The entire universe belongs to Allah the Almighty. He does what He wishes. None can curtail His Power and Authority. Importantly, Allah has appointed the infallible Imams (a.s.) as the medium of all His Beneficence and Blessings. On this premise, the infallible Imams (a.s.) can possess anything in the universe. Our responsibility is that we acquire recognition of these honourable ones, who have been granted power and authority over the heavens and the earth by Allah.

Besides, if we wish to live a blissful life and stay on the straight path, it is essential to differentiate between truth and falsehood. These honourable ones mirror Allah’s pleasure and displeasure. In their happiness lies Allah’s happiness, in their anger is Allah’s anger. Allah is obeyed through their obedience and disobeyed if they are defied. Therefore, it is obligatory for us to gain their recognition which in the end will become the reason of our prosperity and success.

The Status of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) is beyond being virtuous

The position of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) is way higher than just being virtuous.

Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informs: ‘Surely, Allah is happy when Faatemah is happy and angry when Faatemah is angry.’

(Behaar al-Anwaar v 30, p. 353; Al-Mustadrak Alaa Al-Sahihain v 3, p. 154; Al-Mo’jam al-Kabeer v 22, p. 401; Saheeh al-Bukhaari v 5, p. 83)

This tradition makes it clear that the status of Janabe Zahra (s.a.) is far superior to just being virtuous because chastity means that every action of a person— his contentment or discontentment, happiness and anger is as per Allah’s wish. He is content in Allah’s pleasure and angry in Allah’s anger. His actions are a reflection of Allah’s wish.  But, this isn’t the case with Janabe Zahra (s.a.) because here Allah is pleased with what Janabe Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) is pleased with and angered with what she is angered.

It is impossible to recognise Hazrat Zahra (s.a.)

Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) says:

‘Faatemah was named Faatemah because the entire creation was helpless in recognising her.’

(Behaar al-Anwaar vol 43 p. 65)

The words of the tradition are worth pondering. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has emphasised on ‘entire creation’ which barring Allah, includes not only mortals but even the honourable carrier of divine revelation, trustworthy of Allah, Janabe Jibraeel, Izraael, other proximate angels, the Greater Prophets, the Noble Messengers and the vicegerents.

How great must be that pious being who even the trustworthy Jibraeel cannot fully understand? Even the Prophets (a.s.) cannot gain her true recognition. This great being can be comprehended in entirety only by Allah.

In this regard, let us look at the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) narration:

‘When the representatives of Allah will settle in rows (during the Day of Judgement) at that moment Adam (a.s.) and other prophets (a.s.) will come for your visitation.”

(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 43 p. 22)

Indeed, what an eminent position it is for all the Prophets (a.s.) to stand in rows and call on Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.). Human mind fails to grasp the prominence Allah has conferred upon this great lady.

Surely, none can perceive the greatness of the lady who will have Prophets (a.s.) lining up to call on her in paradise. As it is the minds fail to fathom the status of Prophets (a.s.), so how is it possible to realize the position of one who will be visited by rows of Prophets (a.s.)?

Creation of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.)

The following narration has been reported by both the Shias and Sunnis. It is so authentic from the reliability point of view that a fatwa can be delivered on its basis.

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) informs: The noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.) would kiss Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) a lot. When Ayesha objected saying: O Messenger of Allah, what is the reason behind you kissing Faatemah so much?

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) replied:

“When I ascended to the heavens (Meraaj), I visited the paradise. From the tress of paradise I saw a tree which was better than all the other trees. There was no tree whiter or more fragrant than this one. I took one fruit from this tree. This fruit took the shape of a fluid in my loin and when I returned to earth I transferred what was given to me in trust into Khadija’s womb from which Faatemah was formed. Therefore, whenever I am desirous of smelling paradise, I smell Faatemah.”

(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol 18 p. 315; Al-Durr al-Mansoor vol 4 p. 153; Al Mojam al Kabeer vol 22 p. 401; Tafseer Noor al-Saqalain, vol 3, p. 98)

It is worth noting that Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) is the most excellent and the most honourable amongst all the prophets, messengers and obviously, the entire creation. The purest of place is paradise and from this paradise the most special tree and from this exclusive tree the best fruit. From here begins the pure existence of Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) and this creation is physical creation. Meaning, the thing from which Hazrat Zahra’s (s.a.) body was formed was from the most beautiful of fruits.

Relation of body with soul

From the Quranic point of view, the body and soul have one relation. On the creation of Hazrat Adam (a.s.), the Holy Quran says:

‘So when I have made him complete and breathed into him of My Spirit…’

(Surah Hijr (15): Verse 29)

In another place it is mentioned:

‘Certainly We created man in the best form.’

(Surah Teen (95): Verse 4)

No creation is better than humans. Man’s remarkable features and form of his body are suitable and worthy for a soul to be breathed into it. Thus, the soul is only infused when the body is deserving of it. This means that all bodies of the world are not worthy enough for life to be breathed into it. When all bodies cannot possess a regular soul; a body other than the regular one is required for someone with special beneficence of Allah

The body made of worldly material is deserving of a soul to be infused into it and that too a soul which is connected to Allah. For which, Allah says, ‘It’s His Spirit.’ So, for that sacred body, which was formed after eating a fruit from heaven, what kind of soul would be required for it? When this sacred body is different from all bodies of the world, the soul in it, too, will be different from others.

