Fatima – The best of role-models for Muslim women


The woman of the world stands at a crossroads, faced with two choices. The question arises, an ignited flame – flickering in her mind: “Who am I?”

She turns to one side and finds: the path of the traditional woman, defined by culture and tradition. She turns to the other and sees: the path of the so-called modern woman, applauded as liberated and independent (Shariati 65). Will she be one, the other, neither, a mixture of the two?

Which shall she choose?

In Arabia 1400 years ago, they used to bury their daughters out of fear of poverty and disgrace. Today, though it is not at birth, our communities continue to bury our women. On one hand, there is the traditional woman, who, though she is the backbone of the home, is a victim of oppressive customs – many of which unfortunately manifest themselves in so-called ‘Muslim’ communities. When she is a daughter, she is under the rule of her father or brothers. Islam grants her the right to an education, but it is kept from her. When she is married, Islam gives her the right to choose her husband, yet if she denies a suitor, she receives the harsh kiss of acid which leaves her disfigured. If she accepts a suitor (or is forced into doing so) she lives with a thousand fears, including domestic violence and emotional abuse. Islam gives her the right to divorce, but her husband refuses to grant it. When her husband dies, she worries for her life. Islam grants her the right of inheritance, but his family would rather kill her than let her claim it. And even when this fear is not there, she is cast off as a widow, rebuked and abandoned by society.
Every right that Islam has given to her is taken away. The world she lives in establishes a patriarchal system which Islam has never supported, creating distinctions between boys and girls that Islam has never drawn. It says men should learn, become professionals, excel socially, intellectually, spiritually; and yet, women, the progenitors of humankind, should not learn, should not pursue certain professions, should stay in the home, should not speak out, should repress every natural right that has been granted to them by God. “And all of this occurs in the name of Islam…and worst of all, in similarity to Fatima” (Shariati 133).

If this is our mindset then by God we should tremble, because in this statement, we have become unjust to women, and unjust to the woman who is Fatima (s).

Is it any surprise that when our women are living through such nightmares, that when they are offered the illusive dream presented by the ‘modern’ woman, they jump at it? They have been told “Don’t,” so many times, that when this mirage of a woman comes and says, “Do!”; when this new community comes and tells her, “Embrace your beauty!”; when they exclaim, “Education? Yes! Freedom? Sure! A happy life? Yours!”… All the things Islam had to offer her to begin with, but which she now accepts, not through the dignity Islam granted to a woman, but through the voluntary enslavement into a consumer society which really only sees her a cog in their machine.

All because her old community was so steeped in tradition, that it clung to the shell of Fatima (s), but ignored the core. Who overstressed Hijab and the household role, but did not stress with the same fervor her education, activism, and social freedom. And by doing so, created a vacuum where others were able to come in and manipulate women into thinking that they were gaining rights, while actually, they were giving them away.

So what should our women do? Which path should they choose when neither of the two fulfills their intrinsic desire to achieve perfection? The answer lies in the fact that there is a third road. This third type of woman realizes that society has taken her away from who she is and has turned her into who it wants her to be (Shariati 23). She was asleep, and now she is awake, and, not wanting to become someone else’s idea, she urgently asks herself, “Who am I?”

She wants to find her core, she does not want to be a shell. “She wants to make decisions through reason and choice and relate them…to a society that has received its spirit and origins from Islam…She wants to build herself, by herself. She wants to be reborn” (Shariati 23-24). “(She) need(s) a model, an ideal example…For (her), the problem of ‘Who am I? How do I become?’ is urgent. (And it is the personality of Fatima who)…answers (these) questions” (Shariati 2) because Fatima (s) is a woman of that third path.

If our communities want to save our women—if, as women, we want to save ourselves—from this great injustice of not knowing who we are, of being pulled by voices outside the home, and chained by voices inside the home, we must first learn to distinguish what is religion, and what is custom. It is only by doing so that we will be able to save those who are fleeing from misrepresentations of the actual truth, to well-represented falsehoods.

Second, we must revive the true personality of Bibi Fatima (s). If it is “revived and introduced properly, scientifically, consciously” both men and women (because although we speak of her mostly in relation to women, Bibi Fatima (s) is a role model for men as well) will not search outside for freedom; they will know that there is a magnificent symbol in our “own history and religion…(who can) be followed (as the ultimate model of) self-reconstruction” (Shariati, Our Expectations of the Muslim Woman).

“Fire tests gold.”

If there has been anyone who has walked through fire and emerged untouched, it has been Bibi Fatima. A woman whose values do “not change or grow old, nor do they depend upon the customs of the social, cultural or economic systems” (Shariati, Our Expectations). We must rediscover this woman—whose childhood was spent giving her father strength as he called the people to Mercy; whose youth was spent in the heart of a movement whose values shook the world; whose maturing years were spent “in the political fire of her times,” with her never sitting unaware at home of what was happening, but rather taking active involvement in promoting truth and justice (Shariati 254).

Even after her father’s death, even when truth was lowered and falsehood was raised, she did not become inactive. When she stood up to claim her inheritance, she was not rising in order to simply claim a piece of land. What use does she have for a piece of earth, when she is promised the expanse of the heavens? No, Bibi Fatima (s) rose to show that injustice parading under the guise of Justice is the most dangerous of all; she rose to reveal that if someone uses Islam as an excuse to take away your rights, they are following an Islam of their own creation. That, as a Muslim woman, your ethical purity should never inhibit you from fulfilling your social responsibility (Shariati 254); that God has sanctioned your ability to rise and reclaim what is rightfully yours.

Women of the world, standing at a crossroads: the heat of your question’s flame is fierce as it blazes in your mind. As you harness the river’s power to quench its burn, remember — you were not made for a life of mediocrity. You were made for a life of greatness.

The only woman who can save us is not the traditional woman, nor the so-called modern woman, but the woman who recreates herself to be who God meant her to be—a glorious force that rises to the pinnacle of perfection; who sees humanity suffering and realizes she must do something; who stands to speak, who sits to write, who establishes organizations, creating and promoting safe spaces for those who find themselves without support; who, walking in the footsteps of Bibi Fatima (s), will face hardship and suffering but never bow to them; who will walk through fire and come out gold, who will die a thousand deaths in order to be reborn—

Because she knows that, over a thousand years ago, when Prophet Muhammad (s) held Bibi Fatima (s) to the sky, this newborn girl; when he put her in his arms and not a grave of sand; he was not only saving a daughter, but a legacy. By calling her “the woman among women of the world,” he neither intended to make an idol of her for us to worship, nor a victim for us to mourn, but rather a model and a symbol to emulate.


