Usurping the Land of Fadak

Hadhrat Fatimah (AS) the only surviving child of the Prophet, his most beloved, claimed inheritance of the properties in the lands of Medina, Khaibar, and also Fadak, which were acquired by Prophet from the Jews without the use of force.

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) had already given her those properties in order to maintain Ahlul-Bayt and their followers, in accordance with the commands of Allah. However they were confiscated after the death of prophet (PBUH&HF).

Brother Khalid wrote:

Next the issue of RasulAllah's inheritance. Garden of Fadak, as it is known. First we have to ascertain, if RasulAllah ever had any property at the time of his death.

We all know that after Nabuwat, Prophet (SAAW) had no means of income. All of his time was being devoted in the cause of Allah. In Mecca his own means for living was whatever Khadija had and after hijrat to Medina he was absolutely broke.

Later on when the chains of war against infidels started, it was revealed by Allah to obtain 5th part of the plunder was meant for RasulAllah. Please refer sura "Anfal" ayat 41. Accordingly, RasulAllah's source of To start with I would like to mention the verse from the Quran that brother Khalid has mentioned, concerning the verse for Khums. Though it is out of context but it won't hurt to mention that the word Khums (literally meaning 1/5 th) is NOT restricted to the plunder of the war against the infidels.

Here I would rely on the hadith, but before that the Verse is as follows And know ye (O believers) that whatever of a thing ye acquire a fifth of it is for God, and for the Apostle and for the (Apostle's) near relatives and the orphans and the needy and the way farer ... [8:41]

Now the hadith that clearly mentions the fact that the Khums is not restricted to the plunders of wars as many Sunni brothers and sisters believe.

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 4.327 (page 213)

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

The delegates of the tribe of Abdul Qais came and said: `O Allah's Apostle ! We are from the tribe of Rabia and between us and you stand stand the infidels of the tribe of Mudar, so we cannot come to you except in the Haram Months.

So please order us some instructions that we may apply it to ourselves and also invite our people left behind us to observe as well. ' The Prophet (PBUH) said: `I order you to do four (4) things and forbid you to do four (4): I order you to believe in Allah, that is, to testify that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah (the Prophet (PBUH) pointed with his hand) ; to offer prayers perfectly, to pay Zakat, to fast the month of Ramadhan, and to pay the Khums.

Now a few points, before we proceed to the conclusion

  • It seems that the tribe of Bani Abdul Qais was not a strong tribe. More over when they had to travel to Medina, they had to cross a land that was inhabited by a tribe (Muzar) that was against the Muslims.

  • This left them no portions to travel only in the Haram months, the months when the war fare was forbidden. This therefore leaves us no room to interpret the application in the above hadith to the spoils of war exclusively.

income was from few oasis which were abandoned by Bani Alnaseer in Medina. RasulAllah used part of this income for the maintenance of his family and what ever was left, used to be spent in the name of Allah. Please note that this was not a property owned by RasulAllah, but was in his use as a leader of Islamic state.

Obviously, he was NOT there to accumulate properties and estates for himself. This privilege could only be extended to him as long as he was alive And he had made it quite clear in his lifetime.

al-Bukhari, Muslim, Motha and Masand-e-Ahmed have recorded,"my heirs will not distribute anything. Whatever I leave will be an allowance for You have mentioned that the Prophet (PBUH) had narrated (as you claim in the books of al-Bukhari, Muslim, Musnad Ahmed etc ...) his heirs will not distribute anything.

Before I impart you with the authenticated references let me make it clear what the word 'heir' means, it means one who inherits or who is legally entitled to inherit. [ Also in the later part of the article you have mentioned that only three (3) persons were entitled to claim the property of Fadak (Imam Ali, Fatimah and Ibn Abbas), so it would be safe to assume following your claim that only the above three (3) would be the Prophets (PBUH) heirs ].

Your claim that the 'heirs' will not distribute anything is contrary to what I found in the Sunni books of traditions:

Imam Ali (AS) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: I have granted in Ali five things, none of which was granted to any Prophet (PBUH) before me. One of these is that Ali will repay my debts and will bury me.

Sunni reference:

  • Musnad of Imam Ahmed, v5, p45
  • Musnad of Imam Ahmed, v6, p155
  • Kanz al-Ummal, v6, pp 153,155,404

I shall cite a Quranic Verse in the support of the statement that the heirs of the Prophet (PBUH) repaid his debts. With reference to the Quranic Verse (26: 124), Ibn Mardawayh has recorded a tradition as related by Ali, who said that when the verse "Give warning to your closest relatives" was revealed, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

"Ali will repay my debts and fulfill my promises."

