Fatima (sa), the Daughter of Muhammad (S) -Birth to Death.

Fatima (ع) Daughter of Muhammad (ص):  Fatima (615 – 632 A.D.), mother of the Imams (ع), is the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (ص) by...

Fatima (ع) Daughter of Muhammad (ص): Fatima (615 – 632 A.D.), mother of the Imams (ع), is the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (ص) by his first wife, Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid, may the Almighty be pleased with her. Fatima was born in Mecca on a Friday, the 20th of Jumada II in the fifth year after the declaration of the Prophetic message which corresponds, according to the Christian calendar, to the year 615.
She was only 18 and 75 days when she died in Medina few days only (some say 75) after the death of her revered father (ص): The Prophet (ص) passed away on Safar 28/May 28 according to the Christian Gregorian calendar, or the 25th according to the Julian calendar, of the same year.
Fatima passed away on the 14th of Jumada I of 11 A.H. which corresponded to August 7, 632 A.D. She was buried somewhere in the graveyard of Jannatul-Baqi' in Medina in an unmarked and unknown grave. According to her will, her husband, Imam Ali (ع), did not leave any marks identifying her grave, and nobody knows where it is. According to Shiite Muslims, she was the only daughter of the Holy Prophet (ص).
Fatima has nine names/titles: Fatima فاطمة, al-Siddiqa الصديقة (the truthful one), al-Mubaraka المباركة (the blessed one), al-Tahira الطاهرة (the pure one), al-Zakiyya الزكية (the chaste one), al-Radhiayya الرضية (the grateful one), al-Mardhiyya المرضية (the one who shall be pleased [on Judgment Day]), al-Muhaddatha المحدثة (the one, other than the Prophet, to whom an angel speaks) and al-Zahra الزهراء (the splendid one).
The Prophet (ص) taught Fatima ‎(‎ع‎) divine knowledge and endowed her with special intellectual brilliance, so much so that she realized the true meaning of faith, piety, and the reality of Islam. But Fatima ‎(‎ع‎) also was a witness to sorrow and a life of anguish from the very beginning of her life. She constantly saw how her revered father was mistreated by the unbelievers and later how she herself fell a victim to the same abuse, only this time by some “Muslims”.
A number of chronicles quote her mother, Khadija, narrating the following about the birth of her revered daughter: “At the time of Fatima’s birth, I sent for my neighboring Qurayshite women to assist me. They flatly refused, saying that I had betrayed them by marrying and supporting Muhammad. I was perturbed for a while when, to my great surprise, I saw four strange tall women with halos around their faces approaching me.
Finding me dismayed, one of them addressed me thus, ‘O Khadija! I am Sarah, mother of Ishaq (Isaac). The other three are: Mary mother of Christ, Asiya daughter of Muzahim and Umm Kulthum sister of Moses. We have all been commanded by God to put our nursing knowledge at your disposal.’ Saying this, all of them sat around me and rendered the services of midwifery till my daughter Fatima was born.”
The motherly blessings and affection received by Fatima (ع) were only for five years after which Khadija left for her heavenly home. The Holy Prophet brought her up thereafter.
The Holy Prophet said: “Whoever injures (bodily or otherwise) Fatima, he injures me; and whoever injures me injures Allah; and whoever injures Allah practices unbelief. O Fatima! If your wrath is incurred, it incurs the wrath of Allah; and if you are pleased, it makes Allah pleased, too.”
M.H. Shakir writes the following: “Fatima, the only daughter of the Holy Prophet of Islam, was born in Mecca on 20th of Jumada al-Thaniya 18 B.H. (Before Hijra). The good and noble lady Khadija and the Apostle of Allah bestowed all their natural love, care and devotion on their lovable and only child, Fatima, who in her turn was extremely fond of her parents. The Princess of the House of the Prophet was very intelligent, accomplished and cheerful. Her speeches, poems and sayings serve as an index to her strength of character and nobility of mind. Her virtues gained her the title ‘Our Lady of Light’. She was moderately tall, slender and endowed with great beauty which caused her to be called ‘az-Zahra’ (the Lady of Light)".
Fatima (ع) was called az-Zahra' because her light used to shine among those in the heavens. After arriving in Medina, she was married to Ali in the first year of Hijra, and she gave birth to three sons. Her sons were: Hassan, Hussain, Masters of the youths of Paradise, and Muhsin. Muhsin never saw the light because he was aborted as his mother was behind her house door fending for herself while rogues were trying to break into it and force her husband to swear the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr. She had two daughters, Zainab, the heroine of Kerbala, and Umm Kulthum. Her children are well-known for their piety, righteousness and generosity. Their strength of character and actions changed the course of history.
The Holy Prophet said فاطمة بضعة مني, "Fatima is part of me". He would go out to receive his daughter whenever she came from her husband's house. Every morning on his way to the Mosque, he would pass by Fatima's house and say, "as-Salamu `alaykum ya Ahla Bay annnubuwwah wa ma`din arr-risala " (Peace be with you, O Ahl al-Bayt (Household of the Prophet) and the Substance of the Message).
Fatima (ع) is famous and acknowledged as the "Sayyidatu nisa '1-`alamin" (Leader of all the women of the world for all times) because the Prophethood of Muhammad would not have been everlasting without her. The Prophet is the perfect example for men, but could not be so for women. For all the verses revealed in the Holy Qur'an for women, Fatima is the perfect model, who translated every verse into action. In her lifetime, she was a complete woman, being Daughter, Wife and Mother at the same time.
Fatima inherited the genius and wisdom, the determination and will power, piety and sanctity, generosity and benevolence, devotion and worship of Allah, self-sacrifice and hospitality, forbearance and patience, knowledge and nobility of disposition of her illustrious father, both in words and in actions. “I often witnessed my mother,” says Imam Husain, "absorbed in prayer from dusk to dawn."
Her generosity and compassion for the poor was such that no destitute or beggar ever returned from her door empty-handed. She (ع) worked, dressed, ate and lived very simply. She was very generous; and none who came to her door ever went away empty handed. Many times she gave away all the food she had had, staying without any food at all. As a daughter, she loved her parents so much that she won their love and regard to such an extent that the Holy Prophet (ص) used to stand up whenever she came to him.