In Arabia 1400 years ago, they used to bury their daughters out of fear of poverty and disgrace. Today, though it is not at birth, our communities continue to bury our women. So many of them are drowning, are still suffocating in those burning sands, sands of both ancient traditions and modern practices. In this new desert, let us make sure we not burying, but saving; not letting go, but holding on. Let us, like the Prophet, cradle our daughters in our arms, and lift them to the sky—and so doing, lift the destiny of all women.

And when we do so, we will hear two cries that echo the life of Bibi Fatima (s): the first of sorrow, when we, as women, take in the scene, see the unmarked graves of all our fallen sisters…and the second of resolve, as we raise our voices in a renewed struggle for justice, realizing how beautiful it is to be reborn.

Shariati, Ali. Fatima is Fatima. Trans. Laleh Bakhtiar. Tehran: Shariati Foundation, n.d. Play And Learn. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. http://gadir.free.fr/eng/books/FatimaIsFatima.pdf.

Shariati, Ali. “Our Expectations of the Muslim Woman.” 17 Apr. 2014.


Sayings about high status of Fatimah Az-Zahraa (AS)

By: Faez Karimi

Fatimah Az-Zahraa (AS), daughter of Prophet of Allah Muhammad bin Abdullah (SAWW) and Queen of Arabia Khadija-tol Kobra (AS), was born in the holy city of Medinah on Jamadi Ath-Thaniah 20. Here are some traditions on her status:

Prophet (SAWW)’s sayings:

“Whoever hurts Fatima, hurts me, and whoever hurts me, hurts Allah, exalted be His Majesty!”

Ibn Majah, Sunan, vol. I, p. 644.

“Allah becomes wrathful for Fatima’s anger, and is pleased at her pleasure.”

Musnad Ahmad, vol. 5, p. 26, Ryadh An-Nadherah, vol. 2, p. 194.

“The most excellent among the women of the world are: Maryam (as) daughter of ‘Imran (that is, the virgin Mary, mother of prophet Esa), Asiyah (as) daughter of Muzahim (wife of Pharaoh), Khadijah (as) daughter of Khuwailid and Fatima (as) daughter of Muhammad.”

Muslim Ibn Hajjaj, Sahih, Halabi Press Cairo, n.d. (2 vols.) vol. II, p. 370-371.

The Prophet having spread over Fatima, Ali, Hassan and Hussein a khaybarite (a mantle made from the region of Khaybar) mantle and prayed saying: “O Allah, these are the People of my Household, remove all abomination from them and keep them purified as is the right to keep them purified!” Umm Salamah said: “I too, O Apostle of Allah, I am of the People of your House!” He answered: “Your lot shall be good!”

A condensed version of: The Event of Cloak. Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari narrates on the authority of Lady Fatima

what others say about Fatima (AS):

“I never saw a man more beloved of the Apostle of Allah than ‘Ali, or a woman more dear to him than Fatima.” Tradition from Aishah.
The Commander of the Faithful said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah, ‘Who is more beloved to you, Fatima or I?’ He answered, ‘Fatima is more beloved to me, and you are dearer to me than she is.'” Muslim transmitters.
“Fatima is the most excellent of all the women of the world.” Tradition from Anas ibn Malik.
‘Abdu ‘r-Rahman ibn ‘Awf’ said: “I heard the Apostle of Allah say, ‘I am a tree, Fatima is its trunk and Ali is its pollen. Hassan and Hussein are its fruits, and our followers (Shi’ah) are its leaves. The roots of the tree are in the Garden of Eden, and its trunk, fruits and leaves are in Paradise.’ ” Muslim transmitters
Sunni traditions in her praise:

