Fatimah al-Ma`sumah (as) a role model for men and women


Author(s): al-Marji Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlullah

Publisher(s): Al-Bakir Cultural Social Centre

Category: Fatima al-Zahra

Topic Tags: Fatima Al-Zahra Role Model

Person Tags: Fatima Al-Zahra


The daughter of the Prophet (s), a role model for men and women. The aim of this book is to create admiration for her uncompromising protest and stance, and sympathy for the injustice she suffered.

Foreword by the Translator

Any historical figure with a multi-dimensional personality calls for a researcher with a multi-dimensional personality to appreciate, analyze and introduce him or her to the public. But when it comes to the most distinguished individuals, only very few researchers are capable of the task. Otherwise, the personality in question may not be properly evaluated and his or her impact in history may be misrepresented. However, when it comes to people like our Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (as) - who is not only distinguished amongst men and women of all time, but who was chosen by Allah the All-Knowing, and hence His choice was based on absolute knowledge of that personality and all others - then it needs someone really capable, who must not only be an excellent researcher, but who must also have a feeling for the life in question, to live it, love it, appreciate it and - in the case of Fatimah (as) - follow it.

One such person is his eminence Sayyid Muhammad Husain Fadlullah, who has been studying the lives of the infallibles, and digging among the treasures which resulted from their infallibility -

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i.e. the two fundamental aspects: knowledge which never errs, and perfect conduct which never sins - for almost five decades now. His eminence has succeeded in using the hadith, conduct and lives of Ahlul Bayt (as) to formulate general ideas and theories on various issues, the most important of which is probably their practical application, which Muslims badly needed. Instead of concentrating on a limited number of issues, he went through the whole of the tradition of Ahlul Bayt (as), to tackle all issues and challenges.

Using the unrivalled tradition of Ahlul Bayt (as), he has lectured and written on various issues: from the fundamental principles and branches of Islam to social questions, such as friendship, and to difficult areas such as feminine issues, linking all this with the present state of the Muslims and the challenge to effect fundamental change for the better. As for the methods, he has adhered to the methods used by Ahlul Bayt (as) - Qur'anic interpretation, hadith, letters, sermons, supplications, dialogues, struggle and protest - to show the Muslims how to hold on to the Book of Allah, how to follow the sunnah of the Prophet (sawa), how to communicate with enemies and rivals, how to communicate with Allah through the wonderful supplications of the Imams (as), how to carry out dialogue in the gentle, wise Qur'anic manner, how to protest and how to join and behave in the struggle.

Our Lady Fatimah (as) had a unique position even amongst Ahlul Bayt (as), being the only

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daughter of the Prophet (sawa) to be chosen by Allah amongst the infallibles, and the only one linking Prophethood to Imamah, and the one who suffered terrible, unexpected injustice. In the light of this, his eminence Sayyid Fadlullah has had to summon all his undisputed capabilities to introduce her (as) in the manner which she would have wished: the infallible, a worshipper, struggler, protester, in all the shades of her holy personality, including the oppressed, but not only the oppressed. His eminence wanted Muslims, both the followers of Ahlul Bayt (as) and those from the other schools of thought, to know Fatimah (as) in her struggle and protest, not only in the injustice and cruelty they contain, but also to the full extent of their vigour.

In brief - as far as I can understand - his eminence wants Muslims to react to Fatimah (as) with admiration for her uncompromising protest and the stance which she took, and with heartfelt sympathy for the most cruel and most disloyal injustice which she suffered. This cannot be achieved without learning, with full awareness, about the life of al-Zahra (as) and trying to implement it in their lives - as far as possible - so that they emerge from their continuous experience of her (as) as staunch followers and supporters.

From this point onwards, including the introduction, only his eminence's words alone shall be used, selected from different speeches, lectures and interviews. Because of the concise nature of the book, excerpts were chosen rather than

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complete pieces. That said I believe that the selected excerpts should prove sufficient to give some idea about his eminence's true feelings, thoughts and beliefs about our Lady Fatimah's exalted character, and also of his efforts to introduce her to the people in the most effective way.

Introduction: Why Fatimah (as)?


Her stances were stances for the right, and her sorrow was the sorrow for the issue (Islam), and her joy was the joy of the message; the depth of Islam was manifested in the depth of her personality and she amassed within herself all the Islamic human virtues, since being the Doyenne of the Women of the World implied that she should be at the highest level, spiritually and morally.

This is why we are intensely interested in Fatimah al-Zahra' (as) because when we remember her we remember the message and her role, and remember Islam and the dynamic issues in which Fatimah (as) was a central figure; hence we feel that she is with us in all of our concerns and that she is alive among us. There are people in history who finish when they die, because their existence is encapsulated in the span of their lives; there are others who remain alive as long as life exists, and who continue as long as their message continues and as long as there are people who are open to their message.

Fatimah (as) is placed at the pinnacle of these people, since you cannot mention the Messenger of Allah (sawa) without mentioning

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her. She was his product and the spirit inside his body; and you cannot mention Ali (as) without mentioning her as she was his companion in life and suffering; and you cannot mention al-Hasan, al-Husain and Zaynab (as) without mentioning her as she was the secret of purity in their childhood and of their personalities throughout their lives.

This is the secret of Fatimah (as) that obliges us to keep her in our minds and our hearts as a message and thought, not just the cause of tears. We cannot but open up to her with our tears, but more important than that is to open ourselves to her message because she lived all her tears and all her life for the Message and never for one moment lived it for her own self. This is the secret of all the members of Ahlul Bayt (as): they lived for the whole of Islam and gave their lives for Islam and the Message.

Not an inflation of the past

Talking about Fatimah (as) involves no unwarranted inflation of history. Besides, with her virtues, she represents the living present and a bright future. We have seen her in her motherhood as the greatest of mothers, and we have seen the cruelty imposed by that role on her weak body, but she withstood all this with an open mind and with patience. Then we saw her fulfilling her different missionary responsibilities when she stirred up the conscience of the nation, and presented the greatest lesson in how to deal with the

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circumstances following the death of the Prophet (sawa). She held that stance which has proved itself over time and stayed valid to the present, and will ever be.

Studying the experience of Fatimah (as) is not a reversion to the past, and hence a diminution of ourselves within those limitations, but rather a question of trying to draw lessons from a pioneering experience by an infallible personality - an experience which has never been confined to the past but one which shall ever be current and renewed.

A role model for both sexes

When we present Fatimah (as) as a role model, we are not talking about women only, We present her as a role model for both men and women because she is a constituent element of Islam and the Muslim people as a whole, not just of women - even if there was a big role as woman in her life. Muslim women can take a lot from Fatimah (as) when they know how to spend their time valuably and how to open themselves up, with all their powers, to knowledge, spirituality and dynamic attitude, according to their abilities.

Love versus allegiance

Love for the great personalities and individuals with a mission are not only emotions but a stance. This is the difference between being a loving person and being a proponent follower: allegiance is a stance while love is emotion. It is natural that the situation must live the emotion and move by it, but it should move beyond it to open up to the whole of the message

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through opening up to the bearers of the message, who represent its legitimacy.

Yes! The value of what Ahlul Bayt (as) say and do is that it represents the whole legitimacy. When a person takes words of knowledge or rulings, or follows a line of conduct which can be right or wrong, he will be puzzled as to the legitimacy of what he has seen or heard; but if he depends on infallible examples who have been purified from abominable acts, then there can be no place for falsehood, and no place for injustice. He will have taken the truth from a pure fountain, in which nothing can muddy its purity.

Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: 'My hadith is the hadith of my father, and my father's is that of my grandfather, and my grandfather's is that of al-Husain, and al-Husain's is that of al-Hasan, and al-Hasan's is that of the Commander of the Faithful, and the Commander of the Faithful's is that of the Messenger of Allah, and the Messenger of Allah's is the word of Allah the Great and Almighty.'

His eminence and Fatimah's virtues

When I started my life, Lady al-Zahra (as) was in my mind, heart and life. Before I was twenty, in al-Najaf, Iraq, I wrote a poem on the anniversary of the death of Fatimah (as). I talked about her in lectures, interviews, dialogues and poems - the talk of spiritual passion and intellectual love and heartfelt sanctification.... I spoke of every one of her virtues, merits and spiritual meanings, and then

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extended that to analyzing her words, amongst which was her famous sermon, because I always believed that we had to know Fatimah (as) to the full - her spirit, heart, thought and attitude, so that she would become for us 'the pioneer who would not fail his folks' and the role model whom we should imitate and follow in our Islamic lives, men and women together.

Chapter 1: Her Life, a brief account

The link between Prophethood and Imammah

Fatimah (as) was the only woman connecting Prophethood and Imamah and was the link between the two. She was the daughter of the Prophet (sawa); the wife of the first Imam (as) and the mother of the rest of the Imams (as) who descended from her and her husband Ali (as). Allah singled her out with this virtue and peculiarity because she was the most perfect and highest example in purity, sanctity, worship, asceticism and morals.


According to some Qur'an commentaries (Tafsir), when the Quraysh (tribe) said that the Prophet (sawa) had no offspring, the chapter of al-Kawthar was revealed:

'Verily We have given thee the Kawthar (Abundance). So pray thou unto thy Lord! And offer sacrifice. Verily, thy enemy shall be the one cut off (in his progeny).' (Qur'an 108:1-3)

'We have given you al-Kawthar' means we have given you the abundant good, which shall last throughout your life and after it; therefore, turn your face unto your Lord in prayer, as mention of your name shall never end and your offspring shall never perish; it is those standing against you who are more

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deserving of this description.

