Chapter 7: Hazrat Fatima's Death and Burial
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) did not live a long life. She died between seventy five to ninety days after the Prophet's death at a ripe age of eighteen,
The death of her beloved father was too much for her, Added to this great loss, was the injustices that she and her husband had to suffer from the hands of Muslims immediately after the Prophet's death.
The immediate cause of her tragic death was from her illness that she got after she was hit with burning door by a man named Qunfus on the instructions of the Government of the day.
The events that led to her death are narrated below.
THE PROPHET'S DEATH
In the year 11 A.H, immediately after the Prophet had returned from Hajj, he became ill. He knew that soon he would leave this earth, and he let everyone know of this.
According to Ibne Abbas (as reported by Sheikh Mufeed) when the Prophet (S.A.W.W) was on his deathbed people saw him crying so much that his beard and shirt became wet with tears. Somebody asked him, "What makes you cry so much, Oh the Messenger of Allah?"
The Prophet (S.A.W.W.) answered, "I am crying for my progeny (‘Ahlul Bayt’) against whom many crimes will be committed by 'Ummah' after my death.
"It is as if I can see my daughter Fatima (S.A) being oppressed and she calling out 'Oh father,’ but none from my Ummah coming for her help."
On hearing this Hazrat Fatima (S A) began to weep.
The Prophet (S.A.W.W) said, “Do net weep, my daughter. "I ‘m not weeping for what will befall on me but because I will be separated from you, O! The Messenger of Allah."
The Prophet (S.A.W.W) then said, "Rejoice, The daughter of Muhammad. For you will be the first one among the ‘Ahlul Bayf to follow me."
The Prophet (S.A.W.W) finally left this world, his last words to her were: ''Daughter Fm leaving you; Peace be on you from me."
HAZRAT FATIMA'S HOUSE ON FIRE
Although the Prophet (S.A.W.W.) had let his 'Ummah know that it was the wish of Allah that after him (The Prophet (S.A.W.W)) Imam Ali (A.S) should be his successor, some Muhajirs and Ansar met at a place called 'Saqifa Bani Saeda' and chose Abu Bakr to be the Caliph of the Muslims. Imam Ali (A.S) was not present at Saqifa because he was busy arranging for the burial of the Prophet (S.A.W.W).
When he came to know of what had happened at 'Saqifa', Imam AH was very much hurt. He refused to accept Abu Baqr as the successor of the Prophet. He retired in the house of Hazrat Fatima (S.A).The Government was very angry with Imam Ali (A.S).
To get him out of the house of Hazrat Fatima (S. A), the government's people set fire on the door of the house. The door was then pushed in. Imam Ali (A.S) was taken to Abu Bakr by force.
The burning door fell on Hazrat Fatima (S.A) and hurt her so much that her ribs were broken. The child Muhsin, who was in her womb was killed and was stillborn.
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) went crying to the Mosque. Imam Ali (A.S) was let free only when Hazrat Fatima (S.A) was about to ask for Allah's curse on those who had captured Imam Ali (A.S) and were threatening to kill him.
Imam Ali went to the Prophet's grave and with tears in his eyes, complained to him saying, "Oh my Brother -your people now treat me with disrespect and are threatening to kill me.
HAZRAT FATIMA'S (S.A) PROPERTY, FADAK, IS CONFISCATED
The Muslims who had migrated to Medina had left behind all their unmoveable properties in Mecca. All such Muslims were paid back by the Prophet from the revenues and wealth obtained from "Maale-Ghanima" (war booty), ^he last person to be paid back in this way was Hazrat Fatima (A.S).
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) had inherited unmoveable property from her mother Khadija in Mecca. On migrating to Medina she lost all these properties. But her father, the Prophet (S.A.W.W) had decided not to compensate her until everyone else was compensated. She was compensated in 7 A.H. with the estate of Fadak.
The estate of Fadak was a personal property of the Prophet. It was obtained by the Prophet without a war. It belonged fully to him and he could do with it whatever he wished.
How did the Prophet get the estate of Fadak?
After the battle of Khaiber, those Jews who lived in the neighbourhood of Kheiber but had not fought the Muslims, decided to make peace by offering the Prophet (S.A.W.W} parts of land that belonged to them The Prophet (S.A. W.W.) agreed and the Jews gave him Fadak.
Fadak was located in the neighbourhood of Khaiber In those days it was about two to three days walk from Medina. It was made of seven villages. It was very fertile and had been fully put to agricultural use.