The Prophet (s) said, “The most beloved of my family to me is Fatima.”
Al-Jami’ al-Sagheer, v. 1, #203, p. 37; Al-Sawaiq Al-Muhariqa, p. 191; Yanabi’ Al-Mawadda, v. 2, ch. 59, p. 479; Kenz Al-Omal, v. 13, p. 93.
The Prophet (s) said, “Fatima is more beloved to me than you, oh Ali, and you are dearer to me than her.”
Majma’ Al-Zawa’id, v. 9, p. 202; Al-Jami’ Al-Sagheer, v. 2, p. 654, n. 5761; Muntakhab Kenz Al-Omal, v. 5, 97; Asad Al-Ghaba, v. 5, p. 522; Yanabi’ Al-Mawadda, v. 2, ch. 56, p. 79; Al-Sawaiq Al-Muhariqa, ch. 3, p. 191.
The Prophet (s) said, “The verse of purification was revealed concerning five people: myself, Ali, Hassan, Hussein, and Fatima.”
Is’af Al-Raghibeen, p. 116; Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fadha’il Al-Sahaba.
The Prophet (s) said, “The first people to enter Paradise will be Ali and Fatima.”
Nur Al-Absar, p. 52; related by similar wording in Kenz Al-Omal, v. 13, p. 95.
The Prophet (s) said, “The head of the women of Paradise is Fatima.”
Kenz Al-Omal, v. 13, p. 94; Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab Al-Fadha’il, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima; Al-Bidaya wa Al-Nihaya, v. 2, p. 61.
The Prophet (s) said, “Oh, Ali, Jibreel has informed me that God has married you to Fatima.”
Manaqib Al-Imam Ali from Al-Riyadh Al-Nudhra, p.141.
The Prophet (s) said, “I am not pleased unless Fatima is pleased.”
Manaqib Al-Imam Ali of Ibn Al-Maghazali, p. 342.
The Prophet (s) said, “Oh, Ali, God has commanded me to marry you to Fatima.”
Al-Sawaiq Al-Muhariqa,. ch. 4, p. 142; Dakha’ir Al-Uqubi, p. 30 & 31; Tadhkirat Al-Khawas, p. 276; Manaqib Al-Imam Ali from Al-Riyadh Al-Nudhra, p. 141;
Nur Al-Absar, p. 53.
The Prophet (s) said, “All the children of a mother are attributed to their fatherly relation except the sons of Fatima.”
Al-Sawaiq Al-Muhariqa, p. 156 & 187; related in similar words in Mustadrak Al-Sahihain, v. 3, p. 179; Kenz All-Omal, v. 13, p. 101; Is’af Al-Raghibeen quoted in the appendix of Nur Al-Absar, p. 144.
The Prophet (s) said, “The Mehdi is from my family, from the sons of Fatima.”
Al-Sawaiq Al-Muhariqa, p. 237.
The Prophet (s) said, “Verily, God has weaned (fatama in Arabic) my daughter Fatima and her children and those who love them from the Hellfire, and that is why she is named Fatima.”
Kenz Al-Omal, v. 6, p. 219.
The Prophet (s) said, “Fatima is part of me. Whatever upsets her upsets me, and whatever harms her harms me.”
Sahih Muslim, v. 5, p. 54; Khasa’is Al-Imam Ali of Nisa’i, p. 121-122; Masabih Al-Sunnah, v. 4, p. 185; Al-Isabah, v. 4, p. 378; Seir Alam Al-Nubala’, v. 2, p. 119;
Kenz Al-Omal, v. 13, p. 97; similar wording is related in Al-Tirmidhi, v. 3, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima, p. 241; Haliyat Al-Awliya’, v.2, p. 40; Muntakhab Kenz Al-Omal, in the margins of Al-Musnad, v. 5, p. 96; Maarifat Ma Yajib Li Aal Al-Bait Al-Nabawi Min Al-Haqq Alaa Men Adahum, p. 58; Dhakha’ir Al-Uqubi, p. 38; Tadhkirat Al-Khawass, p. 279; Yanabi’ Al-Mawadda, v.2, ch. 59, p. 478.
The Prophet (s) said, “Fatima is part of me, and whoever pleases her, pleases me.”
Al-Sawaiq Al-Muhariqa, p. 180 & 132; Mustadrak Al-Hakim; Maarifat Ma Yajib Li Aal Al-Bait Al-Nabawi Min Al-Haqq Alaa Men Adahum, p.73; Yanabi’ Al-Mawadda, v. 2, ch. 59, p. 468.
The Prophet (s) said, “Fatima is the head of the women of Paradise.”
Sahih Al-Bukhari, v. 3, Kitab Al-Fadha’il, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima, p. 1374;
Mustadrak Al-Sahihain, v. 3, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima, p. 164; Sunan Al-Tirmidhi, v. 3, p. 266; Kenz Al-Omal, v. 13, p. 193; Muntakhab Kenz Al-Omal,v. 5, p. 97; Al-Jami’ Al-Sagheer, v. 2, no. 564, p. 5760;Seir Alam Al-Nubala’, v. 2, p. 123; Al-Sawaiq Al-Muhariqa, p.187 & 191; Khasai’s Al-Imam Ali of Nisa’i, p. 118; Yanabi’ Al-Mawadda, v. 2, p. 79; Al-Jawhera Fi Nasab Ali Wa Aalihi, p. 17; Al-Bidaya wa Al-Nihaya, v. 2, p. 60.
The Prophet (s) said, “Fatima is part of me, so whoever makes her angry makes me angry.”
Sahih Al-Bukhari, v. 3, Kitab Al-Fadha’il, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima, p. 1374; Khasa’is Al-Imam Ali of Al-Nisa’i, p. 122; Al-Jami’ Al-Sagheer, v. 2, p. 653, n. 5858; Kenz Al-Omal, v. 3, pp. 93-97; Muntakhab in the margin of Al-Musnad, v. 5, p. 96; Masabih Al-Sunnah, v. 4, p.185; Is’af Al-Raghibeen, p. 188; Dakha’ir Al-Uqubi, p. 37; Yanabi’ Al-Mawadda, v. 2, pp. 52-79.
The Prophet (s) said, “Fatima is part of me and she is my heart and the soul which is between my two sides.”
Nur Al-Absar, p. 52.
The Prophet (s) said, “Fatima is the head of the women of my nation.”
Seir Alam Al-Nubala’, v. 2, p. 127; Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fadha’il Al-Sahaba, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima; Majma’ Al-Zawa’id, v. 2, p. 201; Is’af Al-Raghibeen, p. 187.
The Prophet (s) said, “Fatima is the joy of my heart, and her sons are the fruit of my soul.”
Yanabi’ Al-Mawadda, v. 1, ch. 15, p. 243.
The Prophet (s) said, “Oh Fatima, verily God is angry when you are angry.”
Al-Sawaiq Al-Muhariqa, p. 175; Mustadrak Al-Hakim, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima; Manaqib Al-Imam Ali of Ibn Al-Maghazali, p. 351.
The Prophet (s) said, “Fatima, God will not torture you or any of your children.”
Kenz Al-Omal, v. 13, p. 96; Muntakhab Kenz Al-Omal, in the margin of Musnad Ahmad, v. 5, p. 97; Is’af Al-Raghibeen, in the margin of Nur Al-Absar, p. 118.              

A collection of her supplications.

A collection of Sayeda Fatima (p)’s supplications

By: Zaynab

On the auspicious occasion of the Birth Anniversary of the beloved daughter of holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), Mistress of the Women of World Sayyedah Fatimah Az-Zahraa (PBUH), on 20 Jamadi II, the sixth month of Islamic calendar, a few supplications are presented here.

Some of these supplications are taught by her to the companions of holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) while some other were taught to her by the Chief of Prophets, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP).

Umm ul-A`immah – mother of infallible imams – Fatimah Az-Zahra (PBUH) taught the following supplication to Salman Al-Farsi, about whom the holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) said: ‘Salman minna Ahlal Bayt’ (Salman is from our Ahlul Bayt), and said to him:

“If it pleases you not to be inflicted with fever as long as you live in this world, then read these words, which my father, Muhammad (PBUH&HP), taught me and I say every morning and evening:

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah the light;

In the Name of Allah the light of light;

In the Name of Allah, light upon light;

In the Name of Allah, the planner of affairs;

In the Name of Allah, Who created light from light;


Revealed light upon the Turr;

By a decree inscribed;

In a scroll unfolded,

According to a decree fore-ordained;

Unto a Learned Prophet;

Praise be to Allah, Who is Known with Might;

Whose Glory is established;

Who is praised during times of prosperity and infliction;

And may Allah s grace be upon our Master,


And his purified progeny.”