This revelation was given against the backdrop of the pronouncements by some of the Quraysh's most scurrilous men - such as al-'As bin Wa'il, Abu Jahl, 'Uqbah bin Abi Mu'ayt and Ka'b bin al-Ashraf - that the Prophet (sawa) was cut off from male children, after the death of his son al-Qasim. Hence, it is clear that the abundant good - al-Kawthar - was pointing to the abundant offspring which the Prophet (sawa) would have through his daughter Fatimah (as), and that this was a reply to those people and their effort to weaken the Prophet's spirits. Supporting our interpretation, al-Tabataba'i, in al-Mizan commentary, said: 'Without that, the words 'Verily, thy enemy shall be the one cut off' would be useless.'

Her childhood

In Fatimah's childhood, there was no place for playing, leisure and purposelessness. Nor were her energies those of a child living a childhood of innocence and simplicity. Rather, hers was the energy of a child who stored within herself a feeling for the role which she should play in the Messenger's life and the suffering and pain which he was facing. It was a childhood with the characteristics of motherhood, living its spirit and fulfilling its role.

There she was, and having opened her eyes to life, she saw her father (sawa) coming every now and then, weighed down by the pressures, burdens and harm inflicted by the atheists; so she would embrace her father and relieve his pain and take care of him with all kindness.

One day,

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she saw her father (sawa) in the Holy Mosque of Makkah after the atheists had dumped dirt and rubbish over his back while he was praying to his Lord. She promptly went forward and removed the rubbish with her small hands, expressing her sadness and condolences to him (sawa) with her tears. This is what made her open up to her responsibilities in her early childhood to stand by her father, to take care of him and empathize with him; and he was the one who had lost his mother, and his sympathetic wife.

She stood by him when he was challenged with the Message: some called him names, others accused him of being insane, and others threw dirt and stones on him; his uncle Abu Lahab crying out: 'No doubt, Muhammad has bewitched you!' But when he returned home, he would be greeted by Fatimah (as), with her sympathy and care, which was not that of a child weeping without awareness.

She was sensing that his pain was also hers and so amassed during her childhood the pain of the Message and pain of the Messenger... And whosoever amasses in their early childhood the awareness of the pain of the Messenger and the Message cannot find time for leisure or playing or purposelessness; playing and purposelessness occur in our lives because of an emptiness, which we are trying to fill.

This was how Fatimah (as) grew up, not like other children, but as a person with mission in her feelings, emotions, opinions

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and her whole dynamic attitude.

Her relationship with the Prophet (sawa)

Ibn 'Abdul Barr, in al-Istee'ab, narrated - and we would like very much to use it, as it was a Sunni source which represents a neutral source, so that the Shi'ah could not be accused of talking out of emotion - that 'Aisha said: 'I had not seen any one who was more resembling the Messenger of Allah in his speech, conduct and manners as Fatimah; when she used to enter (his house) he would stand up for her, take her hand and kiss it and make her sit in his sitting place; and when he used to enter (her house) she would stand up for him, take his hand and kiss it and make him sit in her sitting place'.(1)

When we study this text, we can conclude two things: first, the unity and complete merging between Fatimah's personality and her father's, as the person most closely resembling him. This is reflected even in his walking, as seen in many narrations, such as 'Fatimah came and her walk did not fail the walking of the Messenger of Allah (sawa)'; second, the depth of the spiritual relationship between the Prophet (sawa) and Fatimah (as), a relationship which the Prophet (sawa) had with Fatimah (as) alone.

Another narration by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak states: 'The Messenger of Allah used, when he came back from a battle or journey, to come to the mosque and pray two Rak’ats to thank Allah, then would enter to (the house of) Fatimah, then he

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1- A'yan al-Shi'ah, Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin al-'Amily, Dar al-Ta'aruf, Beirut, Vol.1, p. 307.

would come to his wives'.(1)

This meant that Fatimah (as) held the prime place in the relationships between the Prophet (sawa) and other people, including his wives.

In the same book, al-Mustadrak, al-Hakim also narrated: 'The Prophet (sawa), when he used to travel, the last person he would see was Fatimah.' Thus her image would stay in his mind, and the kindness and emotion, with which she used to embrace him, would stay with him in his travel and his memory, to comfort him.

Al-Hakim added: 'And when he returned from a journey, the first person he would see would be Fatimah.'(2)

Historians have said that the Prophet (sawa) did not accept that Fatimah (as) became separated from him even after her marriage and, therefore, did not accept that she lived in a house far away from him, so she lived in the house next to his so that he could enter into her house directly from his.(3)

In al-Isti'ab we read: ''Aisha was asked: who was the most beloved person to the Messenger of Allah? She replied: Fatimah. I asked: and amongst men? She said: her husband...'(4) This is an important witness by 'Aisha for Fatimah and Ali (as).

There are many stories from her life which tell how she used to study her father's thoughts to know what he liked and disliked, what opened up his heart and what closed it. An example of this was when he (sawa) came back from a journey and entered her house, looked around a little, then left.

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1- Same; also narrated in Sunan Abu Dawood, Musnad Ahmad and others.
2- Ditto.
3- Al-Kafi, vol. 4, p. 555. Also, 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 372 states that between the houses of the Prophet (sawa) and Fatimah (as) there was an opening so that he (sawa) would be kept informed about her and her welfare.
4- Ditto, p. 308. Also in Sunan al-Turmuthi and al-Amali by al-Tusi.

Quickly she knew that something bothered the Messenger of Allah (sawa).

She thought about it and realized that on the door of her house was a curtain and that she had two bracelets in her hands; she took the curtain down and took off the bracelets and sent them with her sons and said: 'Say greetings to my father and say to him: we have not introduced anything after you except this, it is for you to do with them what you like.'

When the Prophet (sawa) heard this, his expression relaxed. He was moved by this generous, wonderful, spiritual gesture by his daughter, and this thoughtful response, and gave these things to the poor, saying: ‘She did this! May her father be sacrificed for her! May her father be sacrificed for her! May her father be sacrificed for her! What have the family of Muhammad to do with life: they have been created for the hereafter!'(1)

This is what every girl with a mission should learn, when her father is a man of missionary affiliations and responsibilities; as too should every woman with someone who has a missionary dimension in his life: she should learn not to get too engrossed with her own affairs, but to open herself up to the responsibilities of her father, husband, brother or son so as to join with him in the dynamic movement of responsibility, and not to add to the burdens to his responsibility. For we see many great men, past and present, become

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1- Al-Bihar, vol. 43, chapter 4, p. 86; Musnad Fatimah, 'Ataridy, p. 106.

burdened by the people who are around them: while when they think in a missionary manner, those around them think only of themselves.

We also learn from Fatimah (as), in her advanced missionary awareness and position, that she was someone who rebelled against her personal needs, however simple, for the sake of her missionary ambitions; she was someone who prioritized in favour of principles over the self. This is what we need to learn, for many of us - men and women alike - fall down when it comes to a choice between the needs of the principle and the needs of the self; we too often choose the self, and may even make a principle of service to the self.

Fatimah al-Zahra (as) was unique in all her behaviour and deeds, even in her sorrow for her beloved, especially during her separation from the Messenger of Allah (sawa).

Historians tell us that, when she went to him as he was dying, she embraced him and he whispered something in her ear which made her weep. Then, when he whispered something that made her laugh, she was asked: 'How quickly (you’re) laughing after weeping?!' She said: 'I shall not reveal the Messenger of Allah's secret in his life.' So, when she was asked about this after his death, she said: 'He whispered in my ear first that he was going to meet his Lord and that his soul was announced to him (his death), so I wept; then he whispered in my ear

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again that I was going to be the first of his family to go after him, so I laughed!'(1) Where else would you find a young woman, whatever her love for her father, become happy when he tells her that she is going to be the first to die after him?

What relationship deeper could be than this, and what unity of spirit could be stronger?

Her father's mother!

One of his eternal and most valued utterances in Fatimah's praise is the saying of the Prophet (sawa): 'Fatimah is the mother of her father!'(2)

But, to understand the precise meaning of this statement we should study the life of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and the hardships and difficulties to which he was subjected from the beginning of his life. He suffered a great deal: from the atheists, to the point that he said: 'No prophet has ever been harmed like I have'(3); from losing his wife, the Mother of the Believers, Khadijah (as), who was the shelter in which he found refuge in his hardships; from the loss of his uncle Abu Talib, who took care of him and defended him and stood by him. And he suffered before all this, when he lived an orphan.

Thus, when he was moved by Fatimah's feelings and care, he anointed the motherhood in his daughter with the words ‘Fatimah is the mother of her father.' It encapsulated all his feeling for the kindness and great heart of his daughter towards the Messenger of Allah (sawa).

So, imagine the great

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1- Al-Irshad, vol. 1, p. 156; Sahih Muslim, Vol. 4, p. 187, Dar Ihya' al-Turath al-'Arabi, 1991; al-Bihar, vol. 2, chapter 29, p. 486.
2- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 19; this nickname 'Ummu Abeeha', mother of her father, is included as one of the names by which she used to be known - see 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 69.
3- Al-Bihar, vol. 39, chapter 73, p. 56.

scale of the feeling and kindness of Fatimah (as), which succeeded so well in filling the soul of this great man and made him feel secure... To be a mother for a personality such as the Prophet (sawa) demands from the person who wants to play that role a great deal of effort, energy, heart and soul, and a broad horizon.

The first student

To use today's terminology, Fatimah and Ali (as) were the first students in the boarding school of the Messenger of Allah (sawa). Ali (as) used to sit in Makkah, when the revelation was being revealed to the Prophet (sawa), and Fatimah (as) used to sit as well to read, together with Ali (as), the revelation and listen to the teachings of the Prophet (sawa), as he explained the meanings of the revelations. They, together, would learn what Allah had entrusted to His Prophet with his laws for man. Hence, Fatimah (as) was with Ali (as) in that great prophetic, cultural surge.

One could understand the hadith 'If Ali did not exist, there would have been no match for Fatimah' on intellectual level: that which Fatimah (as) had was not possessed by anyone but Ali (as).

