The Muslim majority is aghast at suggestions that their beloved leaders / Sahabah could have attacked the house of Lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.), the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) beloved daughter. They dismiss the attack as Shiite fabrication.
This is the view of the common Muslim masses enamoured by their rulers and indoctrinated with the belief that the Sahabah are just (adil) and can do no wrong.
However, let us turn to better informed Muslim scholars and review their opinion of their beloved leader. We present two references.
- Shibli Nomani – the renowned Indian Salafi scholar writes:
The learned Tabari in his Tarikh al-Kabir has narrated a tradition to the effect that Umar, standing at the door of Fatima’s (s.a.) house, exclaimed ‘O daughter of the Prophet! I swear by God that we love you best of all but if your house continues any longer to be a rendezvous for conspiracy I will set fire to it on account of this.
The authority of this tradition is doubtful having not been able to glean particulars regarding its narrators, but there is no reason to deny the occurrence of this incident in the light of rationalization. Umar was a man of hot and irrational temper and such an act would not have been inconsistent with his nature.
- Al-Farooq v 1 p 92
Shibli Nomani does not have time or inclination to investigate further the attack on Lady Fatima Zahra’s (s.a.) house. Nonetheless he does not reject the possibility of the attack. This is because after writing twenty volumes of Al-Farooq he knows his subject well and understands that such an attack would have been consistent with his nature.
- Ibn Abil Hadid while recording the Battle of Jamal and the roles of Ayesha and Ali (a.s.) writes:
What she did with Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.), if she had done the same with Umar and had spread rebellion against him among the people, he would, after securing victory over her, have killed her, and cut her into pieces, but Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) was very forbearing and large-hearted.
- Sharh Nahj al-Balagha v 17 p 254
It is notable that Ibn Abil Hadid could simply have concluded that Ali (a.s.) was most forbearing and forgiving, which was innate to his nature. But he does not stop there. He finds it necessary to highlight Ali’s (a.s.) magnanimous nature by comparing it to another ruler and concludes that the latter was so harsh that he would have slaughtered Ayesha into pieces. The obvious point for Muslims to consider is – if he could have slaughtered the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) wife, why is it surprising if he is found guilty of attacking the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) daughter?!