Chapter 4: Hazrat Fatima's Marriage
PROPOSALS TO MARRY HAZRAT FATIMA (A.S)
She was hardly nine years of age when messages asking for her hand in marriage began to come to her father. Those who showed their desires t the Prophet to marry Hazrat Fatima (S.A) included Abu Baqr and Omar Bin Khattab. The Prophet (S.A.W.W.) refused them all saying that "Her matter is with Allah. Whenever He wishes she will marry".
Then Imam Ali (A.S) went to the Prophet (S.A.W.W.) and asked for Hazrat Fatima's hand in marriage. Umm Salma, one of the wives of the Prophet (S.A.W.W), was present and she reports:
"The Prophet (S.A.W.W) smiled, kept Imam Ali waiting, and went to his daughter and said, "you know how near Ali is to us and how dear he is to Islam.
I have asked Allah to give you in marriage to the best of his creatures and the most beloved to Him. Ali has his wishes to marry you, what do you say?'
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) did not reply but from her face the Prophet knew that she was happy about it.
The Prophet (S.A.W.W) said, "Allahu Akbar. Her silence means her approval."
He went back to Imam Ali and said "Ali! Do you have anything to pay toward Fatima's marriage to you? Imam Ali (A.S) replied, "I have my sword, my coat of mail and my camel which I use to water the date palms."
The Messengers of Allah replied, "Ali, you need your sword to fight in the way of Allah and defend yourself from His enemies. As for your camel you need it to water the date palms and to carry you when you are travelling. But your coat of mail will do, so sell it and bring the money for dowry."
The coat mail which the Prophet (S.A.W.W) had given to Imam Ali (A.S) after the battle of Badr was sold for 500 dirhams. Imam Ali (A.S) gave the money to the Prophet (S.A.W.W).
The Prophet (S.A.W.W) divided it into three parts: one part was to be spent on perfumes and other such things needed in a marriage, one part for buying household things, and the third part to pay towards food to be served in celebrating the marriage.
THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY
The Prophet (S.A.W.W) performed the 'Nikah' ceremony in the mosque. This was on 1st Zilhaj and the marriage celebration also took place in the fourth heaven, at a place called 'Bait Al Mamur".
Both Sunni and Shia scholars have reported this in their books. Suyuti the famous Sunni writer says that the Prophet (S.A.W.W), while in the Mosque, said to Imam Ali (A.S), "Here is Gibrael informing me that Allah gave Fatima to you in marriage, and made forty thousand Angels to witness this marriage He (Allah) made the tree of Tuba to shed gems, rubies and jewellery.
The Houris then rushed to collect them..."
The actual manage took place after about a month from the time it was announced.
Imam AH got a house of his own from Harith Bin Noaman. He then invited all people of Medina to the marriage lunch where cooked meat, bread and butter were served. Everybody ate as much as he or she wanted. There was still food left. This was then distributed to the people to take them home.
THE NIGHT OF THE MARRIAGE
By instructions of the Prophet (S. A. W.W), the bride was made ready with a nice dress and perfume. The Prophet made her ride his horse and asked Salman, the Persian, to lead the horse. The marriage procession then left for Imam Ali's house.
Ibne Abbas has described this marriage procession so well that we shall reproduce parts of these descriptions in the following lines:
"When Fatima was taken to Ali's house on her wedding night the Prophet was in front, the Angel Gabriel was on her right and Michael was on the left Seventy thousand Angels followed her. These Angels praised Allah until dawn.
"The Hashimite men, Abdul Muttalib's daughters and Mohajirin's and Ansar's women went with Fatima on that night.
The Prophet's wives were walking in the front and entered (Her) house first.
"On reaching Ali's house, the Prophet (S.A.W.W) put 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 Ali! What an excellent wife Fatima is. Fatima! What an excellent husband Ali is.
“O Allah , Bless them, their lives and their children. Oh Allah they are the most beloved to me from amongst your creatures, so love them too and be their guardian. I put them and their progeny in your protection from the evils of devil...' He then ordered all the women to leave the house.."
Another companion of the Prophet (S. A, W. W) called Said- Al Ansari reports that on the day of the marriage the Prophet (S. A. W. W) visited the newlyweds. He told Hazrat Fatima (S. A), "I have married you to the Lord of this World and a righteous person of the Hereafter" He then gave a cup of yoghurt first to her and then to Imam AH asking them to drink it.
HAZRATR FATIMA’S DOWRY
The Prophet (S.A.W. W) limited this to 500 dirhams. After this event all marriages that took place in the house of the Prophet (S.A.W.W.) were limited to this amount.
The marriage of Hazrat Fatima (S.A) was carried out under the personal supervision of the Prophet (S.A.W.W) himself He made sure that his daughter got the most necessary things and at a very small cost. The things which she took to her husband's house are:
• one shirt (costing 7 dirhams)
• one veil (costing 4 dirhams)
• a black piece of velvet cloak made at Khaiber
• a bedspread with ribbons
• two mattresses of Egyptian canvas (one filled with palm fibres another with wool)
• four pillows made from hide and stuffed with sweet smelling plains - made from Taif
• a thin woollen screen
• a stone bowl for drinking water or you hurt
• a bowl for storing water
• a pitcher
• a porcelain mug
• pieces of skin
• a cotton cloth
• a waterskin
Seeing these things the Prophet (S.A.W. W) said, "Oh Allah bless them (the bride and the bridegroom). For they are of those people most of whose belongings are made of natural materials."
Although the marriage of Hazrat Fatima (S.A) was done on a simple level with less costs, no other marriage was as blessed as this one for the following reasons:
Allah Himself decided as to who was to marry her. For according to the Sunni scholar, Tabrani, The Prophet (S. A. W. W) is reported to have said to his daughter Fatima, "Surely, Allah has examined people of the earth and chose your Father to be the Prophet (S.A.W.W). He, then examine them and chose your husband, then revealed to me that I give you to him in marriage and appoint him my successor."
The marriage ceremony was held not only on this earth but also in the heavens by Allah's orders. Jabir B. Abdullah Ansari reports to have heard the Prophet (S.A.W.W) say: "By Allah who sent me with honour and made me His Messenger,
when Allah gave Fatima (S.A) to Ali in marriage, he ordered Angels including Gibrael, Michael and Israfiel to surround the Throne. He (Allah) ordered birds to sing and ordered the tree of Tuba to shed pearls, green stones and red rubies."
Angels took part in this marriage here on the earth
The Prophet (S.A.W.W) himself supervised the mamage
Allah gave Hazrat Fatima (S.A), as wedding gift, the authonty to speak for sinners on the day of judgement and save them from hell fire.
The occasion of Hazrat Fatima’s marriage can be summarized in a very good way in the words of the Prophet's well known companion, Jabbir B. Abdullah Ansar who is reported to have said, "We were present at Fatima's and Ali's (A.S.) wedding ceremony and indeed we have not seen any ceremony better than that one ..."