Her marriage

Many companions proposed to Fatimah (as), but the Prophet (sawa) kindly turned down their requests, saying: 'I await the order of my Lord'(1) for in Fatimah (as) there was special merit that was not to be found in his other daughters. Fatimah (as) possessed a holy secret, which only Allah Almighty knew; similarly Ali (as) possessed a

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1- Fatimah al-Zahra fil Ahadith al-Nabawiyyah, al-Sarawi, Beirut 1994, p. 86, 92; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 380.

holy secret, which only Allah knew.

Some asked Ali: 'Why don't you propose to Fatimah?' But he was shy. At last he came to the Prophet (sawa) and talked to him on this matter. In his response, the Prophet (sawa) showed that he was pleased, as if he was waiting for this proposal, even preparing for it. He said to Ali: 'What money have you got?'

Of course he (sawa) knew how much Ali (as) had, for he was the one who brought him up and was with him both at home and away, day and night, in war and peace; nevertheless he asked him: 'What have you got?' Ali replied: 'My sword, shield and the clothes which I wear!' The Prophet (sawa) said: 'You cannot do without your sword with which you defend Islam and remove hardship from the Messenger of Allah, but give me your shield.'(1)

The shield was sold for 500 dirham and this was the marriage gift (mahr) of Fatimah (as), who accepted Ali (as) as her husband.

What we need to understand in this marriage is what is in the hadith that Imam al-Sadiq (as) - or the Prophet (sawa) according to others - said: 'Had it not been that Allah the Most High created the Commander of the Faithful for Fatimah, there would have been no match for her on Earth.'(2)

What was this match that the narration was referring to?

Certainly it was not the match in terms of family, for there was more than one cousin of the

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1- Al-Bihar, vol. 43, p. 127, 140; Dela'il al-Zahra, p. 46.
2- Kashf al-Ghummah, al-Arbilli, vol. 1, p. 463; al-Bihar, vol. 43, p. 141.

Prophet (sawa), but it was a match in soul, mind, intellect and belief. Fatimah (as) was, through her faith, mind, intellect, soul, purity, holy struggle and asceticism, a suitable match for Ali (as), who was at the highest level as far these attributes were concerned. Allah ordered his Messenger (sawa) to marry his daughter to her match and the pure to the pure, because there was more than one point on which they met.

This makes us understand the secret behind the refusal of the Prophet (sawa) to marry Fatimah (as) off to any of the prominent companions. Al-Sadooq tells us, in 'Uyoon Akhbar al-Rida (as), that Ali (as) said: 'The Messenger of Allah (sawa) told me: O Ali! Men from the Quraysh complained about Fatimah ('s marriage) and said: we have asked you for her hand in marriage but you have turned us down and married her off to Ali! I said to them: I swear by Allah that it was not me who turned you down and accepted him, but it was Allah; (the archangel) Gabriel came down and said: O Muhammad! Allah the Great and Almighty said: If I have not created Ali, there would have been no match for your daughter Fatimah on the face of the Earth.'

Her narration of the Hadith

Here are some of her narrations:

1. Al-Qundoozi narrated, in Yenabee' al-Mawaddah, that Fatimah (as) said: 'I heard my father the Messenger of Allah (sawa), in his death illness saying, and the room full with his companions' [i.e. he did not

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say it in whisper or secretly, but aloud in front of his companions]: O people! I am about to die and I am submitting this speech to you to fulfill my duty towards you - I am leaving for you the book of my Lord the Great the Almighty and my progeny. Then he took the hand of Ali (as) and said: This is Ali with the Qur'an and the Qur'an with Ali shall never separate until they arrive to me at the basin, (and) I shall ask you how you have succeeded me in dealing with them?'(1)

2. In Kanz al-Fawa'id, Fatimah (as) narrated that the Prophet (sawa) said: 'Gabriel informed me that the two angels (appointed to count the deeds) of Ali did not register any sin for Ali since they accompanied him.'(2) This was what distinguished Ali (as) from the rest of the companions of the Messenger (sawa) and this was what made Fatimah (as) defend Ali's right, not because he was her cousin and husband, but because he was the infallible in whom the two angels could not find any sin or bad deed.

3. In another narration, Fatimah (as) said that she went to the Prophet (sawa) and he stretched out a cloth and said ‘sit', then al-Hasan (as) came and he said to him 'sit with her', then al-Husain (as) came and he said 'sit with them', then Ali (as) came and he said 'sit with

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1- Yenabee' al-Mawaddah, vol. 1, p. 124.
2- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 25, p. 193.

them'; then he gathered up the cloth and closed it upon them and said: 'O Lord! They are from me and I am from them; O Lord! Be satisfied with them as I am satisfied with them.'(1)

His statement 'I am from them' means that the mission of the Prophethood, of which he (sawa) was the bearer, would be passed on to Ahlul Bayt (as) after him, and so the Prophet (sawa) would continue to exist through them, and his Message would continue through them. This is the secret behind his satisfaction with them, for he is satisfied with only those whom Allah is satisfied.

4. In another narration, Fatimah (as) brought al-Hasan and al-Husain (as) to the Messenger of Allah (sawa) in his final illness, and said: 'O Messenger of Allah! You have not bequeathed these two anything!' He replied: 'As for al-Hasan, he has my presence and my mastership; as for al-Husain, he has my courage and generosity.'(2)

5. Fatimah (as) said: 'My father the Messenger of Allah (sawa) entered when I had gone to bed to sleep, and said: O Fatimah! Do not go to sleep before doing four things: reciting the whole of the Qur'an, making the Prophets your mediators (with Allah), making the believers satisfied with you and performing the pilgrimage and visit (hajj and 'umrah to Makkah). Then he started praying! So, I stayed in bed until he finished the prayer and said: O Messenger of Allah!

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1- Dela'il al-Imamah, p. 68.
2- Same, p. 69; Kanz al-'Ummal, vol. 12, p. 113, al-Rishalah publishers, Beirut 1993.

You ordered me to do four things which I could not do in this hour! The Messenger of Allah smiled and said: If you recite the Tauheed chapter (al-Ikhlas surah) three times it is as if you have recited the whole of the Qur'an; and if you recite prayers to me and the prophets before me then we shall be your mediators in the Day of Judgment; and if you pray that Allah forgive the believers (say istighfar) they shall be satisfied with you; and if you say: Subhan Allah(praise be to Allah) and al-Hamdu Lillah (gratitude to Allah) and La Ilaha Illa Allah (there is no God but Allah) and Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) as if you have performed the pilgrimage and visit.'(1)

6. She said: 'The Messenger of Allah (sawa) said: Your best of men are those who are the most lenient with people and most generous to their women.'(2)

This means that the best people are those who are most kind to people and most generous to their women, whether daughters, wives or mothers.

Her Grievances


The short life of Fatimah (as), which lasted no more than twenty years according to some historians, was filled with much suffering and grave crises. If we talk about the suffering and hardships in her daily living, we also need to talk about what was worse than that: the calamities and grievances which she suffered after the death of her father - something which opened a bleeding wound in the

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1- 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 580; Musnad Fatimah al-Zahra, p. 218-9, Dar al-Safwah, Beirut.
2- Dela'il al-Imamah, p. 76; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 621.

Islamic nation, and which in turn was the cause of the painful wounds that followed - one of the worst of which was the murder of the Master of the Youth of Paradise Imam al-Husain (as) and his progeny in the desert of Kerbala' and the taking of the women and children as captives to al-Sham (Damascus), driven like slaves. These grievances have been narrated by both the Sunnah and Shi'ah, and the numerous narrations which speak about her grievances and injustices coincide, even to the level of mutawatir.(1)

1- The attack on her house

Historians, one of whom is Ibn Qutaybah in al-Imamah wal Siyasah, said that - after the death of the Prophet and al-Saqeefah episode - men came with wood to burn down the house of Ali and Fatimah (as), to threaten them and those whom they considered as opposition, who had gathered at the house of Ali (as). Some said to the leader of the assault: 'O man! In the house is Fatimah!'; and Fatimah was the person whom the Muslims agreed to love and respect, and whose position they agreed to acknowledge, because she was the only daughter that the Prophet (sawa) left when he died, and because she was part of him - what made her angry made him angry and what harmed her harmed him... So, how come you come with fire to burn her house?

But, he replied with his famous statement: 'Even though!'

We regard this as one of the most dangerous utterances, because it means that there are

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1- Narrated by so many sources, which could never gather to conspire to lie, so as to make it impossible for it but to be true. The translator.

no sacred entities in this house, and so there is nothing to prevent it being burned with its people inside!

This utterance points to the mindset of the people, and what they were prepared to do. However, had they opened the door to dialogue through nice words, they would have found Ali the man of dialogue, as he had always been throughout his life, even after he became a caliph; and they would have found Fatimah a woman of dialogue, because the Qur'an, to which Fatimah above all others adhered most closely to, was the book of dialogue. However, those people had already passed the stage of dialogue by the time they gathered the wood to burn the house of al-Zahra (as). So when in reply to 'In the house is Fatimah', that man said 'Even though!' this represented the ugliest form of injustice to which Fatimah (as) was subjected.

2- Other grievances

There were other events in which she suffered, but they have not always been substantiated fully beyond doubt. Those include the actual burning of the house, the breaking of her rib, the miscarriage, the slapping of her cheek, and the beating of her and others. These are recorded in narrations that may have question marks raised against them, either in their actual text (matn) or in the chain of narrators (sanad), as is the case with many historical narrations.