Salman, holy Prophet (PBUH&HP)’s companion, later said: “By Allah, I have taught this supplication to more than a thousand souls in Mecca and Medina who were inflicted with fever, and they were all relieved by the will of Allah.”

Ibn Ta’oos wrote in his book Muhaj Ad-Da’awat, that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH&HP) taught Fatimah Az-Zahraa (PBUH) the following supplication:

“O Allah, Our Lord and the Lord of Everything;

(He) Who revealed Tawrat, Injeel and Furqan (Quran);

(He) Who causes the seed-grain and the date-stone to split and sprout;

I seek refuge in You from every beast that you shall seize by its forelock

Surely You are the First, where nothing has succeeded (You);

And the last, where nothing shall come after (You);

You are the Evident, there is nothing more Manifest than You;

And the Eminent, there is nothing more Eminent than You;

Send your grace upon Muhammad and his Ahlul-Bayt.

May Peace be upon them;

And settle my debts for me;

Make me free from poverty,

And decree easy for me all my affairs.

O You! Most Merciful of all.”            http://www.jafariyanews.com/articles/2k8/24june_syedahzahrasupplications.htm

Bibi Fatima and the night of decree (Qadr)

Sayyeda Fatimah Zahra (S) and the “Night of Divine Decrees” 

By: Shiraz Mujtaba

Qadr means honour and dignity. Lailatul Qadr means the night of honour and dignity. This is one of the holiest and most blessed nights. According to the reports of the religions great ones, it is hidden among three nights the 19th, 21st, and 23rd of Ramadan. The reward of worship on this night is better than the worship of a thousand months of worship, equivalent to a person’s lifetime.

In Volume forty-three of the book Bihar-al-Anwar Hazrat Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said in a tradition recorded in the commentary of “Forat-bin-Ibrahim” speaking of the meaning of the Quranic verse:

English Interpretation: “The night of (Qadr), i.e. Divine Decrees is Fatimah (s.a.), therefore whoever knows Fatimah (s.a.) well has understood the Night of Divine Decrees, and the reason for Fatimah being named Fatimah (it is from the root word (فطم) originally meaning “weaning from milk” and in the appropriate choice of this name for the lady Islam, reasons have been mentioned, including the above meaning.) is that mankind has been “Prevented from obtaining” her acquaintance!” (Bihar-al-Anwar; vol. 43 pg. 65; tradition 58)

This is very unusual interpretation! Fatimah (s.a.) is the very Night of Divine Decrees. Anyone who really knows Fatimah (s.a.) as she is, has understood the Night of Divine Decrees. Very few persons have known Fatimah (s.a.) as she is and was.

We know that Quranic verses have a literal meaning and a figurative meaning, and many interpretations. Without a doubt the literal interpretation of the chapter “Qadr” tells of the night in which the Holy Quran was descended upon the pure heart of the Prophet (S), and in which the divine decrees (destinies) of human beings are ascertained for a year, according to Divine Wisdom. As such, what was said in the tradition above is a figurative interpretation of this chapter’s meaning, or the second meaning of the chapter “Qadr”.

And what a close relationship there is between the existence of “The lady of Islam” and the “Night of Divine Decrees”.

1. The Night of Divine Decrees is (the disguised or unknown of “Qadr”), undoubtedly this great Lady, who the Prophet (S) would call a part of his flesh and reckoned her pleasure to cause God’s pleasure, and her anger God’s anger, is also the disguised or unknown of Qadr.

2. The Night of “Qadr” is hidden among the nights of the year (According to the reports of the religions great ones, it is hidden among three nights the 19th, 21st, and 23rd of Ramadan). The grave of the Lady of Islam is unknown among the graves of the great Personages of Islam, and when those who wish to pay pilgrimage to her enter Medina and visit the shrines of all the other great ones but seek her grave not to find it, will well understand the heavy load of this sorrow.

3. The Night of “Qadr” is better than one thousand night worship لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ and the virtue of it’s worship is greater than that of a long life of eighty years. The virtue of this great Lady is also greater than thousands upon thousands of virtuous persons and her rank is more superior.

4. The “Night of Qadr” was the time in which the Quran was descended upon the pure heart of the Prophet of Islam, a sudden, all together revelation, even though its gradual descent took over twenty three years.

The “Night of Qadr” may also therefore be named as the Night of the descent of virtue and perfection, knowledge and wisdom. The being of Fatimah (s.a.) is also the source for the luminosity of the guardianship and Imamat and also divine knowledge and wisdom.

5. The “Night of Qadr” is the night in which by command of God, the Angels ascertain the destinies of all human beings and present them to “Waly-al-Amr” (the guardian of his command. It is a night of which in its entirety is peace and good.

The brief life of this Lady of Islam was also from beginning to end, goodness, soundness and blessing and was given the attention and interest of the Angels.

The close relationship between the “Night of Qadr” and the being of Fatimah (s.a.) deems it necessary for all of us to strive harder in knowing her, and obtaining greater benefit from the blessings of her radiance.           

The Transcendental Facts……Her blessed birth.

Fatima az-Zahra was a descendant of two great people.

Furthermore, there are undisputed facts that have been declared by the Sacred Messenger, and Ahlul-Bayt (as) that neither science, nor, contemporary discoveries have been able to discern the deep meanings, despite the scientific achievments. Because these facts are beyond the reach of machines and telescopes, photographers’ advanced lenses cannot capture their rays, nor, can natural or, logical senses realize them.

Actually, the truth goes beyond material and logical realisation, for the five senses is unable to define it. So, you may if you wish, call these facts “The Transcendental Facts.”

Before elaborating on these facts, it is incumbent upon us to make a brief introduction, as we say:

The sperm (male reproductive cell), which is formed in the gonads, eventually fuses with the ovum (female reproductive cell) to become an embryo (later foetus and a baby), developed from the blood which is produced from digesting the food by various organs of the body. Hence, there is no doubt that sperm which is a product of eating pork, or, drinking liquor differs from that which is produced from lamb (halal) meat; because of the difference in composition between various types of foods. In addition, food has peculiar effects on the human psyche and spirit; there are some foods that bring happiness to the heart and calm the nerves, while others do exactly the opposite.