Fatima's oppressed.

hroughout her life, Fatima (ع) never spoke to those who had oppressed her and deprived her of her rightful claims. She kept her grief to herself. During her sickness which preceded her death, she requested that her oppressors should be kept away even from attending her funeral. Her ill-wishers even resorted to physical violence.
Once the door of her house was pushed on her, and the child she was carrying was hurt and the baby-boy was stillborn. This incident took place, and it is very well documented by Shi’ite and Sunni historians and chroniclers, when ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab was urging, sometimes even beating, people to go to the Prophet’s Mosque to swear allegiance to his friend, Abu Bark.
‘Umar promoted Abu Bakr to the seat of “caliph”, being the very first person to swear allegiance to him after being convinced that it would not be long before he, too, would occupy the same seat. Fatima’s house was set on fire.
Having been mistreated and stricken with grief, which crossed all limits of forbearance and endurance, she expressed her sorrows in an elegy which she composed to mourn her father the Holy Prophet (ص). In that elegy, she makes a particular reference to her woeful plight saying, after having taken a handful of earth from her father’s grave, putting it on her eyes, crying and saying..
What blame should be on one who smells Ahmed’s soil
That he shall never smell any precious person at all?
Calamities have been poured on me (like waters boil)
Were they poured on days, they would become nights.
In the shade of Muhammad, I enjoyed all protection
And he was my beauty, and I feared no oppression,
But now I surrender to the lowly and fear I am done
Injustice, pushing my oppressor with only my gown.
So, if a dove cries during its night, forlorn,
Out of grief on its twig, I cry in my morn.
So, I shall after you let grief be a companion for me,
And my tears that mourn you my cover they shall be.