Therefore, we have raised some queries, as have been raised by some scholars in the past (may Allah be satisfied with them) such as

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Sheikh al-Mufeed(1) who seems to question the miscarriage issue, even the existence of the pregnancy - although we disagree with him on the latter. However, we do not deny that these events may have taken place - as Sheikh Muhammad Husain Kashif al-Ghita' has done regarding beating her and slapping her cheek(2) because denying requires as much proof as accepting. At any rate, what is definite is that the numerous narrations attain the level of mutawatir as a whole, confirm that there was an assault on her if only by exposing her house, attacking it and threatening to burn it and this alone should be sufficient to prove the degree of crime which took place. It was a crime that continued to haunt those who committed it, and this was why the first caliph declared as he was dying: 'I wish I had not exposed the house of Fatimah, even if it had declared war on me.'(3)

3- Denying her Fadak

Scholars from the two schools of thought, including al-Suyooti, in their commentary on the verse: 'And give to the near of kin his due' (Qur'an 17:26), said that when this verse was revealed, the Prophet (sawa) gave Fatimah (as) the village of Fadak, which he saw as part of the peace treaty between him and the Jews...(4) It seems that the right of Fatimah (as) to Fadak has always been well known amongst the Muslims throughout history, and hence 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz, the Umayyad caliph, returned Fadak to Ahlul Bayt.(5) Later, after

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1- Al-Irshad, vol. 1, p. 355; this also seems to be the opinion of al-Tabrasi in I'lam al-Wara bi A'lam al-Huda, vol. 1, p. 395, Ahlul Bayt publishers, Iran, 1417H.
2- Jannatul Ma'wa, p. 135, Dar al-Adwa', Beirut 1988.
3- Commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 6, p. 50; Lisan al-Mizan, vol. 4, p. 189.
4- Al-Durr al-Manthoor, vol. 4, p. 177; Yenabee' al-Mawaddah, vol. 1, p. 138.
5- Futooh al-Buldan, p. 38; Commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 16, p. 216.

the first 'Abbasid caliphs had confiscated it again, al-Mahdi returned it once more, then he and Haroon took it back, and it continued to be in their possession until al-Ma'moon became caliph and returned it to the Fatimids.(1)

The proofs to Fatimah's ownership of Fadak were many and clear, and many Muslims gave witness in that regard, including the Commander of the Faithful (as) and Ummu Ayman, but their evidence was refuted!(2) There was no counter evidence - except the hadith in which Abu Bakr narrated that the Prophet (sawa) said: 'We, the folk of prophets, do not leave bequests - what we leave is for alms.'(3)

The factors which stood against this counter evidence, in addition to being contradictory to the Qur'an, are:

First: the hadith was narrated by Abu Bakr only, and Fatimah (as), through her stance, denied this hadith;

Second: the Messenger of Allah (sawa) loved Fatimah (as) with the greatest of love, and would protect her from any evil. So how come he did not tell her of this (Islamic) ruling, which was anyway contradictory to the Qur'an, which states that, the prophets (as) inherited and bequeathed? How come he did not tell her when the hadith was directly related to her - in fact, she was its most clear manifestation? How come he did not tell his beloved and save her the trouble?

Third: If the Muslims agree that Fatimah (as) is the Doyenne of the Women of the World, how come she tells lies, or talks nonsense or contradicts

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1- Commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 16, p. 216.
2- Same, p. 122.
3- Sahih al-Bukhari, Karmani's commentary, vol. 15, p. 4.

a hadith of her father (sawa)?

Fourth: The history of prophets (as) did not tell us that they did not bequeath anything, and that what they left was for alms, since if that were the case the followers of other religions would have known.

Fifth: Is it conceivable that Ali (as) would enter into dispute with the people about Fadak, and would accuse them of injustice and treason (1) just to side with his wife?! How come and the Prophet (sawa) said: 'The right is with Ali wherever he goes'(2) and: 'Ali is with the right and the right is with Ali?'(3) And how come Ali does not know that the Prophet (sawa) does not bequeath when he is the gate to the Prophet's City of Knowledge and Wisdom, and who has been with the Prophet (sawa) in a way unparalleled by any other companion?

Sixth: Historians mentioned that Fadak was, in fact, under Fatimah's control and that at the beginning her claim was based on it being a gift from her father (sawa) during her life and therefore did not fall into the category of inheritance.

4- The injustice of history

What great individuals suffer is the injustice of history and of the historians who intentionally hide their names, marginalize their roles and do not take care in registering the particulars of their lives, which are rich in lessons and lively examples that can teach generations throughout time. Fatimah (as) has been one of these victims, for when we study her history, we can find only snapshots of

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1- Commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 16, p. 229.
2- Fera'id al-Simtayn, vol. 1, p. 177.
3- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 48, p. 26.

her life with her father the Messenger of Allah (sawa), but with little details. Fatimah (as) is mentioned as a migrant: but nothing much is recorded here except that her name is one of those who migrated after the Prophet (sawa). The irony is that we find history talks extensively about things that are irrelevant to our practical life, such as the celebrations in the heavens when she got married!(1)

We know that her life, although short, was full of lessons, teachings, worship and holy struggle. We can say that, in spite of all this historical injustice, what has reached us from her, and about her, is sufficient to give us the highest example and the most complete role model for any Muslim.

5- She died angry with her oppressors

The attack on Fatimah's house, and the threat to burn it and other injustices, did not win the approval of the Muslims in general. This forced the two men who oppressed her to come and request Ali (as) to ask her permission to enter and to try to resolve the matters with her. What was her response?

Ibn Qutaybah, in al-Imamah wal Siyasah, narrates that 'Umar said to Abu Bakr: 'Let's go to Fatimah, for we have made her angry.' So they went together and asked her permission, but she denied it to them. They asked Ali to talk to her, and he did. When they entered and sat, she turned her face to the wall. They greeted her, but she did not answer. Abu Bakr said: 'O you the

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1- 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 275.

Messenger of Allah's beloved! I swear by Allah that the kinship of the Messenger of Allah is more beloved to me than my kinship, and you are surely more beloved to me than my daughter 'Aisha, and I wished the day your father died that I died and did not stay after him... Do you see me, when knowing you and your virtues and honour, denying you your right and inheritance from the Messenger of Allah (sawa)? Except that I heard your father the Messenger of Allah (sawa) saying: We, the folk of prophets, do not leave bequests - what we leave is for alms'.

Fatimah (as) did not comment on the inheritance issue, since she has previously dealt with that in detail in her sermon, but she wanted to establish the proof on the two of them regarding the harm, injustice and wrong-doing to which she was subjected. Hence she said: 'Can I see you if I narrate a hadith from the Messenger of Allah (sawa); you know it, will you do according to it?' They replied: 'Yes'; she said: 'I ask you by Allah, haven't you heard the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sawa): the satisfaction of Fatimah is my satisfaction and the discontent of Fatimah is my discontent?' They said: 'Yes, we heard it from the Messenger of Allah (sawa)'. She said: 'Therefore, I take Allah and his angels as witnesses that you have made me discontented and have not satisfied me, and when I meet the

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Prophet I shall complain about you to him!'. Abu Bakr said: 'I take refuge in Allah from his discontent and your discontent O Fatimah!’ but she said: 'I swear by Allah that I shall invoke Allah against you in every prayer I do!'(1)

In another source, she said: 'I ask you by Allah, have you heard the Prophet (sawa) say: Fatimah is part of me and I am part of her; whoever harms her harms me and whoever harms me harms Allah, and whoever harms her after my death it is as if he has harmed her during my life, and who harms her during my life as if he harms her after my death?'. They said: 'O Lord, yes'; she said: 'Gratitude to Allah'. Then she said: 'O Allah! I make you witness, so be witnesses you who are present, that they have harmed me in my life and at my death!'(2)

In this way, and with all strength and courage, Fatimah (as) proved her case and registered that the two of them had made her angry, and hence also the Messenger of Allah (sawa), and above that Allah the Most High. Her anger remained, like a bleeding wound, in the heart of her descendants and followers. When Abdullah bin al-Hasan was asked about Abu Bakr and 'Umar, he said: 'Our mother was a truthful woman and daughter of a sent prophet; she died angry with some people and we are angry because of her anger.'(3)

Her burial, grave and Ali's funeral farewell speech

Her protest did not stop at

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1- Al-Imamah wal Siyasah, p. 14.
2- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 203.
3- Commentary of Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 6, p. 49-50.

that; she continued her protest until her death. She asked Ali (as) to bury her at night (1) and that those who oppressed her and confiscated her right should not be present. She wanted to express her protest and opposition to aggression and injustice even after death, and she wanted it to be angry and hurtful, but with wisdom and convincing evidence and strong attitudes. She knew that people would start asking: why would the daughter of the Prophet (sawa) be buried at night? Why did she request that? What was happening? For this had not happened in Islam and everyone was expecting to participate in the funeral of their Prophet's daughter. But they were to find out that she was buried at night, and they would be told that that was her will!

The question spread out amongst Muslims: why? This is what Fatimah (as) wanted, to awaken consciences, and those who had been fooled would know the nature of the conspiracy and what had happened.

Moreover, her will also stated that her grave should be flattened so as to add another proof and witness to the injustice she suffered, and to eternalize her protest upon those who oppressed her...(2)

Ali (as) did exactly what she wanted and buried her at night and effaced her grave. The place of her grave remained unknown, although some narrations by the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (as) say that she was buried in her house, while others say that she was buried in the rauda (garden)

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1- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 210-1; Ibn Sa'd in Tabaqat al-Sahabah; al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak; al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan; al-Tabari in al-Tareekh; and others.
2- 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 519.

which was, according to some scholars, what the Prophet (sawa) meant in his hadith: ‘Between my grave and my pulpit a garden from the gardens of paradise.' A third possibility, according to others, is that she was buried in the cemetery of al-Baqee'.(1)

Chapter 2:Her Status

In the Holy Qur'an


Ahlul Bayt (as) are mentioned in the Qur'an in many verses. Here we look at three verses which mention our Lady Fatimah (as).