Permissible and pure food(s) have beneficial effects on man; contrary to this, impure (haraam) food such as liquor, or, impermissible food like stolen, or, usurped meat harm the men. The influence of the food we eat becomes apparent in the sperm. Elaboration on this subject by procuring proof, and evidence takes special effort, which would lead us away from our original subject.

In conclusion, the food, which is eaten by the parents, has an enormous effect on the future development of the child, because it is from this food that the sperm is formed, and carried on to the womb to grow, and become a human being.

Furthermore, the psychological state of the parents during sexual intercourse has a great effect on the child’s state of mind, and his psychological behaviour in the future. Besides, the persistent want and earnest desire to have sexual intercourse are influential on the appearance, and intelligence of the child.

In light of these two points (the nutritional and psychological effects upon children), we move on to elaborate on the subject by verifying it through a selection of narrations mentioned in Volume 6 of Bihar al-Anwar.

Gabriel descended to the Messenger of Allah (S), and told him: “O Muhammad! The Most Exalted sends His peace upon you, and commands you to refrain from (coming close to) Khadija for forty days.”

The Prophet, who loved, and adored Khadija (in obedience to Allah’s command), spent forty days fasting, and praying nights. When it was close to the end of the forty days, he summoned Ammar Ibn Yasser and asked him to go to Khadija and tell her:

“O Khadija! do not assume that my separation from you means abandoning, or, forsaking you, rather my Lord commanded me to do so, so expect nothing save benevolence, for surely Allah (exalted is His Name) praises you to His most honorable angels several times a day. Therefore, with nightfall, close the door and lay down to sleep; for I will be staying at Fatima Bint Asad’s house.”

This brought sad tidings to Lady Khadija (as) who missed having the Prophet by her side.

At the end of the forty days, Gabriel once again descended to Allah’s Messenger, and said:

“O Muhammad! The Most Exalted sends His peace upon you, and commands you to be prepared for His salutation, and a gift.”

The Prophet said:

“Gabriel! What is the Lord of the world’s gift and what is His salutation?”

Gabriel said: “I have no knowledge of it.”

At that moment, Angel Michael (Mikaeel) descended with a plate covered with a handkerchief made of brocade or sarcenet, and presented it to the Prophet! Gabriel said to him (S):

“O Muhammad, your Lord commands you to break your fasting with this food tonight.”

Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (as) said in this regard:

“The Prophet (S) used to order me to open the door to whoever wanted to join him when he came to break his fast, but that night he ordered me to guard the door of the house, and said to me: `O son of Abu Talib! this food is forbidden to everyone save me. ”

Then he (‘Ali) (as) said:

“I sat at the door, and the Prophet (S) uncovered the plate, in privacy, to find a cluster of dates and a bunch of grapes; he ate until satisfied, and drank his need of water. He then extended his hands to be washed, so Gabriel poured the water, Michael washed his hands, and Israfil dried them. Thereafter, the remaining food with the plate ascended to heaven. Then he (as) started to prepare himself for prayers when Gabriel said to him:

“Prayer is forbidden to you until you go to Khadija’s house, and perform coition with her; for Allah (Glory be to Him) ordained upon Himself to create noble progeny from you tonight.’ So, he rushed to Khadija’s house.”

Khadija said:

“I had gotten used to seclusion by that time, so when night arrived I covered my head, put down the curtains, locked the doors, performed my prayers, put out the lantern, and retired to my bed. That night while I was between the states of sleeping, and being awake, the Prophet knocked on the door; so I exclaimed: Who is knocking on the door that only Muhammad knocks on?”

The Prophet gently and politely replied:

“Open the door Khadija, I am Muhammad”

Khadija said:

“I cheerfully got up, and opened the door for the Prophet to come in. He (as) usually requested the water jug to perform ablution, and two short prayer prostrations before he retired. On the contrary, that night he (as) did not request the jug, nor, did he perform prayers… instead, what occurs between a woman and her husband occurred between us; and by Allah, who created the heavens, and caused water to come out of springs, before the Prophet left me, I felt Fatima’s weight in my womb…”

It can be concluded from the above mentioned narration that:

1. Allah Almighty commanded His Messenger to abandon Khadija a period of time so that his longing, and wanting her increased.

2. The Prophet (S) performed more worship so as to achieve a higher level of spirituality, and sacredness, as a result of being in constant contact with the heavenly world.

3. He (as) broke his fast on the pure heavenly gift, which was quickly transformed into sperm because of its delicateness.

4. The sperm was produced from eating a delicate heavenly food that differs from material nutrition.

5. The Prophet (S) immediately proceeded to Khadija’s house in order to transfer the sperm to her womb after the previously mentioned preparations.

This narration was mentioned by the following Sunni scholars with minor variations between some of their accounts of it:

1. Khawarazmi in his book Maqtal al- Husayn p. 63, 68.

2. Dhahabi in al-Etedal v.2, p. 26.

3. Talkhees al-Mustadrak v. 3, p. 156.

4. Asqalani in Lisan al-Mizan v. 4, p. 36.

In addition, there are various traditions with minor verbal differences, and the same fundamental meaning that Fatima az-Zahra (sa) was created from a sperm produced from heavenly food. We mention herein some of these narrations, and restrict ourselves to the part which are related to our subject in observance of briefness, and omit the rest:

Imam Ar-Ridha’ (as) said: “The Prophet (S) said:

“On the night of my ascension to Heaven, Gabriel took my hand and led me into Paradise, then he handed me dates from which 1 ate; those dates were formed into sperm. When I descended to Earth, I came unto Khadija who became pregnant with Fatima; thus, Fatima is a human huri, whom whenever I long for Paradise I smell.” 1

Imam Baqir (as) on the account of Jabir Ibn Abdullah, said:

“It was said to the Messenger of Allah: Surely you kiss, embrace and bring Fatima close to you… and treat her better than your other daughters!”

Imam Baqir (as) commented:

“Indeed, for Gabriel brought me an apple from heaven, which I ate and it was transformed into sperm that I placed in Khadija who later bore Fatima. Hence, I smell paradise’s fragrance in her.” 2

Ibn Abbas said:

“Aisha entered the house while the Messenger of Allah was kissing Fatima, so she said: Do you love her, O Messenger of Allah?’