On p. 218, Vol. 2, of al-Tabari’s Tarikh (Dar al-Amira for Printing, Publishing and Distribution, Beirut, Lebanon, 2005), it is stated that when Fatima could not get her inheritance, Fadak, from Abu Bakr, she boycotted him and never spoke to him till her death.
The death of the Apostle, affected her very much and she was very sad and grief-stricken and wept her heart out crying all the time. Unfortunately, after the death of the Prophet, the Government confiscated her famous land of Fadak. Fatima (ع) was pushed behind her home door (when they attacked Ali’s house and took him away in order to force him to accept the caliphate of Abu Bakr), so the fetus she was carrying, namely Muhsin, was subsequently aborted.
‘Umar ibn al-Khattab ordered his servant, Qunfath, to set her house on fire, an incident which is immortalized by verses of poetry composed by the famous Egyptian poet Hafiz Ibrahim which is reproduced here but without English translation. The author has preferred not to translate it in order not to hurt the feelings of his Sunni brethren, especially non-Arabs:

On p. 220, Vol. 2, of al-Tabari’s Tarikh (Arabic text), it is stated that the Holy Prophet (ص) remained unburied for three days. His sacred body finally received the burial bath by his cousin and son-in-law, Fatima’s husband Ali (ع). Besides Ali (ع), those who attended the burial of the Prophet (ص) were: al-Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib, his son al-Fadhl, Qutham ibn al-Abbas, Usamah ibn Zaid, and Shuqran, a freed slave of the Prophet (ص), according to the same page. According to Ibn Ishaq, Aws ibn Khawli, who had taken part in the Battle of Badr, earnestly requested Ali (ع) to let him assist in burying the Messenger of Allah (ص) which the Commander of the Faithful accepted (ع).
The tragedy of her father's death and the unkindness of her father's followers, were too much for the good, gentle and sensitive lady and she breathed her last on Jumda I 14, 11 A.H., exactly seventy-five days after the death of her revered father, the Holy Prophet of Islam. Grieved about the way she was treated by certain “sahaba” of the Prophet (ص), the confiscation of her property, Fadak, the aborting of her son, Musin, and the confiscation of the right to caliphate from her husband, Ali, were all too much for her, so much so that they eventually put an end to her life when she was in the prime of her life at the age of eighteen, although historians provide different dates, and was buried in Jannatul-Baqi', Medina.

Fatima's Death.
On p. 218, Vol. 2, of al-Tabari’s Tarikh, al-Tabari says,
فدفنها علي ليلا، و لم يؤذن بها أبا بكر
“Ali buried her at night, and Abu Bakr did not call the athan (to announce her death).”
Fatima (ع) did not survive more than seventy-five days after the demise of her father. She breathed her last on the 14th Jumdi I, 11 A.H. Before her demise, she told her will to her husband, Imam Ali (ع), thus:
1. O Ali, you will personally perform my funeral rites.
2. Those who have displeased me should not be allowed to attend my funeral.
3. My corpse should be carried to the graveyard at night.
Thus, Imam Ali (ع), in compliance with her will, performed all the funeral rites and accompanied exclusively by her relatives and sons carried her at night to Jannatu'l-Baqi `, where she was laid to rest and her wishes fulfilled.
Having buried her, in the darkness of the night, her husband, the Commander of the Faithful Ali (ع) composed these verses of poetry:
Why did I stand at the graves to greet,
The tomb of the loved one, but it did not respond?
O loved one! Why do you not answer us?
Have you forgotten the friendship among loved ones?
The loved one said: How can I answer you
While I am held hostage by soil and stones?
Earth has eaten my beauties, so I forgot about you,
And I now am kept away from family and peers;
So, peace from me to you, the ties are now cut off
And so are the ties with loved ones.
On p. 136 of Dalaa’il al-Imama دلائل الامامة, we are told that those who attended Fatima’s burial in the darkness of the night were, besides her husband Ali (ع), none other than both her sons al-Hassan and al-Hussain (ع), her daughters Zainab and Umm Kulthum, her maid Fidda and Asmaa daughter of Umays. The author, as quoted on p. 92, Vol. 10 of the newly published edition of Bihar al-Anwar, adds the following:
In the morning of the eve in which she (Fatima) was buried, al-Baqi’ was found to have forty new graves. When the Muslims came to know about her death, they went to al-Baqi’ where they found forty freshly built graves, so they were confused and could not identify her grave from among all of them. People fussed and blamed each other. They said, “Your Prophet left only one daughter among you. She dies and is buried while you do not attend her demise or perform the prayers for her or even know where her grave is.”
Those in authority among them said, “Bring from among the Muslims’ women those who would inter these graves till we find her, perform the prayers for her and visit her grave.” The report reached the Commander of the Faithful, Allah’s blessings with him, so he came out furious, his eyes reddened, his veins swollen and wearing his yellow outer garment which he always put on whenever there was trouble, leaning on his sword, Thul-Fiqar, till he reached al-Baqi’. A warner rushed to people to warn them saying, “Here is Ali ibn Abu Talib has come as you can see, swearing by Allah that if anyone moves a brick of these graves, he will kill each and every one of them.”
He was met by ‘Umar [ibn al-Khattab] and some of his companions and said, “What is wrong with you, O father of al-Hassan?! By Allah, we shall inter her grave, and we shall perform the [funeral] prayers for her.” Ali (ع) took hold of ‘Umar’s garment, shook him and threw him on the ground and said, “O son of the black woman! As regarding my right [to succeed the Prophet as the caliph], I have abandoned it for fear people might revert from their religion. As for Fatima’s grave, I swear by the One Who holds Ali’s soul in His hands that if you and your fellows want to do any such thing, I shall let the earth drink of your blood, all of you; so, if you want, stay away from it, O ‘Umar.”
Abu Bakr met him and said, “O father of al-Hassan! By the right of the Messenger of Allah (ص) and by the right of the One on the Arsh, leave him, for we shall not do anything which you dislike.” Ali (ع) left ‘Umar alone. People dispersed and did not make any further attempt. This incident shows the reader how Abu Bakr was blessed with a higher degree of wisdom than ‘Umar.

