Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sirat Al Zahra



A Short Account

Fatima was daughter of Prophet Muhammad. Her father was persecuted for preaching against idolatry. Fatima had to abandon her home, and migrate with her father. Fatima married Ali. They had 3 children. When her father died, there was a coup and new ruler took power. They took over her father’s property. Fatima demanded her right of inheritance be given to her. She got nothing. Ali refused to recognise the leader. Fatima’s home was attacked by the police. Ali was arrested. Fatima was severely injured, and later died as a result.

A Longer Account

Fatima Al Zahra was the daughter of Prophet Mohammed, the Messenger of God. She was born in Mecca, in the year 605. Her mother was Khadija, a Noble Lady of Mecca. Prophet and Khadija had married in 595. Prophet was then 25. Khadija was 30.

In the year 610, God sent Angel Gabriel to Mohammed and asked him deliver Divine Message to humanity. This was contained in Quran, the Holy book from God. Fatima’s father began preaching that there is one true God who created and is running the Universe. He said there is life after death. After people die, God will judge all you all. The good souls will be sent to Paradise for Eternal Life of happiness. The evil wrong doers will be punished in Fire of Hell. God and this Final Day of Judgement were the basic teaching of Prophet Mohammad.

The Meccans were polytheists. They were idol worshippers. They did not accept this message from God. They rejected the Prophet. They became his enemies. But they could not silence the Prophet because he had a powerful uncle, Abu Talib who supported him.

In the year 622, Fatima’s mother Khadija died. Fatima was 15. In the same year Prophet’s guardian and Protector Abu Talib also died. Prophet was now exposed. The Messenger of Almighty God was no longer welcome in his own city. Meccans began to persecute him. Fatima was no longer safe in her own house. Prophet asked God to find him a way out. Soon, the people of Medina, a town in north, invited the Prophet to come to their city and lead them. Men of Medina were good people. They wanted an honest man to lead them. Prophet decided to leave Mecca. Fatima also had to leave her home and go with her father. This migration from Mecca to Medina in the year 622 is called Hijra. It marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.

Fatima lived in Medina with her 52 year old father. She looked after him. When Fatima reached 18, proposals for marriage started to come to her father. Abu Bakr, Umar, and others came and asked her father for Fatima’s hand. Prophet consulted Fatima. But she turned them down, all except the proposal made by Ali. Fatima liked Ali. He was her choice. Fatima agreed to marry Ali. He was 23. She loved him. He loved her. They had two sons and one daughter. These were Hasan, Husayn and Zaynab. God blessed the family of the Prophet. After 10 years, her father died. She was 28. Fatima and her family faced persecution from the dictators and tyrants who ruled after the death of her holy father.

Prophet died in 632. Before his death Prophet had named her husband Ali as his successor. Prophet had also left Fatima his properties. These included Fadak, a garden of date palms, as well as other estates and wealth.

There was a secret take over of political power from Ali. Ali did not up rise for his right. He did not want to shed blood for power. He remained patient. The next ruler of Arabia was Abu Bakr. He usurped the right of Ali and he also took control of inheritance of Fatima. She went to see Abu Bakr. There in his court, she stood and demanded that he hand back what was rightfully hers. She did not get her father’s property. Abu Bakr deprived her of her right. Fatima publically condemned Abu Bakr and his supporters. Fatima returned home empty handed. She was denied her inheritances. Fatima was very angry with Abu Bakr. However, Fatima did not instigate a rebellion against Abu Bakr.

Abu Bakr demanded pledge of allegiance from Ali. Ali refused to recognise Abu Bakr as legitimate. Fatima’s husband was now in danger. Her home was under threat. Government agents led by Omar were sent arrest Ali. They stood outside Fatima’s house and shouted threats to Ali to come out and either accept Abu Bakr or die. In their hands were burning torches. Fatima tried to save Ali. She was pregnant at the time. Fatima told the agents to go away. But the agents attacked the house of Fatima. Fatima knew Ali would never bow to pressure, and then the agents would kill him. She tried to stop them from taking her husband. She refused to let them in her home. Police burned the door, and then broke it. She was standing behind the door. It fell upon her. Some nails went into her body. Ali tired to stop them. But they arrested him and tied him with ropes. Fatima fell on the floor. She got up to stop them. They hit her with a sword. It broke her hand. She again fell on the floor. One man kicked Fatima in the stomach for putting up such a resistance. Her husband was taken. Ali was dragged to Abu Bakr and his hand was forcibly place on the hand of Abu Bakr.

Fatima was severely injured during the attack. She had a miscarriage. Her unborn baby died. Ali again remained patient. He did not kill anyone, nor did he raise a rebellion. Fatima died six months later at the age of 28. Fatima was the first Martyr from Prophet’s Holy House. Fatima died for Ali. Days before her death, Fatima asked Ali to not allow Abu Bakr and his supporters to take part in her funeral. She requested Ali to bury her in the darkness of night. Ali carried out Fatima’s wishes. Only a few family and friends took part in the secret burial of Fatima’s body. No one knows the grave of Fatima to this day. Perhaps Fatima wanted good people to ask why her burial place is unknown. These events are written in ancient books of history of early muslims. For detailed account of the life of Lady Fatima, please refer to the full biographies.

God bless Fatima, her father, her husband, and her children.

[Seyyed Saklayn, 23 September 2012 U.K.]


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