  • Kanz al-Ummal, v6, p401

Again Imam Ahmed (in his Musnad) states a hadith from the Prophet (PBUH) as follows:

"None will repay my debts and discharge my duties except me or Ali." - Musnad of Imam Ahmed, v4, p174

Khalid> my wives and payment for my doers and whatever is left is Alms. Now Khalid> let us observe how this inheritance issue arose and what actions Khalid> wee taken by the caliphs.

Now with reference to the above hadiths who gave Abu Bakr the right to distribute the Property of the Prophet (PBUH), when the Holy Apostle (PBUH) had clearly mentioned that it was Imam Ali (AS) and Imam Ali (AS) alone who was entitled to distribute his property and/or repay his debts. Let me quote one more tradition that would state that Imam Ali (AS) paid of the debts of the Prophet (PBUH) through his *own account*. The tradition is as follows:

After the death of the Prophet (PBUH) Ali discharged certain duties. Most of these were the promises and the contracts made by the Prophet which Ali fulfilled. I think that he had mentioned 5000 (Five thousand) dirhams, which were repaid by Ali.

  • Kanz al-Ummal, v4, p60

Please bear in mind that the debt was paid from the personal property of Imam Ali (AS) and not from the Baitul-Mal, this was also followed by Imam Hasan, Imam Hussain.

In this connection, the following is reported in Tabaqat of Ibn Sa'd:

Abdul Wahid Abi Aun reports that after the demise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF), Ali ordered an announcer to make it known if there was some one to whom the Prophet (PBUH&HF) owed some debt or promise, he should have if from Ali. After Ali, hassan, hussain repeated the same thing.

It means that after the passing away of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) his descendants continued announcing publicly for fifty (50) years their responsibilities, which they fulfilled.

It is very interesting to note that the promises of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his debts are paid off by the Ahlul-Bayt and the heir to the Prophet's property becomes Abu Bakr, what a weird phenomena!

according to Islamic law, there could only be three heirs. One Fatimah as his daughter, then Abbas as his uncle and third his wives. The first two parties presented their inheritance soon after Abu- Bakr came to power.

In certain stories Fatimah even said this to Abu-Bakr,O if your bequest is to be distributed among your heirs, then how come I can not get my inheritance from what is left by my father? Upon this Abu-Bakr said,O RasulAllah said that I will not leave any inheritance.

Whatever I will leave will go to the Alms. But, Abu-Bakr said, I will not leave any such thing which RasulAllah did, because I am afraid if I do so I will go astray. However I will continue maintaining those who were being maintained by him and continue spending on those on whom he used to spend.

By Allah, it is more lovable for me to be kind to his relatives than it is for me to my relative. I have not read anywhere that upon listening to this Fatimah or Abbas accused Abu-Bakr for any wrong Khalid> doing.

Contrary to your claim that Abu Bakr was not accused of doing something wrong, and I can base this on the attitude of Hadhrat Fatimah (AS) here I present a hadith from al-Bukhari:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 4.325 (page 208)

Narrated Aisha, the mother of believers:

After the death of Allah's Apostle Fatimah (AS), the daughter of Allah's Apostle asked Abu Bakr As Siddiq to give her, her share of inheritance from what Allah's Apostle (PBUH) had left of the Fai which Allah had given him. Abu Bakr said to her: "Allah's Apostle said: `Our Property will not be inherited, what ever we (Prophets) leave is Sadiqa (to be used for Charity)."

Fatimah (AS) the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH) got angry and stopped speaking to Abu Bakr, and continued assuming that attitude till she died. Fatimah (AS) remained alive for six months after the death of the Prophet (PBUH). She used to ask Abu Bakr for her share from the Property of Allah's Apostle which he (PBUH) left at Khaibar and his Property at Medina ...

I can base the following conclusions from the above hadith

  • Janabe Fatimah al-Zahra (AS) were displeased with the refusal of her share by Abu Bakr

  • She continued to be displeased (Bukhari uses the word angry) till the day she departed from this World, that had showed her so much pain and trouble after the death of the Prophet (PBUH) that reminds me of the famous saying from her holiness "If my father (PBUH) were alive today, and he had seen me succumb to all the pain and miseries, the days would have turned into nights."

  • She asked for her share of inheritance repeatedly, as confirmed in the above report.

  • Brother Khaild also claims that Hadhrat Fatimah (AS) never accused Abu Bakr of some thing wrong, before I make my point it would be helpful to bring another hadith from al-Bukhar:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 5.546 (page 381):

... She (Fatimah (AS)) remained alive for six (6) months after the death of the Prophet (PBUH). When she died, her husband Ali buried her at night without informing Abu Bakr and he said the funeral prayer himself ...