Perhaps, on this basis the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informs: ‘The Almighty Allah created her from His resplendent light. When this light dazzled the entire universe was lit up. The eyes of the angels were bedazzled; they fell down in prostration to Allah. They said, ‘O Lord! What is this light? Allah sent a revelation: This light is from My Light. I have given it space in My Heavens. I have created this from My Grandeur. Through My Prophets, I will make it appear in the loin of a Prophet, who will be superior to all the other Prophets. Then, from this light I will create My Imams, who will arise on My command and will guide people towards My rights. After the culmination of revelations, I will appoint them as My vicegerents of earth.”

(Behaar al-Anwaar vol 43 p. 12)

This is how the pure body of Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) was created with the best fruit from Paradise and Allah created her soul from His resplendent light. If there was so much grandeur accompanying this light to come into this materialistic world then what rank it will have in the hereafter?

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) quotes Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.): ‘Before the creation of the sky and earth, Allah created the light of Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.).’

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a. s.) – is she not a human?’ He (s.a.w.a.) replied, “Faatemah is a human fairy.’

He (s.a.w.a.) was asked, ‘How is she a human fairy?’

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘Allah created her from His light before He created Hazrat Adam (a.s.). At the time there were only souls. When Hazrat Adam (a.s.) was created, this light was placed in front of him.’

He (s.a.w.a.) was asked, ‘Where was Faatemah then?’

He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘In a treasure under the Arsh.’

He (s.a.w.a) was asked, ‘What was her provision?’

He (s.a.w.a.) informed, ‘Praising and glorifying Allah was her nourishment.’

(Behaar al-Anwaar vol 43, p. 4)

Hazrat Faatemah Zahra’s (s.a.) Worship

At the end of this narration the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) informs that in the world of souls, under the Arsh (Throne), Hazrat Faatemah Zahra’s (s.a.) nourishment was praising and glorifying Allah, which is commonly referred to as the Tasbeeh of Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) and hence, the nomenclature ‘heavenly tasbeeh’.

The light of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) was preserved in the treasures of Arsh; her food was praising and glorifying Allah. Likewise in this world, she would be so engrossed in worship in the payer-niche that her feet would become swollen.

‘There was none in this nation who would worship more than Faatemah (s.a.). She would stand and worship so much that her feet would swell.’

(Al-Manaaqeb of Ibne Shahr Aashoob vol 3 p. 389)

Her worship in this world points towards the fact that she continued to praise and glorify Allah in the same vein as she did in the world of souls.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) informs, ‘The one who is fortunate to gain the real recognition of Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) then he has discovered (the real) Night of Destiny (Shab-e-Qadr).’

(Behaar al-Anwaar vol 43 p. 66; Tafseer al-Furaat p. 581)

Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) is a part of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)

One day the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) stepped out of his house holding Hazrat Faatemah Zahra’s (s.a.) hand and he asserted, ‘Those who know her recognise her. Those who don’t recognise her — she is Faatemah b. Muhammad. She is part of me. She is my heart. She is the soul between my sides. Who displeases her has displeased me and whoever displeases me displeases Allah.’

(Behaar al-Anwaar vol 43 p. 54)

In light of this tradition, Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) is a part of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did not say that she is a part of my body. Instead he (s.a.w.a.) said she is a part of my entity. She is a part of Prophethood and Messengership. Her soul is associated with the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) heart.

The heart of Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.a.) is not an ordinary heart. Rather, it is the centre of all sciences, from the first to the last. It encompasses complete knowledge of all Prophets (a.s) and vicegerents (a.s.). Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) is a reflection of all these sciences and realties.

The Companions’s Behaviour with Hazrat Faatemah (s.a.)

In view of Hazrat Faatemah Zahra’s (s.a.) greatness and keeping in mind the extraordinary traditions of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in this regard, one question haunts the Muslim community – how did the companions of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) behave with her after his (s.a.w.a.) demise?

The answer to this question is presented by history. The following incident is noteworthy:

When the usurpers of caliphate (which was the right of Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.)) arrived at his house and demanded that he step out, Imam Ali (a.s.) initially wanted to address them. But Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) stopped him and she herself attended the door. This was when Umar had come to forcefully take allegiance for Abu Bakr. When Ali (a.s.) did not step out as expected, Umar exclaimed, ‘I swear by the One who has my life in His hand, if you do not submit him (Imam Ali (a.s.)) to us, I will burn down the house along with its inmates.’

At this threat his own companions alerted him, ‘O Abu Hafs (i.e. Umar) Faatemah is inside the house.’

Umar said indifferently, ‘So what!’

(Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah vol 1 p. 19)

Reacting to this, Hazrat Faatemah (s.a.) said, ‘I haven’t seen more shameless and ill-mannered people than you. You have abandoned the sacred body of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and gathered over here to usurp our rights!’

(Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah vol 1 p. 19)

These are those who grew under the tutelage of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and their status was rooted in the companionship of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). They were recognized in society as Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) companions. Despite this, they abandoned his (s.a.w.a.) revered corpse and rushed to decide the matter of caliphate lest it elude them. Not content with bagging caliphate, they set fire to the house of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) beloved daughter, the Chief of all women of Paradise, whose excellence was repeatedly highlighted by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

It is indeed amazing how the companions had changed so dramatically in a span of two to three days. These were the same companions who congregated behind the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in his mosque for prayers and heard his sermons with rapt attention. After the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) demise it was as if they were never his companions, with the cold-heartedness they displayed towards the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) brother and daughter.

The Calamities befalling Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.)

Saeed b. Jubair narrates from Ibne Abbas: One day the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was sitting when Imam Hasan (a.s.) entered. He (s.a.w.a.) welcomed him and delightfully seated him on his right lap. Then Imam Husain (a.s.) entered. He (s.a.w.a.) welcomed him and seated him on his left lap. Then Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) came and sat alongside Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). After that Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) came and sat on the right of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s) began weeping incessantly.

Someone asked: O Messenger of Allah! What has caused you grief?

Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) then revealed their virtues and the sufferings they would face in his absence. When the discussion reached Hazrat Zahra (s.a.), after elucidating her virtues, he (s.a.w.a.) said: When I see her, I remember the afflictions that will befall her after me.

(Al-Amali of Shaikh Sadooq (r.a.) Majlis 24 p. 99; Behaar al-Anwaar vol. 28 p. 37)

The Sunni scholars have also reported this tradition in Faraaed al-Simtain vol. 2 p. 25

Have the Muslims forgotten to pay attention to the tradition despite reporting it? If in Janabe Faatemah’s (s.a.w.a.) happiness lies Allah’s happiness and in her anger lies Allah’s anger, then what is the status of those who oppressed her?

When Abu Bakr and Umar visited Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) in the aftermath of the incident which left her grievously injured, she warned them, ‘I take Allah and the angels as witness and declare that you two have angered me and displeased me.’

(Al-Imamah wa Al-Siyasah vol 1 p. 20)

Isn’t Hazrat Zahra’s (s.a.) anger the cause of Allah’s anger and His messenger’s (s.a.w.a.) anger? Moreover, hasn’t the one who angered Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) deviated from the right path? Some Muslims are of the view that we shouldn’t narrate such incidents as whatever has transpired has transpired and there is no benefit recounting these issues now. By the same logic, half the Quran should be abandoned because it is mere narration of incidents that have transpired with no benefit for Muslims at present.

It is necessary not only to narrate incidents revolving around the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) rightful successor, but also to investigate into those who prevented truth from prevailing and misled the masses. This is necessary so that we pursue goodness and refrain from evil. This is also one of the reasons for repeated narrations in the Holy Quran of the past prophets and their nations.

Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) foresaw this incident when he informed, ‘As if I am present at that time and witnessing how lowly and despicable characters are entering this house (of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.)).’

What can be more offensive than the fact that ill-mannered people are at the door wanting to set the house on fire? Can there be anything more offensive and infuriating for Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) than to watch his wife being felled by the door and being fatally wounded so much so that her ribs were left fractured, eventually departing from this world due to the injury?

The following incident is notable:

Ibn Abi al-Hadid al-Motazali — a famous Sunni scholar writes: One day I recounted the incident of the conquest of Makkah and Habbar ibn Aswad in front of my teacher Abu Jafar Naqeet. Following the conquest of Makkah, the Messenger (s.a.w.a.), despite being a mercy for the worlds, had declared the killing of certain people as permissible. One among them was Habbar b. Aswad. The cause for this was traced to the migration of Muslims to Madinah. When the ladies from Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) family were migrating to Madinah from Makkah, among them was the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) foster daughter Zainab. Habbar had cast a spear towards her which killed her child. In Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) view the crime was so gruesome that he had made the blood of Habbar b. Aswad permissible.

Ibn Abi al-Hadid recounts: My teacher Abu Jafar Naqeet said, ‘If the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) were alive then wouldn’t he have declared as permissible the blood of those who had terrorized and threatened Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) which eventually claimed the life of her unborn child Mohsin?’

(Sharh-o-Nahj al-Balaaghah of Ibn Abi  al-Hadid, vol. 3 p. 35)

Now, take a look at the statement of Shams al-Deen al-Zahabi (exp. 748 A.H.), a reliable Sunni scholar, recorded in his book ‘Mizaan al-Etedaal’ – ‘Umar pushed Faatemah with so much force that it resulted in Mohsin’s death.’

(Mizaan al-Etedaal vol. 1 p. 139)

Abu Baseer (r.a.) relates — I asked Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.): Why did Hazrat Faatemah Zahra (s.a.) depart from this world at such a young age?

He (a.s.) replied: She was martyred young because Umar’s slave, Qunfooz, acting on Umar’s orders, attacked Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) so harshly with the sheath of his sword that Mohsin was killed. This injury left Janabe Zahra (s.a.) very weak (from which she never recovered).’

(Dalaael al-Imamah p. 134)

اِنا للهِ وَاِناَْ اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