He replied: ‘Indeed, by Allah if you knew the extent of my love for her, your love would increase for her. When I was in the forth heaven… (until he said) that I found these dates softer than butter, more pleasant than musk, and sweeter than honey. So when I descended to earth, I came unto Khadija, and she bore Fatima. Thus, Fatima is a human huri, whenever I long for paradise I smell her. “‘ 3

This last narration was also mentioned with variations by:

1. Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi in Tarikh Baghdad v. 5, p. 87.

2. Khawarazmi in Maqtal al-Husayn p. 63.

3. Muhammad Ibn Ahmad al-Demashqi in Mizan al-Etedal v.1, p. 38.

4. Az Zarandi in Nazm Durar As Simtain.

5. Asqalani in Lisan al Mizan v.5, p. 160.

6. Qanduzi in Yanabi’ al-Mawaddah.

7. Muhib-Ad-Din At-Tabari in Dhakhaer al-Uqbi p. 43.

These narrations are mentioned on the accounts of Aisha, Ibn Abbas, Saed Ibn Malik, and Umar Ibn al-Khattab.

8. Sheikh Shua’b al-Misri in Ar-Rawd al-Faeq p. 214 writes:

“Some noble narrators mentioned that one day Lady Khadija (as) (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Master of creatures (the Prophet (S)) to show her a fruit from the Dwell of Peace (Paradise). Thus, Gabriel brought him who was chosen above all two apples from Paradise and said:

‘O Muhammad, He who appointed a due proportion for all things says to you:

“Eat one apple, and give the other to Lady Khadija, then come unto her, for I will create from you (both) Fatima az-Zahra. “The Chosen One did what The Guardian (Gabriel) told him to do, and.. (Until he said): ‘Thus, whenever the Chosen One longed for Paradise, and its greatness, he would kiss Fatima and smell her beautiful fragrance and say: ‘Fatima is a human huri.'”

There are successive narrations in this regard, but we satisfy ourselves with what has been mentioned.

There remains a point here on which elaboration is rather important; it is noticeable that the narrations clearly state that Khadija bore Fatima immediately after the Prophet’s Ascension to heaven, which took place in the second or third year after revelation.

Nevertheless, there is a collection of narrations from the Holy Imams of Ahlul-Bayt (as), which state that Fatima was born five years after the first revelation to the Prophet This indicates that she stayed in her mother’s womb for more than two years, which is definitely incorrect. How can the contradictions between the narrations be explained?!

There are several probabilities, which can be given as answers to this question; they are:

1. The Messenger of Allah ascended to heaven more than once, as was stated in the Book of Kafi. This, in my opinion, is the most accurate account of this affair.

2. Taking into account some narrations which state that Fatima (sa) was born in the second, or, third year after the first revelation (as will be mentioned together with the historians’ opinions who claim that Ascension took place in the third year of revelation); this contradiction can be explained especially in light of the various sayings regarding the month during which Ascension occurred.

Among the unique merits of Fatima Zahra was that she spoke to her mother while she was still in her mother’s womb. Shiite scholars are not alone in reporting this merit of Fatima; several Sunni scholars and narrators also support this fact. For instance, Abdur Rahman Shafe’i narrated in his book Nuzhat al-Majalis v. 2, p. 227, that Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) said:

“When I was pregnant with Fatima az-Zahra, which was an easy pregnancy, she would speak to me from inside my womb.”

Also, Dahlawi in Tajhiz al-Jaish quoted the author of Madh al-Khulafa Ar-Rashidin as saying:

“When Khadija (as)was pregnant with Fatima, she (Fatima) used to speak to her from her womb, but Khadija (as) kept this from the Prophet.

One day, the Prophet entered the house, and found Khadija (as) speaking to someone while no one was in the room with her. He inquired as to whom she was speaking; she replied:

‘That which in my womb, surely it speaks to me.’

Then the Prophet said:

‘Rejoice Khadija, for this is the girl whom Allah has made to be the mother of eleven of my successors who will come after me and after their father. “‘

Shuab Ibn Saad al-Misri mentioned the following in Ar-Rawd al-Faeq, p. 214:

“At the time when Lady Khadija’s (as) pregnancy had become apparent, the infidels asked the Prophet to show them the splitting of the moon; upon hearing this Khadija declared:

“O what a disappointment it would be! Had Muhammad lied while he is the best Messenger of my Lord?”

It was then that Fatima called Khadija from her womb, and said:

“O Mother, do not be grieved, nor, sorrowful, surely Allah is with my father.”

When Fatima was born, the skies became illuminated from the brightness of her face.

Likewise, the narration, which states that Khadija spoke of Fatima az-Zahra’s talking while still in her womb, has already been mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.

“… Then, when (Fatima’s) delivery came near, I sent for the Quraishan midwives who refused to help me because of Muhammad (S). During childbirth, four ladies whose beauty, and brilliance were indescribable entered the house’.

One of them said:

“I am your Mother Eve”

The second said:

“I am Umm Kulthum, Musa’s sister”

The third said:

“I am Mariam, and we have come to help you.”

Here is the same narration but in a different manner:

‘When Khadija was about to deliver, she sent for the Quraishan women to help her give birth to her child. They refused and said: ‘We will not help you; for you became Muhammad’s wife.’

In the meantime, four women entered the house; their beauty and brilliance cannot be described. One of them said:

‘I am your Mother Eve.’

The second said:

`I am Asiya Bint Muzahim.’

The third said:

‘I am Kulthum, Musa’s sister.’

The fourth said:

“I am Mariam Bint Imran, (Isa’s mother). We have come to deliver your child. ”

Fatima was then born.

“When Fatima fell on the ground, she was in a prostrating position, raising her finger.”

Furthermore, the detailed narration was mentioned by al-Mufaddal Ibn Amr on the authority of Imam Sadiq (as) in vol.1 of Al-Bihar by Al-Majlisi.

In addition to what we have already mentioned about Fatima’s birth, Ibn Asaker in At-Tarikh al-Kabir said:

“Khadija gave her children to other women for nursing; but when Fatima was born, Khadija herself nursed her.”

Reference: Fatima the gracious

Author: Abu Mohammad Ordoni

Bibi fatima’s esteemed names and personality.