The Prophet (S. A. W.W) got half of the Fadak. At the time of the Prophet (S. A. W.W), the yearly income from Fadak was about 20,000 dinars. The revenue was collected in three instalments. Out of this revenue Hazrat Fatima (S.A) took just enough money for food for her children. The remaining revenue was spent after the needy.
According to Abu Said Khudri, the Prophet gave Fadak to Hazrat Fatima (S.A) when the following verse of the Quran was revealed to the Prophet:
"And give to the near of kin his due and to the needy and the wayfarer..."(7:26).
That the Prophet (S.A.W.W) himself gave Fadak to Hazrat Fatima (S.A) has been confirmed by such scholars as Ibne Hajhar Makki, Ahmed Ibne Hambal and Ibne Abil Hadid.
Hazrat Fatima hired people to take care of Fadak. This arrangement continued for four years until the death of the Prophet (S.A.W.W). Then the government took Fadak away from Hazrat Fatima (S.A).
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) went to complain against this injustice in the court of Abu Bakr. As a matter of fact, Fadak had been taken away from her on Abu Baqr's orders.
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) first complained that Fadak was her property which the Prophet (S.A.W. W) had given to her as a ^ ft during his lifetime. Abu Baqr asked her to produce witnesses to support her claim. When she produce her witnesses, he rejected them. Her witnesses were Imam Ali (A.S)Jmam Hasan (A.S), Imam Husain (A.S) and Um Ayman.
Abu Bakr rejected Imam AH (A.S) because he was her husband. He refused to accept Imam Hasan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S) because they were too young! He refused Um Ayman as a witness because she was a woman! When all her witnesses were not accepted, Hazrat Fatima (S.A) brought another reason why she should get back Fadak.
She asked it to be given to her as her Father's inheritance. Abu Bakr refused to do so saying that he had heard the Prophet say that "We, the group of Prophets do not inherit nor are we inherited; what we leave is for Alms."
No one else had ever heard this "Hadith" before. Hazrat Fatima argued that the Prophet could never have said such a thing as it is totally against Quran. She quoted the following verses of the Quran which prove her point:
"... and Sulaiman inherited Dawood ..."(27:16) . Nabi Zakaria prays to Allah saying, "Therefore give me a heir, who shall inherit me and inherit The House of Yakub".(19:5, 6).
"And those of you (who are ) related by blood have rights over one another in the book of Allah."(8:75) . "Allah orders you about your children; the male shall have the equal of two (parts of the females).(4:12) .
Bequest is prescribed for you when one of you nears death, if he leaves wealth, it is to be inherited by his parents and near relations."(1:80) .
Abu Jakr still refused to return to Hazrat fa § (S A) what rightly was hers.
According to the well known Sunni scholar c 4 Ibne Jawzi after sometime Abu Bakr decided to ret ^ Fadak to Hazrat Fatima (S A) and even wrote instruct! $ to that effect. However, Omar Bin Khattab tore away th *se instructions saying to Abu Bakr: "With what will you spend on the Muslims if the Arabs decided to fight with you?"
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) therefore went home empty-handed. She never talked with Abu Baqr and Umar again till she died. It is interesting to note that although Fadak was taken away from her on the grounds that it belonged to the State, it came to be treated like it was a personal property of the rulers who pretended to be the successors of the Prophet.
For example, during the rulership of Othman, the Third caliph, he gave Fadak to Marwan his son-in-law. During the times of Muawia, Fadak was jointly owned by Marwan, Amr Bin Othman and Yezid Bin Muawiya. But when Marwan became the Ruler he owned it all alone.
His son Abdul Aziz inherited it from him. When Abdul Aziz died, Fadak passes to his son Omar who gave it to the grand-grand children of Hazrat Fatima (S.A). The Ummaya King who came after Omar Bin Abdul Aziz snatched it from Bani Fatima and it remained with Bani Umayyah until when Bani Abbas came in power.
The first Bani Abbas Ruler, Saffah, gave Fadak to Abdullah Bin Hasan (a grand-grand child of Imam Hasan). The second Ruler Mansur Dawanaki took it back. His son Mahdi g*ve it back to the descendants of Hazrat Fatima (S.A).
Harun Rashid took it back but his son Mammoon returned it to the descendants of Hazrat Fatima (S.A). Mutawakil again took it back. The present Saudi rulers have totally destroyed Fadak and it has been removed from the map.
