Friday Series

fatima2

With Fatima’s (RA) story, I will not be moving chronologically like Khadejah’s (RA) but highlighting the many different roles she had and what we can learn from them. Her love story with Ali is very well known, and just like with Khadejah’s story, we get to see the complete love story, the good and bad.

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When we left off last week, Fatima’s (RA) beloved mother, Khadejah (RA), had just passed away. Fatima dealt with her mother’s loss with so much strength. “I do not know what to say except, Inna LilAllah wa inna elaihi ragioon (We are for God and it is to Him we return),” she said. “Oh Allah strengthen me in my mother’s death. I do not know whether to be sad at her death, or happy at the news Allah has given her (about her palace in Paradise).”

Fatima (RA) stood by her father through his grief with so much love, affection, compassion and care. She tried so hard to fill the gap that her incredible mother had left. She went wherever he went and protected her father as the pressure of the non-believers grew even harder on him. Their persecution became so intense that Mohammed ﷺ told all the Muslim to emigrate to Madinah where the Ansar would protect them. They had to emigrate in groups though, or else the disbelievers of Mecca would catch wind of what was happening. So while the Prophet ﷺ was in the first group that migrated, Fatima, Ruqayyah and Um Kulthoom were not. They stayed behind with Sawdah (RA), the widow their father had married to help raise them and take care of the household.

When the Prophet ﷺ migrated with the first group, his daughters were so worried about him and did not ease their worry until they got a message on his safe arrival. One night, weeks later, they got a knock on their door. It was Zaid Ibn Harithah sent by the Prophet Mohammed ﷺ to take them to Madinah. The excited girls started to ask all the questions that were burning them about their father’s safety and how things were for him in Madinah. They started to prepare for their journey in secret, as the non-believers did not know of Zaid’s presence in Mecca and were not to know that the Prophet’sﷺ family was preparing to migrate.

Along with the Prophet’s ﷺ family were other Muslims who had also stayed behind such as Abu Bakr’s household and the Prophet’s ﷺ uncle Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib. Fatima (RA) kept her mind focused on seeing her father as they endured the hardship of the long journey. When they finally arrived in Madinah, she ran into her father’s arms and they were both kissing and crying out of joy at seeing each other.

And so Fatima (RA) and her sisters settled into their new lives in Madinah. By this time, Fatima was a woman of eighteen and full of energy and passion with a personality that matched her father more than anyone else. This did not go unnoticed and many men started to come forward to ask her hand in marriage. First came Abu Bakr, and he was kindly refused by the Prophet ﷺ. Then came Umar, who was also kindly refused by the Prophet ﷺ. Umar went to Ali and suggested that he ask for Fatima’s (RA) hand. Ali was very much in love with her. However, Ali did not think that the Prophet ﷺ would accept his proposal, as he was very poor, especially when he saw that the proposals of two Companions were rejected. Umar reminded him of his family relationship with the Prophet ﷺ and his position in Islam and Ali became convinced that he might have a shot.

All Ali’s confidence melted away though when he finally got to the Prophet’s ﷺ house. He came inside, sat down and said nothing. “What is the matter, son of Abu Talib?” said the Prophet ﷺ. Ali was still too nervous to speak. The Prophet ﷺ asked again, “What is your mind, son of Abu Talib?” Again Ali said nothing. “You have come to ask for Fatima’s (RA) had in marriage, am I right?” Ali nodded. The Prophet ﷺ broke into a great smile and went and asked Fatima her opinion. When she approved, he told Ali that they accept his proposal. He then asked him if he had any dowry for her. Ali replied that he did not. “What about your shield?” asked the Prophet ﷺ? “It is worth barely more than 400 Dirhams,” said Ali. “I accept it as a dowry,” replied the Prophet ﷺ.

And so Ali sold his shield for 400 Dirhams and with the dowry the Prophet ﷺtold Bilal to buy some perfume for Fatima (RA) and he told Um Salama to buy her some new dresses. On the day of their wedding, their zaffa included all the Companians- Anas Ibn Malik, Abu Bakr, Umar, Talhah, Zubair and other Ansar and migrant friends. The food was dates that were offered to the guests. The wedding zaffa took them from Madinah to the outskirts of the city where Ali had found a home, as he couldn’t afford a place in the city.

Their house was a humble small room. It had a bed, a pillow filled with date leaves, a plate, a glass, a leather water bag, and a grinding stone for grinding flour. On their wedding night, the Prophet ﷺ told Ali and Fatima to wait for him in their new house. After Isha prayer, the Prophet ﷺ went to their house and asked for some water, which he used to make wudu, supplication, and said, “ Oh Allah bless them and bless their offspring.” He addressed Ali as his brother and asked him to place his hand on Fatima’s (RA) head and repeat some duaas. He then placed Ali’s hand on Fatima’s hand and advised them how to honor each other as husband and wife. “Ali do not get angry, and if you do, sit down. Remember Allah’s power over His servants and His tolerance of their sins. If you are advised to fear Allah, abandon your anger and go back to your deliberateness.” After he had given them all the advice he was walking out the door when he turned and said to them that they should pray two rakkahs.