Also the reknowned Sunni Historian Tabari writes:

Abu Salih al Dirari- Abd al Razzaq b. Hammam- Mamar- al Zuhri - Urwah- Aishah: Fatimah and al Abbas came to Abu Bakr demanding their [share of] inheritance of the Messenger of God. They were demanding the Messenger of Gods's lan in Fadak and his share of Khaybar ['s tribute].

Abu Bakr replied, "I have heard the Messenger of God say: 'Our [i.e the prophet's property] cannot be inherited and whatever we leave behins is alms [i.e to be given in charity]. The family of Muhammad will eat from it. ' By God, I will not abandon a course which I saw the Messenger of God practicing, but will continue doing it accordingly." Fatimah shunned him and did not speak to him about it untill she died. Ali buried her at night and did not permit Abu Bakr to attend [her burial].

Sunni references:

  • Tabari, vol IX p 196 [The Events of the Year 11, English version],
  • Tabaqat of Ibne Sad, vol VIII p 29,
  • Yaqubi History, vol II p 117,
  • Masudi in his Tanbih, p 250 [The last three are mentioned in the footnotes of Tabari's book]
  • al Bayhaqi, vol 4 p 29
  • Musnad, Ahmad Hanbal, vol 1 p 9
  • Tarikh, Ibn Katheer, vol 5 p 285-86
  • Sharah, ibn al Hadid, vol 6 p 46

In this connection, Umm Jafar, the daughter of Muhammad ibn Jafar, narrated about the request of Fatima (as) to Asma bint Umays near her death that:

When I die, I want you and Ali to wash me, and do not allow anyone to go into me (in my house).

When she died Aishah came to enter, Asma told her, ' Do not enter, ' Aishah complained to Abu Bakr saying,

This Khathamiyyah (a woman from the tribe of Katham, i.e Asma) intervenes between us and the daughter of Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF).

Then Abu Bakr, came and stood at the door and said:

O Asma, what makes you prevent, thw wives of the Prophet from entering into the daughter of the Messenger of Allah?

Asma replied:

She had herself ordered me not to allow anyone to enter into her.

Abu Bakr said:

Do what she has ordered you.

Sunni references:

  • Hilyatul Awliya, vol 2 p 43
  • as Sunan al Kubra, vol 3 p 396
  • Ansab al Ashraf, vol 1 p 405
  • al Istiab, vol 4 p 1897-98
  • Usudul Ghabah, vol 5 p 524
  • al Isabah, vol 4 p 378-89

Muhammad ibn Umar al Waqidi said:

It has been proved to us that Ali (as) performed her funeral prayer and buried her by night, accompanied by al Abbas and al Fadl (his son), and did not notify anyone.

It was for this reason that Fatimah's (as) burial place was hidden and is unknown till today.

Sunni references:

  • Mustadrak, al Hakim, vol 3 p 162-63
  • Ansab al Ashraf, vol 1 p 402, 405
  • al Istiab, vol 4 p 1898
  • Usudul Ghabah, vol 5 p 524-25
  • al Isabah, vol 4 p 379-80
  • Tabaqat, Ibn Sa'ad, vol 8 p 19-20
  • Sharah, Ibn al HAdid, vol 16 p 279-81

If I were to assume that She didn't accuse Abu Bakr of anything wrong, then why was She angry with Abu Bakr, why did she not allow Abu Bakr to attend her funeral (as stated in her will). Surprisingly, al-Bukhari clearly mentions that She had instructed Imam Ali (AS) not to inform Abu Bakr.

If Fatimah is the leading ladies among all the ladies, and if She is and was the only lady in the entire Muslim Nation that Allah kept clean and pure, then her anger could not be but just. It is because of this very reason that:

Abu Bakr said: "May Allah save me from His anger and Fatimah's anger" (the same words used by al-Bukhari) then he cried bitterly when she said, "By Allah, I will curse you in every prayer that I do." He came crying out and said: "I do not need your pledge of allegiance and discharge me from my duties."

  • Sunni reference: Tarikhul Khulafa by Ibn Qutaybah, v1, p120

Now the third group, ie; his wives. They also thought of sending Usman to Abu Bakr as their rep to demand their eighth share. But Aisha opposed it and all the wives withdrew from such demand. One thing in this regards is that it is also said that RasulAllah, in his lifetime decided that this particular oasis (fidak) will be given to Fatima.