Fakhr al-Raazi defends Fatima Zahra’s claim over Fadak

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Fakhr al-Deen al-Raazi (exp 605 AH), the famous Ahle Tasannun theologian and philosopher, has countered the Shias on various points related to infallibility of the Imams (a.s.) and virtues of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.).

He was a staunch defender of the companions (sahaabah / rulers) and employed knowledge of Kalam (Ilm al-Kalam) in justifying their position on various issues. According to some he was the Sultan al-Mutakallimeen (King of Theologians).

There is one area however, where Fakhr al-Raazi departs from his position on the sahaabah and rules in favour of Aal Muhammad (a.s.).

Fakhr al-Raazi’s view on Fadak

Regarding the so-called report that – ‘Fadak belonged to the Muslims as prophets (a.s.) do not leave inheritance’, Fakhr al-Raazi argues in favour of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) thus:

None except Ali (a.s.), Fatima (s.a.) and Ibne Abbas* could have been aware about the matter regarding the Prophet’s inheritance. And these personalities are among the senior most scholars of religion and well-known for their piety. On the other hand, Abu Bakr had no reason to be aware of the matter of the Prophet’s inheritance (since he was not related to the Prophet) and he would not even have imagined that the Prophet would have left behind something for him as inheritance. Then how can a rational person accept that the Prophet informed the one who had no share in his inheritance about this matter and kept his inheritors in the dark on the issue?

  • Al-Tafseer al-Kabeer v 9 p 218

*It must be noted that according to the laws of jurisprudence of the Jafari sect, paternal uncle is not from the foremost of relatives from the viewpoint of inheritance. If children are alive, inheritance cannot be claimed from the sons of one’s brothers. Fakhr al-Raazi has included Abbas among the Prophet’s inheritors based on the view of his sect.

Clearly even according to the noted scholars of Ahle Tasannun, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) should have informed Fatima (s.a.) and Ali (a.s.) about Fadak being the property of Muslims instead of informing the rulers about it.

There was no reason for the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to inform the rulers and forget the true inheritors thus setting up a conflict after his demise.

Law of Islamic Shariah

In jurisprudence (fiqh), a report from someone unrelated to the subject is dismissed as unreliable and is never used as basis for passing law.

For instance, regarding the nullification of a man’s wuzu (ablutions) on touching his private part, there is a report to this effect on the authority of a lady – Basrah bint Safwan.

However, Ali (a.s.), Ammar (r.a.), Ibn Abbas, Abdullah Ibn Masood, Huzaifah Ibn Yaman (r.a.), etc do not consider the wuzu as nullified. If the report by Basrah bint Safwan was reliable, they would certainly have known about it.

And those who do believe in the nullification of wuzu from touching the privates, do not advance the report of Basrah bint Safwan as proof.

They reject report of Basrah because it is unlikely that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) would narrate a law to a person when it does not concern him / her, and he doesn’t narrate it to the one who is affected directly by it and hence there are intrinsic defects and the narration is deemed incorrect.

  • Sharh Fath al-Qadeer v 1 p 56
  • Masalah Fadak p 47

It is evident that the report – ‘Prophets do not leave behind inheritance’ is unreliable and cannot be used as the basis for depriving Fatima Zahra (s.a.) of the Fadak inheritance.

The report was clearly an attempt to rob the Bani Hashim of their dues and to cripple them financially so that they would never stand up to the oppressive rulers of the time.


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