So began the married life of Ali and Fatima (RA). Fatima was very much in love with Ali and content to live with him in poverty. He would work hard labor all day and she would too, grinding flour and working with her hands. So much so that the skin between her fingers was dead and her hands were always sore, as was Ali’s back. Ali, hating to see his wife in pain, once asked Fatima to see if her father could get her a maid from one of the prisoners of war. Her father refused saying it was a conflict of interest and told her he would give her something better than a maid. Her told her to recite Subhannallah (Glory be to Allah) thirty three times, Alhamdullilah (All praise be to Allah) thirty three times, and AllahuAkbar (Allah is greatest) thirty three times before going to sleep and it would give them the energy and strength they needed for the upcoming day. Ali said that he did that every night before he went to sleep, even during battles, and it gave him unbelievable strength.

At one point, Ali was thinking about marrying the daughter of Abu Jahl. This greatly upset Fatima (RA) and the Prophet ﷺ. It became such a big deal that the Prophet ﷺ gave his Friday sermon about it. He said that he cannot make Haram that of which is Halal, but when a man is to choose another wife, he must not make a decision that would greatly hurt his wife. He said that Fatima was a part of him, and anything that displeased her, displeased him. The daughter of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and the daughter of his enemy could not be married to the same man. Ali immediately went and apologized to Fatima (RA) and she accepted his apology.

Another time, Ali and Fatima (RA) had gotten into a fight and he had walked out of the house. The Prophet ﷺ went to go visit his daughter as he does everyday and asked her where Ali was. She told him that he walked out. The Prophet ﷺ went and found Ali sleeping on the ground near the Mosque and covered in dirt. Prophet Mohammed ﷺ started to gently wipe the dirt off of his son in law and told him that it would be best for him to go home.

Just as their marriage has some rough times, like all marriages do, the majority of Ali and Fatima’s (RA) marriage was a happy one. The Prophet ﷺ would say that he would pass by their house and he could hear their laughter from far away. One time he was visiting them when he heard them laughing and entered and asked what was so funny. Ali said that Fatima (RA) keeps saying that she is older than him and he keeps telling her that she is not. The Prophet ﷺ said to Fatima that indeed Ali is five years older than her. “I know! I am just teasing Ali,” she replied. Ali used to always recite romantic poetry to her, many times funny ones that would make her laugh. Their children were raised in a household that was full of so much love.

Fatima (RA) and Ali were very devoted to Islam and integrated Islamic principles in their daily lives. One day, they were breaking their fast, when there was a knock on the door. Ali asked who it was and the person replied “a poor, hungry man”. Ali and Fatima (RA) gave him all of their food and broke their fast with only bread and water. The next day, they were breaking their fast when there was another knock on the door. This time it was “an orphan who is homeless and starving.” Again Ali and Fatima (RA) gave him all their food and broke their fast with bread and water. On the third day, at the knock on the door there was “a captive.” Once again Ali and Fatima (RA) at only bread and water as they gave all their food to the man. It was said that these three people were all angel Jibreel who was sent to test the patience of Ali and Fatima (RA).  It was also said that Jibreel told Prophet Mohammed ﷺ about this and informed him that Ali and Fatima (RA) will have a carriage of silver in Paradise. Some scholars believe that it was this incident that caused the revelation of this verse:

{And they give food, in spite of their love for it [or the love of Him] to the needy, the orphan, and the captive [saying], ‘We feed you seeking Allah’s countenance only. We wish for no reward or thanks from you.} –Holy Quran, 76: 8-9

Ali and Fatimah had a beautiful marriage that was an example for us, as many stories were at that time.

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Look for next week’s part of Fatima’s (RA) story as we talk about Fatima’ (RA) as a daughter (my favorite one).

*Concerning the story of Ali marrying Abu Jahl’s daughter, I really believe this story came about as a lesson to the men of the generations that would follow. As Dr. Amr Khalid explained it, it was meant to tell men to choose wisely if you are marrying a second wife. Do not marry someone that is close to your wife such as her best friend, co-worker, maid, employee, etc. as this will make it even harder on her.

*When Ali came to ask for her hand in marriage, he was worried that he would be refused because he had no money-just as her father did when he came to marry Khadejah. Subhannallah how parallel the stories are.

*Also, something to note, when Mohammed ﷺ was an orphan he grew up in Ali’s house for a while (Ali was very young) and when Ali was very young, he was raised in Mohammed’s ﷺ house. So their mindset was very much the same and thus was Fatima’s. This is one of the reasons that Ali and Fatima got along so well. Her father refused Umar and Abu Bakr, even though they were great men and chose the man who would understand his daughter best. These are examples to consider when choosing a spouse in our time.

*When the Prophet ﷺ came to bring Ali back home after the fight, he did not get involved and ask what happened between them. He just suggested that Ali go mend things with his wife.

Do you see any other lessons we can learn from this story? I would love to know what you think.

Read the rest of the series:

Part 1-Early Life

Part 3-Fatima, the daughter

Part 4-Fatima, the mother

Part 5-The Legacy

Qub, Muammad ʻAlī. Women around the Messenger. Riyadh: International Islamic House, 2007. Print.

Ghadanfar, Mahmood Ahmad., Jamila Muhammad. Qawi, Sheikh Safiur-Rahman. Al-Mubarakpuri, Muhammad Ayub. Sapra, and Muhammad Farooq. Great Women of Islam: Who Were given the Good News of Paradise. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2001. Print.

“Amr Khalid- Assayida Fatima.” YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuUTkOxsg8o>.



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Comments

  1. What a beautiful story. I loved the parallels and the emotion highlighted on behalf of Fatima, Ali and the Prophet pbuh. I especially loved the bit about Prophet Muhammad pbuh discussing the issuing of Ali taking a second wife during a khotba. Some people tend to forget his balance in all things,

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