1- The verse of feeding

This is: 'And they give away food, out of love for Him, to the poor and the orphan and the captive. We feed you only for God's sake, we intend not of you any recompense, nor thanks! Verily, we dread from our Lord, a stern day of distress. So will God guard them from the evil of that day and cause them to meet freshness and pleasure. And shall recompense them, for what they endured with patience, with garden and silk.' (Qur'an 76:8-12)

Commentators, from different Muslim sects, said that these honourable verses referred to Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husain (as). In al-Kashshaf, it is narrated by Ibn 'Abbas that 'al-Hasan and al-Husain got ill and were visited by the Messenger of Allah and the people with him. They said: O Abul Hasan! Why not make a vow for your sons? So Ali and Fatimah and Fadda - a servant - vowed that if they (the sons) became well, they would fast three days. They became completely well, so Ali borrowed from Simon, the Khaybarian Jew, three measures of barley; Fatimah grinded one amount and

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1- Al-Bihar, vol. 97, p. 190, 192, 193, 196; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 517-526.

baked five bread discs for the five of them. When they took it in their hands to break the fast a beggar came and said: Assalamu Alaikum Ahla Bayti Muhammad (Peace be upon you, O progeny of Muhammad) - a needy from among the Muslims, feed me, and may Allah feed you from the banquets of Paradise! They favoured him and spent their night without taking anything but water, and fasted in the morning. When the evening came and they took the food in their hands, an orphan came and they favoured him; a captive came in the third night and they did likewise.

In the morning, Ali (may Allah be satisfied with him) took al-Hasan and al-Husain to the Messenger of Allah (sawa), who, when saw them trembling like chicks from great hunger, said: How hard for me the state which I see you in; and he left with them and went to Fatimah in her prayer niche, and saw her with her back stuck to her abdomen and her eyes sunken, and was saddened. Gabriel came down and said: Take it O Muhammad! Allah congratulates you with your progeny. And he recited the chapter for him.'(1)

This is the secret of Ahlul Bayt (as): they move in all their activities in life for the sake of Allah, without asking or requesting recompense or gratitude. This is a great humanistic virtue: a person should give all that he owns to whoever needs it, without expecting for any repayment, but waiting only

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1- Al-Kashshaf commentary, vol. 4, p. 670; Shawahid al-Tanzeel, al-Hasakani, vol. 2, p. 399; al-Baydawi, vol. 2, p. 526; al-Tha'labi in al-Kashf wal Tabyan, p. 279.

for the mercy of Allah. This is the value of Ahlul Bayt, and amongst them our Lady Fatimah (as): they have lived the spirit of donation and giving - in their knowledge, social position, strength, soul and blood - all for the sake of Allah and in His way.

2- The verse of Mubahalah (challenge)

This is: 'And unto him who disputeth with thee therein, after the knowledge hath come unto thee, Say! 'come ye, let us summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves and then let us invoke and lay the curse of God on the liars!'(Qur'an 3:61)

Here, all commentators agree that our women refers to Fatimah al-Zahra (as), and that this is as the Messenger of Allah (sawa) wanted it and showed it practically.

In the story of this dialogue which the Prophet (sawa) commanded with some Christians, the Prophet (sawa) took a new route to deal with the situation when the dialogue reached a dead end, and it is this method of challenging which the verse tells us about.

The narration of the great Ali bin Ibrahim al-Qommi, from Imam al-Sadiq (as) says that: 'The Christians of Najran came (as a delegation) to the Messenger of Allah.... They prayed using the bell; the Prophet's companion objected: O Messenger of Allah! This in your mosque? He said: Leave them (to pray as they like). When they finished they came to the Prophet (sawa) and said: To what do you call? He said: To bear witness that there is

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no God but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah and that 'Isa (Jesus) (as) is created a slave (of Allah), and eats, drinks and excretes.

They said: Then who is his father? The revelation was then revealed to the Messenger of Allah (sawa) saying: Say to them - what do you say about Adam, has he been created a slave (of Allah), eating, drinking, excreting and marrying? So the Prophet (sawa) asked them and they replied: yes. He asked them: Then who is his father? They could not answer, so Allah revealed: Verily, the similitude of Jesus with God is as the similitude of Adam; He created him out of dust, then said He unto him BE, and he became' (Qur'an 3:59) and 'And unto him who disputeth with thee... let us invoke and lay the curse of God on the liars!' The Messenger of Allah (sawa) said: So, challenge me: if I am telling the truth the curse falls unto you, and if I am a liar the curse falls unto me. They said: You are speaking in justice.

They agreed on a date for Mubahalah (challenge). When they returned to the places they were staying in, their leaders al-Sayyid, al-'Aqib and al-Ahtam said: If he challenged us with his people, we accept the challenge for he is not a prophet; but if he challenges us with his family in particular we don't challenge him, for he is not going to push forward his family unless he is

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truthful. In the morning, they came to the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and with him the Commander of the Faithful, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husain (as), so the Christians said: Who are those? The people replied: This is his cousin and successor and son-in-law, and this is his daughter Fatimah, and these are his sons al-Hasan and al-Husain. So they became frightened and said to the Messenger of Allah (sawa): We give you the satisfaction, so give us leave from the challenge.'(1)

.'and our women': those amongst women who represent the nearest position to my humanistic and spiritual affiliation in my life, and here I put forward my daughter Fatimah, the Doyenne of the Women of the World, who is 'part of me' and 'Allah becomes angry for her anger and satisfied for her satisfaction' in this great challenge so as to prove that I am absolutely sure about the truth of my call, for man does not put forward his most beloved people to the places of danger unless he is certain of safety.

3- The verse of Purification (tat-heer)

This is: 'Verily, verily God intendeth but to keep off from you [every kind of] uncleanness, O ye the People of the House, and purify you (with) a thorough purification.'(Qur'an 33:33)

Ummu Salamah (the wife of the Prophet) said: The Prophet (sawa) was in my house and also Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husain; I prepared some food for them and they ate and went to sleep and he (sawa) covered them with a robe or cloak and said: 'O

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1- Al-Qummi commentary, vol.1, p. 104; Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1871; Sunan al-Turmuthi, vol. 5, p. 638; Shawahid al-Tanzeel, vol. 1, p. 155; al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, p. 148; al-Kamil fil Tareekh, vol. 2, p. 393.

Lord! These are the people of my house; keep off from them all uncleanness and purify them with a thorough purification.'

In another narration, Ummu Salamah said that the verse was revealed in her house and 'I was sitting at the door of the house, and said: O Messenger of Allah! Am I not from the People of the House? He replied: 'You are in a good (right) way - you are with the wives of the Prophet'. She added: And in the house (then was) the Messenger of Allah (sawa), Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husain.(1)

What is the meaning of the rijs (uncleanness) in the verses above?

Rijs in language means anything unclean which may stick to the body or other material thing; it can also refer to the non-material side of the personality. Allah called pork rijs, and at the same time called atheism, polytheism and the consequences of bad deeds rijs: 'But as to those in whose hearts is a disease, it addeth unto them uncleanliness to their uncleanliness, and they shall die while they are infidels.' (Qur'an 9:125) And ‘Whomsoever willeth God that He should guide him aright, He expandeth his breast (heart/mind) for Islam, and whomsoever He intendeth to leave straying, He maketh his breast straight and narrow as though he is climbing into the very skies; thus doth God lay ignominious chastisement (rijs) on those who believe not.'(Qur'an 8:126)

In light of this, it seems that the word (as used in the verses in question) refers to the

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1- Al-Tabari, vol. 22, p. 5-8; Fada'il al-Khamsah fil Sihah al-Sittah, vol. 1, p. 214.

negative moral attributes which represent the uncleanness of the soul. In addition, the word has another meaning: the intellectual mistakes in recognizing things that appears to point to individual infallibility. This is a Divine favour that Allah effects inside the self to prevent it from false belief and wrong doing, through the fact that this word also entails a notion of repulsion and rejection, and the need to abstain from it.

This verse is a clear proof of the infallibility of Ahlul Bayt (as), because the 'lam' (corresponding to the sound of letter L) in the word 'rijs' (i.e. al-rijs) makes it inclusive of all that can cause shortfall in a person's personality, and all that causes repulsion from it when it deviates and commits mistakes by it (the rijs). Therefore, it points to the will of Allah to remove all deep causes of deviation or mistakes. In other words: Allah has stored in Ahlul Bayt (as) the knowledge and special attributes of sanctity and purity to remove all rijs from them and effect purity in them.

In the hadith


The Messenger of Allah (sawa) talked about Fatimah (as) and her virtues a great deal, and described her in a way that he did not do with other women. As the Prince of Poets Ahmad Shawki said:

He did not wish other than her for offspring

And who begets al-Zahra will not wish any others.

And the Messenger of Allah (as) when he evaluates (someone), he does not do it out of emotion or desire - God forbid!

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'And nor he speaketh of (his own) inclination' (Qur'an 53:3); he speaks by the tongue of revelation: 'It (the wording) is naught but a revelation revealed.' (Qur'an 53:4)

And here, let us touch on some of his narrations regarding his daughter Fatimah (as).

1- The Doyenne of the Women of the World

Among the most important titles with which the truthful, pure Fatimah (as) was bestowed was narrated in the famous hadith from the Prophet (sawa): 'The doyenne of the women of paradise.'(1)

In another hadith: 'The doyenne of the women of the world.'(2)

In a third: 'The doyenne of believing women'; and in a fourth: ‘The doyenne of the women of the nation.'(3)

In another hadith: 'O my daughter! Are not you satisfied that you are the doyenne of the women of the world? She said: O father! What about Mary daughter of 'Imran (then)? He said: She is the doyenne of the women of her world and you are the doyenne of the women of your world; I swear by Allah that I have married you to a master in life and the hereafter.'(4)

Now, we should stop to ponder about this. Is this title, Doyenne of the Women of the World, a mere honorary title?