Nothing is harder for human being than to describe the character of lady Fatima (S.A), This is because she was a special creation of Allah and was perfect in every way. The Prophet used to say that Fatima is Houri of Paradise but in human form. She has been praised by Allah in the Holy Quran in the following verse:

“And Allah wished to keep you away from uncleanliness, you members of the family and to make you pure and spotless.”

How can any one then describe the character of such a great person? One of the ways of doing this is to turn to another pure person in her family and use his words to explain about her So we turn to Imam Jaffer Sadiq (A.S) who has described Hazrat Fatima’s character in terms of nine names by which she is known in presence of Allah.

These names and what they tell us about her charater are described in the following paragraphs.

SIDDIQA (The truthful one)

This title was given to her by the Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (S A.W.W) It is reported that the Prophet (S. A.W.W) said to Imam All (A.S), “Oh All, you have three things which none has, not even me You have me as your father- in law, and my father – in law was not like me.

“You have, as your wife, SIDDIQA my daughter, none of my wives is like her “You have as your sons Hasan and Husain; I have no sons who are like them.

“Bu you are from me and I am from you.”

Once Mufazzal B. Omar asked the sixth Imam, Hazrat Jaffer Sadiq (A.S) as to who gave “Ghusl Mayyif (the bath given to the dead) to Hazrat Fatima (S.A). The Imam replied, “Amir Al Momineen (AH A.S) the Imam added, “… for Fatima (S.A) was a SIDDIQA and no one could give her this bath except a ‘SIDDIQ, like Mariam (another SIDDIQA) was given her ‘Ghusl Mayyit’ by Issa (another SIDDIQ).”

Hazrat Fatima was so truthful that whatever she said became the TRUTH! Once, on a day before IDD, her sons Hasan (A.S) and Husain (A.S) asked her if they could have new clothes for IDD. She told them that their dress was with the dressmaker.

Allah sent the Archangel Gibrael to Hazrat Fatima’s house with two pairs of gowns from Paradise with the instructions that Gibrael introduce himself as a dressmaker.

MUBAREKAH (The Blessed One)

Indeed, she was the greatest blessing of Allah to the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and to Islam itself. Allah himself confirms this in “Sura-Kauthar” (chapter 108). Indeed the progeny of the Prophet (S.A.W.W) was brought through her.

According to the famous Sunni scholar Taban, the Prophet himself used to say, “Allah made the offspring of every Prophet (S.A.W.W) through that Prophet’s loins, and he made my offspring in the loins of Ali.” All sons are linked to their fathers except the sons of Fatima, for I am their father and their closets relative.”

TAHIRA (The Virtuous) AND ZAKEEAH (Pure)

These qualities have been given to her specially by Allah who confirms it in the following verse of the Quran: “And Allah only wishes to keep away uncleanliness from you, O member of the Family and make you pure and spotless.” (33:33).

Commenting on this verse, the famous Sunni scholar, Ibne Athir says, “The verse ‘and Allah only wishes…1 was revealed when the Prophet (S.A.W.W) had with him under his cloak Fatima (S.A), Hasan (A.S) and Husain (A.S) and Ali (A.S) was behind him. The Prophet (S.A.W.W) then said, ‘This is my family, therefore removed all uncleanliness from them and make them pure and spotless'”.

Another Sunni scholar Sibt Bin Jawzi quotes an eyewitness saying “….I saw the Prophet (S.A.W.W) coming with Ali (A.S), Hasan (A.S) and Husain (S.A) and they went in a room. He ordered Hasan to sit on his right lap and Husain on his left lap and Fatima (S.A) and Ali (A.S) to sit near him.

He then covered himself and them all with a cloak and read, ‘And Allah only wishes…’ Then he prayed to Allah, ‘O Allah, truly these are (members of my family)’”.

RADHIA (One who is satisfied) and MARDHIA (The one who satisfies.

She was always satisfied with whatever Allah wished for her. Once she asked her father if he could give her a maid to help her in her housework.

The Prophet (S.A.W.W) replied, “Fatima, I will give you something that is better than a servant. After every prayer say ‘Allahu Akbar’ 34 times Alhamdulillah 33 times and subhanallah 33 time . Surely this is better for you than what you wanted…”

She replied, “I am pleased with Allah and his Messenger.” She started reading what her father had taught her for as long as she lived and it came to be known (and is still known) as Tasbih-E-Fatiam.

Allah, too, was satisfied with her and honoured her specially in many ways. Allah made her Muhaddisa, Zahra and Batui. MUHADDISA (One who speak with Angels)

Sheikh Sudduq, a famous Shia scholar, writes that Imam Jaffer Sadiq said, “Fatima was called “MUHADDISA’ because Angels came to her from heaven and addressed her, as they had addressed Mariam Bint Imran, saying cOh Fatima! Allah has chosen you (to be) above the women of all nations’.” In short, she was called MUHADDISA because she talked with Angels.

ZAHRA (The Lady of Light)

Allama Majlisi quotes Ibne Abbas who heard the Prophet (S.A. W. W) say: “Surely my daughter is the leader of all women from the beginning to the end. She is part of me and the light of my eyes. She is the flower of my head and is my soul.

She is a human Houri. Whenever she stands in prayers in the presence of her Lord (Allah) light comes from her and makes the sky bright. The earth shines to the Angels like star shines to the people of earth.”

Somebody asked Imam Sadiq (A.S) as to why Hazrat Fatima (S.A) was called Zahra. The Imam replied, ‘”Because when she stood up in prayers in the Mehrab, her light would shine to the in habitants of heaven as the lights of planets shine to the people of the earth.”

BATUL (The Virgin One)

So as to give you exact meaning of this quality we shall give here sevejkl reports from various scholars of Islam:

1. Sheikh Suleiman Kundusi, the famous Sunni Qazi of Constamnopel says, “She (Fatima) was safe from menstruation and bleeding at the time of giving birth to a child”.

2. Al-Kashfi Al Hanafi says in his book Manaqib: “Fatima (S.A) was called Al-Batul because she was sale from that which women experience every month (menstruation).”

3. The author of Tarikh Al Kabir writes on the authority of Um Salma who says, “Fatima has never menstruated nor discharged childbed blood.”

