Woman in the Mirror of History
From the study of history we find the fact that in the previous age woman was considered to be a part of wealth and property. She used to be sold and purchased like any property or animal. Illiterate Arabs of the pre-Islamic era considered woman the cause of bad luck and misfortune and buried the innocent girls alive. But Islam declared this consideration and notion wrong and unjustified. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) fought strongly against such wrong conceptions. He considered woman as a human being like the man and that she too has the human, freedom and social rights. No body has the right to insult and look down upon her.
Regretfully, the Western countries and capitalists even today imagine her to be the medium of enjoyment and time passing. On the other hand, woman in a few Islamic countries have been restrictively chained up which is also against the law of Islam, such as, they do not allow her to go to schools or visit the libraries and they do not have any ties and relations with the society, with the exception of their attending the mourning ceremonies of Imam Hussain (A.S.).
Consequently, such absurdities and superstitions came into existence pushing woman into the cave of ignorance and darkness. This is the very reason why, when the imperialism raised the slogan of woman freedom, she could not conceive and understand what kind of voice it was? From where it is originated? What was the meaning of this slogan?
Therefore, immodesty and impudency was thought to be the evolution of culture. When she saw that her previous problems were solved she forgot everything and, so to say, became free. But instead of getting free from the superstitions she got free from modesty and piety. She moved ahead in this very immodesty and deviation to the extent to become a commercial item, and became the tool of the imperialism, which may be used in any way as per its choice. She was a stooge and an agent without eyes, ears or any will and intention. This is the condition of today's women.
But, Islam by the training provided by ladies such as Khatija (S.A.), Fatima (S.A.) Zainub (S.A.) highlighted the greatness of woman, explaining and illustrating the meaning of woman's life and turned it into an example and specimen for the future races.
We are going to present the brief life history of one of the ladies Hazrat Fatima Zahra (S.A.), daughter of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), Wife of Imam Ali (A.S.), mother of Imam Hassan (A.S.) and Imam Hussain (A.S.), the chiefs of the youth of Paradise, and Zainub-e-Kubra (S.A.) so that, it is understood and evident that how should an exemplary woman be."
When Hazrat Fatima's (S.A.) birth was to take place, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) told Khatija (S.A.) "Jabriel has given me the good news that this child which is going to be born is a daughter and all the infallible Imams will be from her generation.
Hazrat Fatima Zahra (S.A.) was born on Friday the 20th of Jamadi ussani, the fifth year of Hijrah, when Quraish were busy in constructing the building of Khana-e-Kaabah.
Training and Fostering
Fatima (S.A.) was brought up and trained in the family of Prophet (P.B.U.H) and took advantage and share of the knowledge and wisdom of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). She heard the recitation of Quran from the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and leant it by heart, and got busy with the idea and concept of self training and becoming a complete and real human.
She extremely loved her honorable father and the Holy Quran. She took advantage and portion from the blessings of her father's existence. These were the perfections due to which the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) loved her to the extreme.
Once his wife Ayesha (R.A.) asked him, "Do you love Fatima Zahra so much, that when she arrives you get up from your place to give respect to her and kiss her hands and make her sit next to yourself?"
He replied, "Oh Ayesha! If you come to know why I love Fatima so much, you shall also love her." He considered her the part and parcel of his life, and used to say repeatedly, "Fatima (S.A.) is a piece of me, whosoever tortures her he has tortured me, and whoever pleases her has pleased me." One day, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) of Islam said, "Oh Fatima God gets pleased on your being pleased and gets furious due to your unhappiness and displeasure.
Fatima Zahra (S.A.), most of all resembled her father in her looks, character, behavior and conduct. Ome Salma the wife of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said, "Fatima Zahra resembled the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) most of all the people."
The Father-Daughter Relation
The love between the father and daughter was not a one-way process; instead, Fatima (S.A.) too immensely loved her father (Prophet) like he loved her. When Hazrat Khatija (S.A.) died, she was not more than six years of age. After the death of her mother, She always looked after the comfort of her father at home. Fatima (S.A.) was such a daughter who constantly and stably followed the footsteps of her father. The streets and Masjid-e-Haram of Mecca were full of those who teased, insulted and tortured the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). Whenever her respect worthy father returned home in the injured condition, she would wash the blood off his sacred face and dress his wounds and encouraged him with her sweet conversation.