No! The Messenger of Allah (sawa) does not give titles without a reason, for when he moves to evaluate people, even if they are his relatives, he does so according to precise evaluation of the actual capabilities of the person in question. Otherwise, he would have been speaking out of desire, while Allah says: 'And nor he speaketh

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1- Sahih al-Bukhari, al-Karmani commentary, vol. 15, p. 4,Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3, p. 498 and vol.6, p. 542.
2- Musnad Abu Dawood, p. 196, hadith 1373; al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 156.
3- Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1905; Fada'il al-Khamsah, vol. 3, p. 137-146.
4- Hilyat al-Awliya', vol. 2, p. 42.

of (his own) inclination. It (the wording) is naught but a revelation revealed.' (Qur'an 53:3-4)

Hence, for Fatimah to be the Doyenne of the Women of Paradise means that He has amassed in her mind, heart and virtues, all the mind, heart and virtues of the women of paradise, and in fact excelled on them.

And for Fatimah to be the Doyenne of the Women of the World or Believing Women, this means that all the virtues and attributes of believing and all the merits of believing women are invested and manifested in her. Otherwise, how could she be a doyenne of a people if she had not outshone them or had not acquired the merit with which she would possess that mastery.

2- Fatimah is part of me

In another word by him (sawa), regarding the distinguished position of being the Doyenne of Women, he said: 'Fatimah is part of me, whoever makes her angry makes me angry.'(1) And: 'Verily my daughter Fatimah is only (and nothing else) a part of me, what hurts her hurts me.'(2)

In its different forms, this narration which came from the Truthful and Trustworthy (al-Sadiq al-Amin) (sawa), who - as we said before - would only speak through an Islamic revelation, not through emotion, because his emotion was that of a human, who would embrace his daughter like any human would embrace his son or daughter. But when he gives a distinctive judgement, he gives it through revelation and message, and no one can ever claim it was not what Allah has said:

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1- Sahih al-Bukhari, al-Karmani commentary, vol. 15, p. 5.
2- Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1903.

'And if (Our Apostle Muhammad) had fabricated against us any of the sayings. Certainly would We have seized him by the right hand. Then certainly would We have cut off his aorta!' (Qur'an 29:44-46)

These narrations express the spiritual intermixing and deep bond between him and her. His words 'a part of me' are not intended to mean the material side, for this is quite obvious to anyone, but something that is deeper than that. For someone to be a part of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) means that they are related to the Messenger of Allah, in a missionary relationship, as if they are part of his body. This means that their mind contains some of the mind of the Prophet (sawa), their soul contains some of the soul of the Prophet (sawa) and their life contains the purity, spirituality, truthfulness and trustworthiness as exhibited by the Prophet (sawa).

He (sawa) adds 'whoever makes her angry makes me angry'. We recognize that the bearers of the Messages do not become emotional when people hurt their children; but also that a righteous father will not get angry and emotional if people rightfully make his son angry, because he does wrong to them. So, what is the meaning of 'whoever makes her angry makes me angry'?

It means that Fatimah is the woman who can never do wrong to anyone, in words or in deeds, so that people have the right to hurt her or make her angry. In fact, if Fatimah becomes angry

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no one will have made her angry, because she will have become angry only for Allah. For the woman who can never harm anyone, sin or deviate, whoever makes her angry he is surely making Allah angry; and she is a person who does not get hurt unless Allah is disobeyed or people deviate from Allah's way. Therefore the Messenger of Allah is hurt if she is hurt.

By the same token, his saying as in some narrations 'What satisfies her satisfies me' means that she is satisfied only with what satisfies Allah and His Messenger. Had the Prophet (sawa) not been fully aware of the depth of the personality of Fatimah (as), and that she was an image of his soul, thinking, way and message, and that the Message was imprinted in her personality, and her personality dissolved in the Message, it would have been incorrect for him to bind his satisfaction to hers, and his anger to hers. This proves, very clearly, that Fatimah (as) is infallible, pure and has reached the summit of perfection.

3- Allah's satisfaction and hers

In another narration, the Prophet (sawa) said: 'Surely Allah becomes angry for the anger of Fatimah and becomes satisfied for her satisfaction/if she is satisfied.'(1)

This text is even stronger evidence than its predecessor in proving the greatness of Fatimah (as) and her elevated position before Allah the Most High. What does it mean that Allah becomes angry for the anger of a person, and satisfied for his satisfaction? It means that this person has lived

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1- Ma Rawat-hu al-'Ammah min Manaqib Ahlul Bayt, p. 23; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, chapter 8, p. 220.

in all the locations of Allah's satisfaction, and has stayed away from the locations of his anger. This was what was expressed by Imam al-Husain (as) when he said: 'The satisfaction of Allah is the satisfaction of us, the People of the House.'(1)

The Muslims

It is no secret that Fatimah (as) is the main female personality sanctified by all Muslims. If we read what the Muslim scholars, from both the Sunnah and Shi'ah, have written and the books and papers on her, we find that they talk about her with highest respect, love and glorification; this is because of what her personality contained in terms of high moral values, spiritual purity and knowledge, all of which have made her a role model to be followed by Muslims, and also from what they know about her from the Qur'an and the sayings of the Prophet (sawa) which have clarified her position and underlined the obligation to respect, appreciate and glorify her, and avoiding everything that hurts her and angers her.

'Aisha, the Prophet's wife, described her as the most truthful after her father. And Anas bin Malik said that there was no one who resembled the Messenger of Allah (sawa) more closely than al-Hasan bin Ali and Fatimah.(2)

And Ibn Mas'ood, Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn 'Umar, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa'eed al-Khudari, Salman al-Farsi and other companions of the Prophet (sawa) told of her virtues and merits in a lot of narrations and praised her to the highest.

The same was true for the successors of the companions

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1- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 44, p. 367.
2- Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3, p. 642.

(tabi'een) and their successors (tabi'ee al-tabi'een), including the compilers of books of hadith such as al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Hakim al-Naysaboori, al-Baghawi, Ibn 'Abdul Barr, Ibn Hajar and others, who allocated in their books chapters to narrate what was said in her regard and how Allah distinguished her from others.(1)

It was because of the love and sanctification that the Muslim society had for Fatimah (as), that when they attacked her house to insult her and threatened to burn the house, the only objection was that inside the house was Fatimah. They did not say that inside the house was Ali or al-Hasan and al-Husain or Zaynab, but 'inside it is Fatimah', which meant that she was living deep within the conscience of the Muslims and that she had possessed their love. Some of the attackers had their hearts beating with love for her and this was why they left weeping when they heard her voice.(2)

Also, we saw how the Muslims reacted to her sermon which she gave after the death of the Prophet (sawa) and the usurpation of the caliphate and confiscating Fadak; they were touched with her speech to the extent that 'People have not seen more men weeping and women weeping like that day.'(3)



Al-Zahra, al-Batool, in her knowledge, worship, faith in Allah and care for the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and the Commander of the Faithful (as), reached the position of infallibility, elevated to the degree of holiness, untarnished by sin, and left for us the highest example as a

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1- Ma Rawat-hu al-'Ammah min Manaqib Ahlul Bayt, p. 229; A'yan al-Shi'ah, vol. 1, p. 307; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 48 et seq.; Fada'il al-Khamsa, vol. 3, p. 122 et seq.
2- Al-Mustarshid, al-Tabari, p. 376; al-Imamah wal Siyasah, p. 13.
3- Commentary to Nahj al-Balaghah, Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, vol. 16, p. 122.

woman who lived her life for Allah and closed her eyes to depart from life, whilst reciting the praise of Allah.

We believe that Fatimah (as) is infallible - free of all wrongdoing, incorrectness, lack of awareness, or forgetfulness, and that she committed no sin whatever small.

(A) The proof on her infallibility

We can deduce her infallibility from three proofs - this is in addition to the aforementioned hadith: 'Fatimah is part of me; whoever makes her angry makes me angry':

First proof - If we study her life, from birth to death, her life with her father, husband, sons and all people, we will find no error or wrongdoing in thoughts or speech, or uncertainty in deeds; thus her life has been a manifestation of infallibility in the most comprehensive way.

Second proof - She is from the People of the House (Ahlul Bayt), whom Allah kept from all uncleanness and on whom he conferred thorough purification, and so the verse of purification includes her when it includes Ali, al-Hasan and al-Husain (as) - the verse that serves as proof of their infallibility. The verse of purification is, therefore, a witness of the truth, which cannot be disputed by falsehood, that Fatimah is infallible.

When we use the verse of purification to prove her infallibility, this does not mean at all that before the revelation of the verse she had not been infallible. Rather, she had been infallible before its revelation, with an absolute infallibility for which her conduct stands as witness. The verse of purification merely confirmed this

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infallibility; it did not confer it upon her.

Third proof - Fatimah al-Zahra (as) is the Doyenne of the Women of the World, as was confirmed by the famous hadith narrated by the two schools of thought. It is inconceivable that a woman would attain the position of the Doyenne of the Women of the World without being a person who lived the whole of truth in her mind and heart, and that falsehood could ever creep into any of this at all.

(B) The nature of her infallibility

Our opinion of the infallibility of Ahlul Bayt (as) is that Allah the Most High has placed in them elements of knowledge and spirit and holiness which remove all uncleanness from them and confer purity upon them. He gave them a light by which they move, through their awareness of all the rays of light and its horizons, and that he gave them knowledge and spirituality which match the awareness and knowledge of Allah and an awareness of Islam in its full depth and breadth, so that they move dynamically with purity and awareness, and away from evil with awareness.