Following are verses of poetry in honor of Fatima, Head of the Women of Mankind, composed by the late Shaikh Muhsin Abu al-Hubb Senior presented to all ladies who descended from Fatima:
When they mention Eve, I say that Fatima is her pride,
Or if Mary is mentioned, I say that Fatima is superior.
Can anyone underestimate a father such as Muhammad?
Or does Mary have a lion cub more brave than Fatima’s?
Each had a status at her birth that puzzles sages’ minds:
This to her date tree resorted, so of fresh ripe dates she ate,
Giving birth to Jesus without fright, how so when the guard
Is the most brave night sojourner?
And to the wall and the door’s slab did this resort,
Prophet’s daughter, so she aborted what she was bearing.
She fell, and her fetus [Muhsin] fell with her, surrounded by
Every one of a mean descent and lowly birth:
This rogue rebukes her, that one reprimands her,
This one dismisses her, that one even kicks her…
Though before her was the lion of lions being led
By the rope…, so, is there a greater calamity?
Fatima will come on the Judgment Day to complain
To the Lord of the Heavens, and she will wail,
And you will know who her fetus was, why she wails
Why she presents a complaint from which the heavens shake:
“Lord! My inheritance and my husband’s right did they confiscate
“And, moreover, all my sons did they kill, O Lord!”

Here is a poem composed by the Christian poet Abdul-Maseeh al-Antaki (of Antioch city) in praise of Fatima al-Zahra (ع), for those who agree with our [religious] views and those who do not have all testified to Fatima’s distinction: She is the Mistress of all Women of Mankind from the early generations to the very last:
Among women, hers is a unique birth:
No other daughter of Eve comes to her distinctions close.
One from whose forehead the sun’s rays shine,
From her standing places glitter glows.
She is the peer of the honored one and only who
In his feats and supreme honors is her only match.
Arabs seek competent peers for daughters to marry
A tradition which they refuse to forgo.
Any marriage without a competent peer they regard
As a shame on them that debases them among peers.
Who can match in lineage the daughter of the Chosen one?
Who among the Arabs in honors matches her?
Who suits Taha (ص) to be his son-in-law,
A marriage tie that brings happiness to one who wins it
Other than Ali, the one loved by the Chosen One?
He accepted Guidance since the Messenger called for it.
Next to the Chosen One, he is the best of Quraish
Since the Almighty created its souls.
And he is the hero of Islam well known
By those wars that raised his status.

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