HAZRAT FATIMA (S.A) MOURNS FOR HER FATHER
The death of the Prophet (S.A.W.W.) was a great loss for Hazrat Fatima (A.S), She found life without him to be very difficult for her.
On top that, her husband's and her own rights were taken away from them. She was insulted; her husband was ill-treated. She was severely injured by the Government's orders. Her appeals to the Muslims to help her were ignored.
These were the things that she would mention when crying for her Father. Fiza, her maid, says that on the eighth day after the Prophet's death, Hazrat Fatima (S.A) went to the Prophet's grave and read a long ‘Marsia’ (sad poem); parts of the "Marsia" are reproduced below:
"... Father, peoples' intentions have changed and doors have been closed on my face so I hate this world after you; my tears shall be shed for you..."
"... Father we became - after you - as the oppressed. Father! People ignored us after you."
"... How pained I am for you until I soon join you..." Imam Ali built a shelter for her in the graveyard of Baqee. She would take her sons Imam Hasan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S) every mouning and stay there mourning her father till evening.
Then she became too weak to go anywhere. At the young age of eighteen, Hazrat Fatima (S,A) became so weak that she needed a walking cane and somebody's support to move around in the house.
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) herself summarized the problems that faced her in the following words:
"If the problems that fell on me had fallen on a bright day, it would turn into a dark night".
HAZRAT FATIMA'S LAST DAY OF THIS EARTH
One day, during the time when Hazrat Fatima (A.S) was ill in bed. Imam Ali (A.S) returned home and he found very busy, cooking and cleaning her children, Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (A.S). Imam Ali (A.S) asked her as to why she was so hard working.
Tears started flowing from her eyes. She told him that on the previous night she had seen her father in a dream. She told him about the troubles that she had to go through after his death and that she found life without him very difficult. Her father, the Prophet (S.A.W.W.) consoled her and told her not to worry any more because after one day she would be with him.
By this dream Hazrat Fatima (A.S) knew that it was her last day. So she wanted to do all that she could for her beloved children before she was separated from them by death.
This news made Imam Ali (A.S) very sad.
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) then made her final wishes know to him. Her first wish was that those who had oppressed her and her husband should not be allowed to attend her burial.
To make this possible, she wished that she be buried in the darkness of night. Secondly, she recommended Imam Ali (A.S) to many Amana, the daughter of Zainab, as she would take good care of the children.
Thirdly, she requested Imam Ali (A.S) to be extra careful with Imam Hasan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S) as they would be very sad after their mother's death.
With tears in his eyes Imam Ali (A.S) said goodbye to her and went to the Mosque together with Imam Hasan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S).
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) was now left home alone with Asma Bint Umays. Asma reports that when alone, Hazrat Fatima (A.S) put on a new garment and perfumed herself. She then retired to the place where she used to pray daily. She asked Asma to leave her alone as she wished to carry out some special prayers in remembrance of Allah, the Almighty. She requested Asma to come back to her after sometime and check if she was still alive or not.
Asma says, "I did as I was told. When left alone, Hazrat Fatima (A.S) started addressing Allah and praying for the well being of her followers. After sometime there was silence. I rushed to see what she was doing and saw that she was lying straight on her back. Her face was covered with a piece of cloth.
When I removed the cloth from her face, I found her not breathing any more. She had left this world to join her father.”
As per her wishes, Imam Ali (A.S) buried her in the darkness of the night. Besides Imam Ali (A.S) and his two sons, very few others such as Ammar, Salman, Mikdad and Abu Zar attended her funeral.
HAZRAT FATIMA'S BURIAL
Fearing that those people who had not been allowed to attend Hazrat Fatima's fiineral may do harm to her grave, Imam Ali (A.S) made several graves so that her true grave remained a secret.
There are four possible places where she could have been buried: First, in her own house, second, in the graveyard of Baqee in the area where our four Imams are buried;
third, at a place between the Prophet's grave and his Mimbar in the Mosque of the Prophet, and fourth, at the place in Baqee where Imam Ali (AS) had built a shelter for her so that she could weep for her father (Bayt-Ul-Huzn).
Today, when the followers of Hazrat Fatima (S.A) go to Medina, they show their respect to her by visiting all these places except at "Baytul Huzn" which has been totally wiped out by the "Wahhabis."
As for the grave in the graveyard of Baqee, the "Wahhabis" destroyed the mausoleums in 1926.