These elements deepen their awareness and will, but do not move them automatically and without choice. No one should suggest that the meaning of formative infallibility ('ismah takweeniyyah), as taken from the verse ‘Verily, verily God intendeth...', means that Allah the Most High takes away choice from them, so that they become the purified and free of uncleanness not out of their own volition like a machine without awareness; this

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thinking is false. Although we said that Allah was the One who conferred upon them the virtues of holiness, spirituality and knowledge, this would not mean that consequently they were deprived of choice and would become like a machine or a cane in the hands of its owner, because these virtues would actually deepen the awareness in them as we said, not deprive them of choice.(1)

Therefore, Fatimah's infallibility was willful infallibility, and proceeded from her awareness and from Divine favour, which gracefully saved her from prostration to idols or committing sins, like he gracefully saved her husband Ali (as) from prostration to idols before the start of the Message and after it - this is in contrast to many Muslim men and women who prostrated to the idols before Islam. As for Fatimah (as), her prostration was to Allah from the moment she knew prostration, and her bowing was to Allah from the moment she knew bowing.

Chapter 3: The Role Model

The Truthful

It was narrated that 'Aisha said: 'I have not seen any one more truthful than her - Fatimah - but only her father.'(2) The value of this hadith is that it has been narrated by 'Aisha, who seems to have spoken after a study of the Islamic society. It is worth noting that 'Aisha did not say in her description of Fatimah (as) that she was 'the truthful', but the most truthful. This expression, when given to a person, means that they are very sensitive to truthfulness, and that they would make

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1- For the reader who wants to know his eminence's opinion (regarding this issue), refer to the book Fiqh al-Hayat, p. 267 which makes his opinion quite clear; the controversy which has arisen may perhaps be the result of not referring to his words and being misled by the term ''ismah takweeniyyah', which has appeared in some of his works.
2- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, chapter 3, p. 53; al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 160.

absolutely sure that any word they utter contains no false suggestions, and certainly no lies. 'Aisha saw Fatimah as (as) the most truthful, and one who represented truth in speech and attitude, like her father the Messenger of Allah (sawa) who manifested truth so that his folk knew him - even before the start of his Message - as 'the truthful, the trustworthy'.

Fatimah (as) acquired this attribute from her father (sawa) and excelled in it until she became the most truthful after him. Fatimah (as) has been, and still is, a role model of truthfulness, and wants us to turn life into truth, so that every one of us might be the most truthful with himself and the most truthful among his people, not like the many who live their lives in continuous lying - lying in religion through all kinds of deviations, and in politics with all its traitors and arrogant powers, and in social reality where lying may promote selfish interests.

The Worshipper

If we look at what history books have told us about Fatimah (as), we find that her worship was unrivalled. Here are some examples:

1- It is told that al-Hasan al-Basri said: 'There was no one in this nation who worshipped more than Fatimah: she used to pray until her feet became swollen.'(1)

2- Even more emphatic was her son, Imam al-Hasan (as), who said: 'I saw my mother Fatimah (as) standing up in her mihrab [prayer niche] every Friday night. She bowed and prostrated herself until dawn, and I

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1- Al-Bihar vol. 43, p 84; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p.224.

heard her praying for the believers, naming them...!'(1)

Fatimah was burdened with her household problems, pregnancies and children, and with her Islamic responsibilities in the social arena - but in spite of all that, and the weakness of her body, she would worship Allah until her feet became swollen, and found the time to stay awake and pray all night, praising Allah.

The Miraculous Favors

No doubt that there were normal circumstances which formed the backdrop to the spiritual and mental development of Lady Fatimah (as), such as the Prophet's upbringing of her - the same applies to other great women such as Zakariyah's upbringing of the Virgin Mary (as). However, in addition to this, there was the Divine favour which covered her in purity and holiness, and empowered her to perform some miracles even while she was in her mother's womb (2) and honoured her with the visit of the angel.(3)

And while we cannot infer that there were metaphysical elements in Fatimah's personality which place her beyond being a human being, or that her life was transformed completely by metaphysical events which defy the natural laws that Allah has placed in the universe, this does not mean at all that such events are to be denied altogether. Fatimah (as) was indeed the person so endowed by the favours and graces of Allah that we can say that there was an element of the metaphysical in her personality.

It was narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sawa) used to enter her room and find food, just

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1- Al-Bihar vol. 43, p 253; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p.225, from'Ilal al-Sharayi'.
2- 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 201.
3- 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 583.

as when Zakariyyah used to enter Mary's room and find food, and then ask: 'O Mary! From where have you got this?' She would reply: 'It is from God; Verily God provideth whomsoever He liketh without measure.' (Qur'an 2:37)

Likewise, Fatimah (as) used to answer her father (sawa): she had the miraculous favour of Allah, Who prepared her to be the Doyenne of the Women of the World, and to occupy such position, she had to have all the virtues and elements of goodness, truth, worship and purity.

In addition, she was blessed by other miraculous favours that revealed her great position in relation to Allah and her nearness to him.

But was Fatimah (as) a paranormal woman?

In spite of all the aforementioned proofs of Fatimah's infallibility, holiness, miraculous favours and virtues, all these do not remove her from the human race. She was a woman who had feelings, emotions and desires, as other women have. Her greatness was that she developed her feelings within the framework of Allah's satisfaction and did not let her desires go beyond what Allah permitted, and so her heart, mind and body did not deviate from the right path by even the tiniest measure.

It was the same with the Messenger of Allah (sawa): he was a human being with the peculiarities of all men 'And say thou: I am only a man like you, it is revealed unto me...' (Qur'an 18:110) If he and also the prophets (as), Imams and Fatimah (as) had not been human beings,

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they would not have had any distinction over the rest of the people, and there would have been no meaning in following them: 'And had We made him an Angel, We would have certainly made him a man, and We would have made confused to them what they (now) make confused.' (Qur'an 6:9) The greatness and value of these (individuals) is that they are human beings and not angels; but through their will and holiness they are, for Allah, higher than the angels.

A Spirit Overflowing

After her missionary concern, came her concern for the people around her, or rather her concern for the people was part of her missionary concerns. Here lies the value of Fatimah (as), for her high and distinguished position does not lie in her family descent - however honourable - or in her tribe, or in any other connection that people boast about, but in the Islamic values which have been manifested in her, and for which she was called. It is for these values that man lives for others before living for himself - to bear the burdens and concerns of others and loves for them what he loves for himself, and hates for them what he hates for himself. This was what Fatimah (as) manifested in her being; in fact she excelled to the highest level, and she did not only give the others some of what had Allah given her, but she also favoured them, even though she herself was in urgent need.

Imam al-Hasan (as) said:

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'I saw my mother Fatimah (as) standing up in her mihrab [prayer niche] every Friday night. She bowed and prostrated herself until dawn, and I heard her praying for the believers, naming them, and she prayed much for them and never for herself. So I said to her: O mother! Why don't you pray for yourself as you pray for others? She said: O my son! The neighbour [first], then the house!'(1)

And for whom was she praying at night, when she was waiting to sit before Allah to confide in Him, and to submit and surrender to Him? Was she praying for herself, and requesting something for herself, like many of us would do when we pray during the day or night?

No! For her the matter lay in another direction: she would use the precious opportunity of the night - its serenity and spirituality through which the horizons open for worshippers and uplift the soul - to pray not for herself but for the believers.

The knowledgeable

(1) Knowledge

She used to sit with Ali (as) before the Prophet (sawa), as the revelation was revealed, listening with eagerness and concentration to the Messenger's teachings which explained to them the meanings of the revelation and taught them Allah's rulings and law.

One piece of evidence that the Prophet (sawa) used to take care of Fatimah's learning was the hadith narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (as): 'When Fatimah came complaining to the Messenger of Allah (sawa) about something, he gave her a [dried] palm tree branch - which was

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1- Al-Bihar vol. 43, p 253; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p.225, from'Ilal al-Sharayi'.

used for writing - and said: Learn what is in it... In it was: Whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgement must not hurt his neighbour, and whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgement shall be generous to his guest, and whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgement shall say [something] good or be silent.'(1)

The Prophet (sawa) wanted for her to relieve her pains by becoming busy with Islamic values and propagating them to people. This suggests to us that we should be aware of our missionary role more than our pains, so that we might beat our pain through our mission, for whoever lives the concerns of the grand issues forgets his pains and renders them insignificant.

(2) The Importance of Knowledge

Some scholars of the hadith narrated that a man came to Fatimah (as) and said: 'O Fatimah daughter of the Messenger of Allah! Have you got something to give me?' She said to her servant: 'Get me that 'writing piece [made of palm tree branches].' And when she could not find it, Fatimah (as) said: ‘Get it! It is for me equal to Hasan and Husain! This is the inheritance of the Messenger of Allah (sawa).'(2)

We can see clearly from this narration how much Fatimah (as) respects knowledge, for we know how much she loved her sons al-Hasan and al-Husain (as). It must also be clear that importance does not lie in the letters of the written word, but in its spirit, which turns it into the

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1- Musnad Fatimah, al-Kafi, p.585.
2- Majma' al-Zawa'id, Musnad Fatimah, p. 66, p. 586;Dela'il al-Zahra, p. 27.

thoughts that enrich man, and the dynamic movement that corrects his ways and guides his experience.

This narration might also suggest that the Truthful (as) used to receive men and answer their questions and religious queries, or give them some religious advice.

The Teacher

Al-Zahra (as) did not restrict herself to writing down the knowledge, and collecting it in a book or other written texts; she also worked to propagate it in the Muslim society. Also, she did not wait for people to come to her with queries and to provide the answers to them, but took the initiative to spread knowledge in society. The writers of her history narrated that she used to teach lessons to the women of the Migrants (muhajroon) and Supporters (ansar), who used to gather for her teaching lessons, rather as pupils assemble for the lessons given in the religious schools we know today. Her sermon in the Mosque, in which she explained the secrets of jurisprudence and Divine laws, as well as other points, is a living document and the best testimony of Fatimah's cultural message and her educational, intellectual responsibility.

