Why Abu Bakr discontinued Ummul Momineen Umm Salmah’s (r.a.) pension
Tags: Fadak, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a), Janabe Fatima Zahra (s.a.), Sahaabah, Wives of Prophet (s.a.w.a.)
The matter of Fatima Zahra’s (s.a.) inheritance usually stirs a raging debate between the Shias and their opponents, who maintain that Fatima Zahra (s.a.) did not have the right to inheritance. The Shias of Ahle Bait (a.s.) are of the view that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did in fact leave behind as a gift or in the least as inheritance the property of Fadak for his only daughter whom he (s.a.w.a.) held in high regard.
This debate has many answers leading us to conclude categorically that Fadak was the property of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) in the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) very life time.
Over here we bring one such argument advanced by Ummul Momineen Umm Salmah (r.a.) in support of Fatima Zahra (s.a.).
It is documented in Al-Durr al-Nazeem by Jamaaluddeen Yusuf Ibn Haatim – the jurist of Syria – that when Ummul Momineen Umm Salmah (r.a.) was informed about Abu Bakr’s dismissive response to Fatima (s.a.) regarding Fadak she remarked:
Is it right that a person like Fatima (s.a.) should be addressed with such words? By Allah! Fatima (s.a.) is a human fairy, the soul for the soul (of Prophet s.a.w.a.), raised in pious laps, fed with the hands of angels, grown in the laps of immaculate ones, with the best upbringing and with the nourishment of the best nourisher.
Can you imagine that the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.) would deprive her from her inheritance and would not even care to inform her about it?!
This is while Allah had instructed His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – ‘And warn your nearest relations.’ (Surah Shoara (26): 214).
Would he (s.a.w.a.) not have warned her (s.a.) that she would not receive any inheritance? And would she (s.a.) oppose him (s.a.w.a.) and stake a claim to her inheritance?!
This is while she (s.a.) is the best of the women, the mother of the masters of the youth (of Paradise) and (more than) an equal to Maryam, the daughter of Imran? The message of Allah (s.a.w.a.) concluded with her father and I swear by Allah that the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) shielded Fatima (s.a.) against heat and cold and would make his right hand her pillow and his left one her blanket, gently. (Know that) you are being observed by the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.). And towards Allah is your return. Woe betide you.
Very soon you will learn the truth.
It was in the same year that Umm Salmah’s (r.a.) pension was withdrawn by Abu Bakr.
- Al-Durr al-Nazeem by Jamaaluddeen Yusuf Ibn Haatim p. 480
- Bait al-Ahzaan fi Masaaib Sayyedah al-Niswaan al-Batool al-Taherah Fatima al-Zahra (s.a.) by Shaikh Abbas al-Qummi (r.a.) p. 153
Some points that come out distinctly from this incident include:
- Fatima Zahra’s (s.a.) right to her inheritance created a furor among Muslims and even the wives of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) took note of the dispute and sided with Fatima Zahra (s.a.) in the matter.
- Abu Bakr’s manner of addressing Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) and his overall stand on the matter was most reprehensible and condemnable.
- It was impossible as observed by Umm Salmah (r.a.) for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) to deprive Fatima Zahra (s.a.) of her inheritance.
- Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) abiding love and affection for Fatima Zahra (s.a.) is widely documented and not lost on the Muslims. In this backdrop it is inconceivable that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) would deprive his only daughter of her inheritance and leave her financially vulnerable in the midst of a hostile nation. Such a move by him (s.a.w.a.) goes against the Holy Quran, Sunnah, intellect and basic parental instinct and affection.
- We see the claimant of caliphate mistreating Umm al-Momineen Umm Salmah (r.a.) and withdrawing her pension over a simple protest, which was justified by all accounts. Later, we see another claimant Usman Ibn Affaan also discontinuing Ayesha’s pension, deservedly so in her case.
This is how the claimants of caliphate and by extension Muslim rulers of the era treated the wives of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Yet no one thinks anything about it and considers it par for the course. But Shias are routinely criticized for criticizing the wives. This is while the Shias have the highest regard for the righteous wives like Khadijah (s.a.) and Umm Salmah (r.a.). Do these Muslims defend the wives in the same manner as the Shias? Do we see the Muslims condemning the rulers for depriving the wives of pension? But they are more than ready to condemn the Shias. Clearly, what irks the Muslims is not the wives since they themselves have mistreated the wives, it is the Shia and their love for the Ahle Bait (a.s.) to the exclusion of others that annoys them.