At such times, when her father was a stranger in his own land and among his own people and he was all alone with all the relatives present, and secluded and lonely among all those who spoke the same language he spoke. Moreover, he was all-alone during his struggle and combat against ignorance, idol worshipping and he was carrying the heavy responsibility of preaching on his own.
Then it was only and only Fatima (S.A.) who pleased and consoled the heart of her father with her sincere love and affection. She by accepting the Prophecy of her father strengthened his hopes. That is the reason why the Prophet used to say, "May your father sacrifice his life upon you" or that he would call her the "mother of her father". Because, she was like a mother for her father.
When she attained the age of puberty, it became necessary for her to marry. But she needed a person who must be her match. So that he would appreciate her status and perfection and maturity of virtues and he would know what was the real value and virtue of a human being. This is the very aim of Islam, which as a result strengthens the marital relations.
When she became marriage bound many men including Abu Bakar and Umar sent their messages for asking her hand in marriage. But the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said, "I am waiting for the revelation in this connection."
The revelation came and Fatima's husband was also nominated. God ordered the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), "Oh my prophet get the light (Noor) married to the light i.e., get Fatima (S.A.) married with Ali (A.S.)."
When Ali (A.S.) approached the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) to request the hand of Fatima (S.A.) in marriage, although he had nothing with him from the wealth of the world, yet he possessed a gem, which was the reflection of every thing including piety and human nobility.
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) having acceded to his request entered the house to ask Fatima (S.A.) her opinion about it. He said to her "Oh daughter you know fully well that Ali (A.S.) is the one who was the first ever faithful out of the lot. I had prayed to God, to give the best husband for you. Therefore, God has selected Ali (A.S.) for your husband, so what is your opinion?"
Fatima (S.A.) remained silent. The father took her silence as the token of her being agreed and got her married with him.
The Marriage Ceremonies
After the aggregation of the tribe of Bani Hashim and the friends and relations by the order of Prophet (P.B.U.H.) took place, he (P.B.U.H.) delivered a Khutba (religious speech), sermon, and got Fatima (S.A.) married to Ali (A.S.) over a dowry equivalent to four hundred Masqal Silver (one Masqal comes to nearly 3.45 grams).
A companion (Sahabi) stated, "The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) got a sheep slaughtered and invited a few persons and made them witnesses upon the marriage.
After one month of the marriage in the 2nd Hijra on the night of "zaffaf" (marriage night) the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) held Fatima (S.A.) by her hand and handing her hand over to Ali (A.S.) said, "Oh Ali, Fatima is the best wife for you." There after, he addressed Fatima and said "Oh Fatima, Ali is a good husband for you." Then he said. "Now, both of you move towards your real home."
The women of Bani Hashim, Ansar and Muhajireen, after taking their dinner, rode Fatima (S.A.) on the camel of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and took her along to Ali's (A.S.) house with great fervor. Ali and Fatima started living near Quba mosque at a distance of eight kilometers from Medina where the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) had stayed on migration from Mecca and had waited a week for Ali (A.S.) to join him.
After some time Ali (A.S.) came to the city and selected a house adjacent to the house of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). Because the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) could not tolerate the separation of Ali and Fatima, since, it was a great shock for him. The house of Ali (A.S.) which was made of mud and date timber was exactly opposite to the window of the Prophet's (P.B.U.H.) house so that he could daily see them.
This was the same house of Ah-le-bait of Purity and piety, which was praised by the Holy Quran and was away from all kinds of impurity (sins). The house wherein Ali (A.S.) was the father, Fatima Zabra (S.A.) the mother and Zainub, Kulsoom, Hassan and Hussain (A.S.) were the children. This home is a memorial one for all the races of every age.
Fatima Zahra (S.A.) had grown up along with Ali (A.S.) and considered Ali (A.S.) as best husband and the lover and devotee of his father. The fate's hand had joined these two blessed persons in such a special way, which did not have any example in that period of darkness and ignorance.
Fatima (S.A.) knew that although Ali (A.S.) does not possess any thing from the wealth of the world but he has the great treasure of self sacrifice and devotedness of which he had given proof to fulfill the aspirations of her father (P.B.U.H.). She was aware that all the youth period of her husband was spent defending Islam and in Jehad. He did not think anything except the service to Islam and it's welfare.
