In one of my visits to al-Madina al-Munawwara, when I was honored to visit the graves of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) in the well-known cemetery of Jannat al-Baqi, an old woman happen to meet me and asked in the Urdu language: Qubure Fatima kaha hai? (Where are the graves of Fatima?) I immediately thought that her sentence was wrong, and what she meant was qabre Fatima kaha hai (Where is the grave of Fatima?).
Obviously there is a difference of opinion on where she actually has been buried. Is it near the Prophet’s house in the Rawdha (the Aromatic and Paradisal Garden) as some traditions allude, or is it in Jannat al-Baqi’? Until now most of us are oblivious of the actual place. Perhaps, as some scholars opine, Fatima (peace be upon her) intentionally wanted her grave to be unknown, so that the future Muslims are led to question whether it is possible for the grave of the daughter of the noblest Messenger of Allah to be hidden. What do the books of history say? Why did Fatima (peace be upon her) not allow some of the contemporaries of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) to participate in her burial ceremony? Why did she prefer to be buried in secret? These are questions history has already answered. Those curious search for the truth.
Today the situation is worse than before. The graves of the four immaculate leaders of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) among other esteemed members of the Prophet’s family are blocked in such a way that the lovers of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) cannot even go near them or sometimes even utter any salutational prayer, just because a group of misinformed watchmen have been ordered by the Wahhabi leadership to discourage and even disturb anyone who does so.
Why all this disturbance? Is it really because of their concern for the people not to get astray or is it because of a kind of vacuum and jealousy they have been taught to harbor against the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them)? Or is ziyara a catalyst to ignite sparks of revolution and unity of the Umma? These are questions we must try to ponder upon and try to answer.
However, coming back to the question of the old woman, I must say that what she said was not grammatically improper. Yes Fatima does not have one grave. She has several graves: the heart of every lover of Fatima encapsulates Fatima (‘A). However much the kuffar try to spoil, destroy, and insult the edifices of the graves of the Ahl al-Bayt, as long as they reside in the hearts of their lovers, they would remain eternal.