4. The famous Sunni scholar, Suyuti, says, “Among Fatima’s extraordinary qualities is that she did not menstruate and when she gave birth to a child she would immediately become purified so as not to miss her prayers.”

5. The famous Sunni historian, Tabari, says that Asma Bint Umays said, “When Fatima (S.A) gave birth to Hasan she did not bleed; indeed, she does not experi ence menstrual bleeding at all.

When I informed the Prophet (S.A.W.W) about this he said, ‘Do you not know tf t my daughter is pure and chaste? She does not discharge blood from childbirth or menstruation'”.

Her Other Characteristics

Over and above these nine qualities, there are many more sides to Hazrat Fatima’s character some of which are described below.


After the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and Imam Ali (A.S), no one else understood Allah more than she did. Her true knowledge (‘Maarifa’) of Allah had a great effect on her When she stood to pray, it is said that the fear of Allah would make her breath fast.

According to the writer of Biharul Anwar the Prophet (S.A.W.W) said, “…whenever Fatima stands for prayers in Mehrab before her Allah, light comes out of her and shines to the Angels of Heaven just as a star shines to mankind on earth.

“Allah says to the Angels, ‘Look on my servant Fatima, who is the leader of all women, prays before me. Her limbs shake out of my fear…”

According to Hasan Al Basri, there was no other Muslim woman who prayed as much as did Hazrat Fatima (S.A). She would pray until her legs would swell.

Once on a Fnday night, Imam Hasan (A.S) saw her pray all night. He heard her pray for believers by naming each of them, but did not ask from Allah for anything for herself. When he inquired why this was so she said, “My son, give your neighbours preference over yourself.”


Hers was a life of simplicity and sacrifice She always put the wants and wishes of others before her own Everybody else in her house followed this principle.

One day Imam Hasan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S) were sick. Imam Ali (A.S), Hazrat Fatima (S.A) and their maid Fizza made a promise (“Nazr”) to Allah that they would fast for three days after the children had become well.

When the children became well, the whole family and Fizza started three days fast. On the first day, just when the family were to break their fast each with a loaf of bread, a needy person came asking for food. Hazrat Fatima (S. A), her two sons, Imam Ali (A.S) and Fizza all gave away their bread and went to sleep hungry.

On the second day at the time of breaking the fast, an orphan came and he was given all the five loaves. And on the third day a prisoner came and he was given all the loaves. Such was the high character of Hazrat Fatima (S. A) and her family.

Allah was so much pleased by this action that he revealed Sura Al Dahr (chapter 76) in honour of Hazrat Fatima (S. A) and her family.

Allah also sent food and drinks of heaven for Hazrat Fatirna (S A) and her children with which to break their fast. Another example of her piety is: On the night of : marriage. a beggar came to her house asking for help. She didn’t have anything to give so she gave her best dress that her father had given her as her marriage gift. She, instead, wore an old dress.


After settling in Medina, gradually the economic position of Muslims became good. From the ‘Male Ghanima’ (property and riches got from wars) many Muslims became rich. But not Hazrat Fatima (S.A) and her family.

All that they got, they spent in the way of Islam. Several times when the needy and the travellers came to the Prophet (S.A.W.W) for help, he would send them to Hazrat Fatima’s house and she would never send them emptyhanded.

On one occasion she gave away her necklace of great sentimental value (it being a gift from her cousin Fatima Bint Hamza) to a beggar as she didn’t have anything else to give.

In the last few years of her life, her father had given her the estate of Fadak. It is said that the annual income from this estate was not less that 20,000 dinars.

In those days this was a lot of money. This was hers to spend. However, she used only that amount of money from Fadak that was needed to feed her children. The remaining part was given away in charity to the needy.


She was a very knowledgeable person though went to no school. She had her knowledge direct1 Allah, and then there was her father Hazrat M (S.A.W.W) who was another teacher ftr incidents are given below to show the ‘ knowledge.

Once the Prophet (S,A.W.W) asked all those who were present in the Mosque of Medina this question: What: the best thing for the women? Everybody gave his reply but none satisfied the Prophet (S.A.W.W). Imam Ali (A.S) went to Hazrat Fatima (S A) to get her reply. She said, “The best thing for women is not to see men, and not to let men see them.”

When the Prophet (S.A.W.W) heard her reply he was pleased and satisfied. He said, “Surely she has spoken the truth for she is part of me.”

She was the teacher for women who needed religious and other day to day guidance. Imam Hasan Askari (A.S) (We shall learn more about him in Unit #13) says that a woman came to Hazrat Fatima and asked questions that the woman’s mother wanted to know.

Hazrat Fatima (S.A) gave the answers. The mother asked more questions and Hazrat Fatima (S.A) replied them all. The mother asked still more questions. Her daughter apologized to Hazrat Fatima(S.A).

Hazrat Fatima (S.A) replied, “Ask any questions that come in your mind.” She added, “If a person was hired to carry a load to the top of a mountain for a reward of one thousand dinars, would he mind doing so? The woman replied “No.”

Hazrat Fatima continued, “My reward for answering each question is more (in value) than what it takes pearls to fill in the space between the earth and the sky.”

And then she went on narrating “Hadith” from her father, the Prophet (S.A.W.W), on the rewards that scholars of Islam would get from Allah on the Day of Judgement. Indeed, she is one of the most reliable sources of (“hadith”) of the Prophet (S.A.W.W).

He knowledge of every branch of Islam and every part of Qur’an can be seen in her sermon (Khutba) which she gave in the court of Abubakr when she came to ask him to return to her the estate of Fadak. (We shall talk more about this incident in Chapter seven). As this ‘Khutba’ is very long we do not reproduce it here.

To support her claim and to prove that Abu Baqr was wrong, she quoted more than twenty verses of the Quran. Abu Baqr had no reply to give to her In her closing words she challenged him in these words, “So you do what you want and wait, and we too shall wait…”

Her knowledge was of such high quality that she could talk with Angels She would receive some special information which was collected in a book called ‘Mushaf according to Allama Majlisi who reports on the authority of Imam Sadiq (A.S).

This book had information on Islamic Law, e.g. legal punishments. The book also had names of all rulers of the world both of the past and the future. Lastly, it had description of all important events that would take place in future.

The size of this book was three times that of the Quran. Remember: this book was not part of the Quran.