Fatima (S.A.) never thought that since she was the daughter of a Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and leader therefore, she must have maidservants at her home. Nay, instead she performed all the domestic works with her own hands for instance grinding the wheat with millstone, baking bread, looking after the children etc. But, she, leaving aside everything would only think about God. She was always in search of a life giving and radiant education.
Fatima (S.A.) was such a tree, which must only breed and grow in the shade of revelation and bring the fruits of freedom and justice in its deep shadow. This is the very root and origin of the tree of purity.
An Exemplary Family
The lives of Ali (A.S.) and Fatima (S.A.) are a school of thought for the next generations so that the people may learn a lesson from them. They had such coordination that when Ali (A.S.) got free from the work outside the house, he used to lend a helping hand to Fatima (S.A.). On the other hand, the daughter of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) also, always tried to keep Abul Hassan (Ali) (A.S.) happy. Both led such a life full of love and affection that they never called each other by their names, rather, whenever Ali (A.S.) called her he addressed her by "Daughter of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.)" and Fatima (S.A.) would address him as "Ameer ul Momineen" (the Chief of the Faithfuls).
They never neglected the training of their children. They always gave their response with love and affection. They loved their children too much, so far so, that they never got angry with them & rebuke them and never said anything to them, which may annoy or case their sorrow.
The Fruit of the Marriage
In the 3rd year of Hijrah the first son was born to Fatima (S.A.), who was named "Hasan (A.S.)." The birth of this child saved the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) from the torture of the enemies and the sorrow of the separation of friends. He (P.B.U.H.) happily and joyfully visited Fatima's (S.A.) house and took Imam Hassan (A.S.) into his lap and recited Azan and Aqamat in his ears. Then he gave some silver, which was equal in weight of the hair of the child, as alms.
One year after the birth of Imam Hassan (A.S.), Imam Hussain (A.S.) was born. Now the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) got the substitutes for his sons Qasim and Tahir who had died in the childhood, so that God had decided that the race of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), persists and survives through her daughter.
The dawn of these two stars brought a new horizon in existence wherein the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). Ali (A.S.) and Fatima (S.A.) saw themselves.
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) thanking God and considering those two children as the substitute of his sons, loved them very much that the world was astonished.
One day, when he (P.B.U.H.) visited Fatima's (S.A.) house he (P.B.U.H.) saw that Ali (A.S.) and Fatima (S.A.) were sleeping and Imam Hassan (A.S.) was weeping due to hunger. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) slowly picked up the pot, milked the goat, and fed the child who then became silent.
Once, he (P.B.U.H.) was passing by the house of Fatima (S.A.) when suddenly he (P.B.U.H.) heard Imam Hussain (A.S.) crying. He came back to her home and said, "Oh Fatima! Don't you know that I get upset by the weeping of this child?"
One year after the birth of Imam Hussain (A.S.), a female baby was born, who was named "Zainub" and even after another year another female baby, who was named "Ome Kulsum."
"Zainub" and "Kulsum" were the names of the daughter's of Prophet (P.B.U.H.) who died before 8th Hijra. In the 8th year of Hijra a son named Ibrahim was born to the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), who died after one year of his birth.
Now, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was only left over with Fatima (S.A.) and her children. He (P.B.U.H.) loved his grandchildren to such an extent that he (P.B.U.H.) never tolerated to get separated from them. Whenever he (P.B.U.H.) went out of the house, he (P.B.U.H.) would always carry one of them on his shoulders.
The Superiority of Fatima (S.A.)
No one has the right in Islam to burry a dead body in the mosque. Masjid-e-Haram is the most superior of all the mosques, being the Qibla of all the mosques of the world.
A lady named Hajir is burned there. God has ordered all the human being to visit Mecca and perform the circumambulation of her grave. But Fatima's (S.A.) status is much sublime and higher than the lady who has been laid to rest in Kaabah.
Fatima (S.A.) is one of the four superior most and virtuous ladies i.e., Mariam, Asiyah, Khatija, Fatima. Which Fatima (S.A.)? Fatima (S.A.) is the heir of all the honors and virtues. Who is the one continuing the great race originating and beginning with Adam (A.S.), Ibrahim (A.S.), Moosa (A.S.), Essa [Christ] (A.S.) and reaching Mohammad (P.B.U.H.).
