to obtain homage from Ali and his supporters. When they refused to swear allegiance to the new authority, the invaders threatened to burn down the house.

When the angry mob attempted to drag her husband from their home, she stood behind the door and tried to reason with them.

They set fire to her house and broke the door open, trapping her between the wall and the door, despite the Prophet's saying that 'whoever injures Fatimah, injures me; and whoever injures me injures Allah; and whoever injures Allah is an unbeliever. O Fatimah! If your wrath is incurred, it incurs the wrath of Allah; and if you are happy, it makes Allah happy too'.

Fatimah's ribs were then broken, causing her to have a miscarriage and this eventually led to her untimely demise.

In an elegy left by Fatimah she describes her plight:

O my father! After your death, I was subjected to such tortures and tyranny that if they had been inflicted on day, it would have turned into night.

When Fatimah saw the end drawing near, she informed her husband and asked him to personally perform her funerary rites, to bury her at night in an unmarked grave and see to it that those who had done injustice to her were not allowed to attend her funeral.

The exact date of Fatimah's departure from the earthly plain is subject to discussion among Muslims scholars. Varying opinions place it at either forty, sixty, seventy-five or ninety days after the death of the Prophet (PBUH).

Imam Ali (PBUH), accompanied by a few of his companions, took her body to the Jannat al-Baqi cemetery in the city of Medina and laid her to rest in an unmarked grave without ceremony.

It is said that the Imam made three false graves to ensure hers would remain concealed forever. However, many scholars believe she was buried in her own house.

As the only surviving child of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) and the wife of the first Shia Imam, Fatimah is highly revered among Muslims, who will forever remember the hardships and injustices she was forced to endure after her father's passing.


طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم