Chapter 8: Hazrat Fatima (S.A): Her Position in Islam
In Islam, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) is the best creation of Allah. No other creature is more beloved to Allah than him. After the Prophet (S.A.W.W) comes Imam Ali (A.S), Hazrat Fatima (S.A) comes next to Imam AH (A.S).
Amongst women of Islam, no woman is more important than is Hazrat Fatima (S.A).
HAZRAT FATIMA'S (S.A) POSITION IN THE PRESENCE OF ALLAH
To make other creatures aware of Hazrat Fattma's greatness, Allah gave her some special qualities that He (Allah) did not give to others. Consider the following examples.
- Angels visited her with special messages and Salams from Allah. She was capable of noting down conversation between Allah and His Angels as she tells us so in 'Hadithe Kisa' 2. Allah, purified her (as He says so in the verses of 'Tathir') so much that she was 'Massuma' (meaning she would never commit a sin or make mistakes).
This purity in her became a quality of all the 11 Imams (Imam Hasan (A.S), Imam Husain (A.S), and other 9 Imams from the progeny of Imam Husain (A.S).)
Allah gave her two physical qualities that no other woman in this world got (one of the qualities, i.e. Batool was given also to Mariam, mother of Nabi Isa): She was Batool and Zahra (details about these two qualities have already been provided in chapter 6).
Allah revealed Sura-E-Dahr (Chapter 76 in the Qur'an) in her praise. There are many other verses in the Qur'an which were revealed in her honour, e.g. verses of "Tathir" and verses of "Muwaddah".
5 Allah gave her, as her gift, when she was married to Imam Ali (A.S), the power to do "Shafa" (save Muslims from hell-fire) on the day of Qiyamat. 6. Allah will give Hazrat Fatima (S.A) a special honour on the day of Qiyamat as has been narrated by the famous Sunni scholar Ibne Hajar Makki in his book, "Sawaiq Al-Muhriqa" in the following way:
"The Messenger of Allah said, 'A caller shall call from beneath the Throne (Arsh): Oh people of Mahshar, lower your heads and cast down your eyes so that Fatima Bint Muhammad (S.A.W.W) may pass'; he then added, 'she will then pass accompanied by seventy thousand Houri of Jannah'."
After that she will do "Shafa" for the sinners among Muslims.
HAZRAT FATIMA'S POSITION IN THE EYE OF THE PROPHET (S.A.W.W)
Both Sunni and Shia historians have recorded that the Prophet (S.A.W.W) loved no one else as dearly as he did Hazrat Fatima.
Tabari, the popular Sunni historian, reports that once Imam Ali (A.S) asked the Prophet (S.A.W.W), "Oh Messenger of Allah! Who in your family is most dear to you?"
"Fatima, my daughter", he replied.
The famous Sunni scholar Imam Bukhari says the Prophet (S.A.W.W) used to say, "Fatima is part of me. Whoever harms her harms me."
Aisha is also reported to have said, "I have never seen anyone more similar to the Prophet (S.A.W.W) than Fatima (S.A) in speech and in manners. Whenever she entered the house, he would stand to greet her, kiss her hands and ask her to sit next to him...". Sheikh Kundusi says, in his Yanad Al Muwaddah. On the authority of Aisha that:
"Whenever the Prophet (S.A.W.W) returned from < trip he would kiss Fatima (S.A) and say, Trom her do I smi 'I the sweet smell of Paradise'."
The famous Sunni scholar Hakim says in his book Mustadraq that the Prophet (S.A.W.W) said to Hazrat Fatima (A.S) "Are you not satisfied that you are the leader of the women of the world, the 'Ummah' and believing women?". The same author quotes Buraida saying:
"The most beloved to the Messenger of Allah from among women is Fatima (S.A) and from among men is AH."
Did the Prophet (S.A.W.W) show so much love, respect and honour to Hazrat Fatima (S.A) only because she was his daughter?
Hazrat Fatima (S.A) was honoured so highly by the Prophet not just because she was his daughter but more so because Allah had given her special qualities which required the Prophet (S.A.W.W) to give her a special attention.
It was also very necessary for Muslims to know of Hazrat Fatima's special position in the presence of Allah. The only person who could tell Muslims do so was the Prophet (S.A.W.W). And the Prophet (S.A.W.W) did so very well as has been explained by the examples given above.
HAZRAT FATIMA'S POSITIION IN THE EYE OF IMAM ALI (A.S)
One of the greatest honours he gave her was: In her lifetime he never married any other woman.
Just before her death when she was about to tell him of her last wishes, she said to him out of modesty, “Cousin, was I ever untruthful and ill-devoted or disobedient to you from the first day I started living with you.
The reply Imam AH (A.S) gave tells us how highly he valued her Imam AH said:
"Allah Forbid! You are so knowledgeable about Allah, so devoted, so pious and honourable, so Allah-fearing, that you could never disobey me.
It pains me to part with you and to lose you, but it is something that cannot be avoided. By Allah, you have started all over again that sorrow which I went through by losing the Prophet of Allah. Your death and loss are too much for me. But, we belong to Allah and to him Shall we all return.
"This is a misfortune for which I cannot be consoled and a tragedy for which there is no way to make it good." Again, to show how much Hazrat Fatima (S.A) meant to him, Imam AH (A.S) expresses his feeling by saying the following words after he had buried her:
"Now what had been given to me as a trust has been taken back. My grief is limitless and I shall spend sleepless nights till Allah chooses for me the house in which you are resting (death)..... My Salams to you both, the Salam of one full of sadness."
Again, after burying her and when he was about to return to his grieving daughters, he says:
"Friends live together for a short time and then depart; the time of living together is very short. My friends Ahmed and Fatima followed each other leaving me alone. How short was the tide of love and tenderness, in this changing world where nothing lives forever"
So long as he lived, he remembered her and wept for her saying, "Fatima (S.A) was the everlasting soul of heaven. Her smell still lives in my heart and soul though she physically is no more with me."
No wonder, therefore, that whereas he kept quiet even though he lost everything that belonged to him after the death of the Prophet (S.A.W.W), he was very angry and was not ready to keep quiet when some people wanted to dig the grave of Hazrat Fatima (S.A) after she had been buried.
He dressed like he was going for a war saying, "Son of Sawada! I have given up my rights to stop people giving up their faith but as for Fatima's grave, by him in whose control is my soul, if you and your followers try to do anything to it, I shall soak the ground with your blood." He thus saved her grave from being dishounoured.
A good Muslim must therefore always show his or her respect to her and her progeny.