Fatima (S.A.) besides father's bed
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was on the bed of ailment and illness. His head was in the lap of Ali (A.S.) and Fatima (S.A.) was weeping holding the hand of her father. Suddenly, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) opened his eyes and when he saw her weeping. He (P.B.U.H.) said, "Oh daughter! Recite the holy Quran for me." Fatima (S.A.) recited a few verses from the holy Quran. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) by getting her dear daughter recite the verses meant to listen her voice in the last moments of his life. No sooner, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) passed away the house turned into a mourning house. The delicate heart of Fatima (S.A.) took a deep effect by her father's death.
Only a few hours later, another big grief took shape i.e., the right of her husband was extorted and usurped. Fatima (S.A.), with the help of a few faithful companions of his father, defended the right of her husband strongly. So far so, that one day she went to the Prophet's mosque along with the women of Bani Hashirn and Ansar and by delivering a speech described her object and point of view. So that, all the audience started weeping. But there was no body to give a positive response to the voice of Fatima (S.A.).
They were no longer true and faithful. Their faces were covered with the dust of abjectness, misery and misfortune. She returned to her house with a heave and grieved heart and said to Ali (A.S.), "Oh Abul Hassan why have you sit down with your hands upon each other like weak, feeble, powerless and unable men and why don't you defend your right?" Ali (A.S.) said, "Oh the daughter of Prophet (P.B.U.H.) Do you not want that your father's name be pronounced in the mosque? Don't you have the desire that the cause and mission of your father remains alive? Fatima (S.A.) said, "Why not?"
Then he said, "If I draw the sword today (as the enemy wishes) the efforts of your father will be finished and we will become unsuccessful. On hearing this, Fatima (S.A.) got silent and thereafter, she did not utter any word. She started her silent war in the same manner as her husband Ali (A.S.) spent twenty-five years in a great-oppressed state.
Fatima (S.A.) was sure that none of her plans can mature in connection with Ali (A.S.). Therefore, she did every thing possible so that a wrong foundation for the caliphate is not laid. But evidently and obviously she could not succeed in her efforts and was compelled to face hopelessness and dismay.
After that, it became hard for her to live and she became fed up with the world and day by day got keen and restless for her death.
Till at last, on Monday the 3rd of Jamadi ussani, 11th of Hijra, She bade fare well to her children and husband and passed away. She died in the same year as her father had died.
At the time of her sorrowful demise Imam Hassan (A.S.) was 7 years of age, Imam Hussain (A.S.) was 6 years, Zainub (S.A.) was 5 years and Ome Kulsum (S.A.) was 3 years of age. God knows, how shocking and painful was the separation of Fatima (S.A.) for her children and husband.
When her death time came near she asked the maidservant to bring her water for taking a bath and putting on new clothes. Because, the time for her to meet her father was at hand. The maidservant brought her the water and she put on new clothes after taking a bath and laid down upon the bed facing Kaabah. After a short while, her eyes closed down and lips became silent and motionless and she proceeded towards the paradise.
"Innalil laha ina ilayha rajaoon".
Imam Ali (A.S.), as per her last will, bathed her and gave her the coffin and buried her in the darkness of the night. Her grave was kept secret and still it is not known and is hidden. So nobody could know where she was buried. Because, the political figures of that period were bent upon opening her grave apart and offer the death prayers again. A negative combat about her grave is going on from that time to the day and from now onwards for the future days to come.
The testament and will of Fatima (S.A.) made is clear and evident for the races of those days and all the races to come that the daughter of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was subjected to oppression. Fatima (S.A.) remained unhappy and annoyed with those oppressors up to her death. Therefore, those should remain ready for vengenence and revenge.
After Fatima (S.A.) passed away Ali (A.S.) and the children became secluded and lonely. Ali (A.S.) sat by her grave and repeated a few sentences in a low voice and then facing the grave of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) he said, "Oh Prophet (P.B.U.H.) of God! I am returning to you that one which you had entrusted me. O Lord! Ask Fatima what happened with us. She will tell you all about it."