The Writer

Her concern for knowledge and the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and Islamic teachings and rulings reached such an extent that she would write down everything she heard from the Prophet (sawa) directly, or indirectly - i.e. what was also narrated to her by Ali (as) or her son al-Hasan (as) - as can be understood from the narrations above.

It could be said that Fatimah (as)

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was the first writer in Islam, among both men and women, and the first to write the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) in his presence. And from this we can see that what the caliph 'Umar bin al-Khattab did, when he prohibited the writing of the hadith of the Prophet (sawa) so that - as he claimed - the sunnah did not get mixed up with the Qur'an, was wrong, and his arguments were unconvincing, for we see Fatimah (as) writing the hadith of the Prophet (sawa) during his life, without him (sawa) prohibiting it.

The narrations also mention what was called 'mus-haf Fatimah', i.e. the book of Fatimah (as), which has aroused a great deal of controversy. Therefore, we have to clarify the nature of this book and what it has contained.

First of all, we have to emphasize that this book - according to the belief of all Shi'ah without exception - is not another Qur'an, or different from the Qur'an which Muslims have and which has had been neither added to nor abbreviated.

Some Muslim scholars have tried to accuse the Shi'ah of having a Qur'an different to the Qur'an known to all Muslims. This accusation derives from the word mus-haf, which some suggested to mean Qur'an, and also on what Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: 'It is three times bigger than your mus-haf.'(1) We say to those, as we have said to many Sunni Muslim scholars (2) that if you go to all Shi'ite places in the world

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1- Al-Bihar, vol. 26, p. 39. It is obvious that the Imam (as) was talking about the size of this book, and that is why he added: 'I swear by Allah that it has not got not even one letter from your Qur'an', i.e. it is a piece of knowledge that is quite separate from the Holy Qur'an.
2- His eminence had talked to the late Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali, who was fair in this issue, as he had been in other issues; see his book Difa' 'an al-'Aqeedah wal Sharee'ah Didda Meta'in al-Mustashriqeen, p. 219-220.

and enter their homes, bookshops, mosques and Husainiyyahs, you will not find any other book besides the Qur'an that is in your hands - it is not different in one word, not even in one letter.

As to the nature of this book, the narration said: '.... Gabriel used to come to her to offer her good condolences in her father and to make her satisfied and to inform her about her father and his place and to tell her about what was going to happen to her offspring; and Ali used to write that; this was mus-haf Fatimah.'(1)

And in the narration from Imam al-Sadiq (as), he read: 'Mus-haf Fatimah (as), I do not claim that there is Qur'an in it; in it is what people need us for and we do not need any one.'(2)

Another narration tells us that Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: 'And to bring out mus-haf Fatimah, for it has Fatimah's will.'(3)

According to some narrations, this book was written by Ali (as) (4) and another narration suggests that it was dictated by the Prophet (sawa) himself, with Ali (as) writing it.(5)

Hence, it is more probable that it was a book about the allowable and prohibited things (halal and haram), although it is possible that it included rulings and stories told by the angel, and also her will. In light of this, the book can be attributed to Fatimah (as), just as it can be attributed to Ali (as) and, hence, she can be regarded as the first author

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1- Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 241; al-Bihar, vol. 26, chapter 1, p. 41.
2- Al-Bihar, vol. 26, chapter 1, p. 37.
3- Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 241.
4- Al-Bihar, vol. 6, p. 41, 44.
5- Al-Bihar, vol. 26, p. 41, narration 73.

in Islam, just as Ali was the first author in Islam.

The Most Faithful Wife

History tells us that Fatimah (as) lived with her husband as best as a wife can, in love, faithfulness, obedience and care. This was why in her last days, when she was giving Ali her will, she said: ‘you have not experienced me as a liar or unfaithful and I have not disobeyed you since I have known you'; he replied: 'You are more pious, God-fearing and knowing for me to rebuke you in anything of that sort.'(1)

She used to take care of her husband, who was burdened with holy war and his responsibilities, and she did not complain about that, in spite of the cruel obligation it put on the wives of the warriors, and especially someone like the Commander of the Faithful (as), who was the lion of the wars and the lion of Allah and his Messenger (sawa). She was burdened with the upbringing of the children and her household concerns, but all that did not prevent her from performing, faithfully, her role as a wife.

She lived with her husband as any Muslim wife, did not set herself apart as the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (sawa); rather she performed her marital responsibilities as best as a Muslim woman could do in spite of the weakness that plagued her from the start of her life, as narrated by the historians.

In another narration, Ali (as) said: 'I did not make her angry throughout my life with her

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1- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, chapter 7, p. 191.

and she did not make me angry and did not disobey my orders throughout her life with me.'(1) Satisfaction was granted to them because they lived as people with a mission, and the Message was the greatest of their concerns.

Because Fatimah (as) was faithful to her husband, and harmonized with him in soul and spirituality, it would be inconceivable that she would insult Ali (as) in any way. Therefore I reject strongly the suggestion that Fatimah (as) said:'O Ibn Abi Talib! You have wrapped yourself like an embryo and sat like an accused! You have not satisfied by speech, and have not helped with any useful thing, and I have no choice',(2) because these words were insults and Fatimah (as) was above insulting Ali (as) or telling him 'what is your use? You have not benefited me, you are like an embryo'!

Supportive Couple

Ali and Fatimah (as) used to divide the responsibilities inside the house, and in our narrations Fatimah (as) asked the Prophet (sawa), in a loving way, to divide the chores between her and Ali (as). The agreement was that she would grind, knead and bake and Ali (as) would sweep the floor, and bring water and wood (for the fire).(3)

In this there is a lesson for both men and women: men should learn not to feel too grand to serve at home. Ali (as) swept the floor and brought the water and wood, while the men among us feel their masculinity is brought into question if they sweep the

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1- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 134.
2- 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 477.
3- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 81; Rawdat al-Kafi, vol. 8, p. 145.

floor or bring water. Ali was the master of men, but saw nothing objectionable in sweeping the floor of the house, because the house was his house and the wife his wife. He was a human being, and she was a human being, and a man, however great, is never too big to serve his children, wife, father, mother, brothers and sisters or anyone for whom he is responsible.

The same lesson has to be learned by women: that work at home is not belittling - a mentality which has arisen amongst Muslim women lately. Fatimah (as) worked, grinded and baked. Although we have said many times that Allah has not made it obligatory for a woman, whether daughter or wife, to serve at home, it is obligatory under Islam in that Allah wants people who live in any position which calls for participation to participate naturally and according to their powers. Allah did not make it obligatory for women to work at home or breastfeed the children, because he wanted them to give from their heart, and with the energy, effort and awareness that springs from their own will.

In summary, in the question of serving, he who serves another within the ambit of his responsibility does not call his dignity into question; so the woman who regards her work at home as belittling to her personality, or the man who regards his participation in such work as belittling to him is misguided. There is no person who is a servant

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absolutely, and there is no person who is a master absolutely, for every one of us is a master in one circle and a servant in another.

Her Life and Suffering

History tells us that the life of Fatimah (as) might be described as ordinary, as far her daily life - doing the domestic chores, bringing up her children - is concerned. In spite of being the Doyenne of the Women of the World, the daughter of the most honourable Prophet and Messenger, wife of the Commander of the Faithful and the Master of Regents, and mother of al-Hasan and al-Husain, the masters of the Youth of Paradise, she lived a normal life, grinding, kneading, baking, cooking, taking care of her children and doing all the things that were her responsibility as the female head of the household. Also, we can say that she transcended the physical suffering that she experienced during her childhood, and which cruelly remained with her while she was in her husband's house. The suffering, troubles and difficulties that Fatimah (as) endured demonstrated the difference between her personality and the personalities of other women, for her simple way of life, her hardships, the inadequacy of her food and clothing, were things that other women seldom had to put up with, but she displayed a kind of patience towards suffering that corresponded to that shown by Ali (as).

History relates a number of stories about her life which are expressive and impressive in this respect, such as:

1- She had

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only one sheepskin which she used as a mattress, as she told her father: 'I swear by the One Who sent you with the truth as a prophet that Ali and I, for five years now, have not got but one sheepskin which we sleep on at night... and our pillow is filled with fibre/straw.'(1)

In talking to her father, she appeared satisfied and content with what Allah had given to her.

2- The narration by Imam al-Sadiq (as) that when the Messenger of Allah (sawa) saw Fatimah (as) wearing a poor-quality cloak while kneading bread and breast-feeding her son, his eyes filled with tears and he said: 'O my daughter! Accept - with alacrity - life's bitterness, while waiting for the sweetness of the hereafter.'(2)

3- Someone saw her hand-grinding barley and saying: 'But that which is with Allah is better and more enduring.' (Qur'an 28:60)

A Servant or Praising God?

Ali said once to her, when he saw the signs of great hardship and suffering on her: 'What if you go to your father to ask for a servant to relieve you a little?' She refused, as she was shy to ask the Messenger of Allah (sawa) for such request. Therefore, when they arrived, it was Ali (as) who said to the Prophet (sawa): 'She grinded with the mill until her hands became hard, and it affected her chest, and swept the house until her clothes became dusty.' However, the Prophet (sawa) replied: 'Would you like me to teach

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1- 'Awalim al-Zahra, p.264.
2- 'Awalim al-Zahra, p.266.

you something? If you learn it, it would be better than the servant: if you go to sleep say Allahu Akbar 34 times and Alhamdu Lillah 33 times and Subhan Allah 33 times. It is better for you than the servant!' They said: 'We are satisfied with Allah.'(1)

In another narration, Ali (as) added that Fatimah (as): '...lit the fire until her clothes darkened...'(2)

The Prophet (sawa) said that and he was addressing their spirits to elevate them to the highest levels, and to bond them to Allah the Most High and to relieve them of suffering, especially Fatimah (as). The Prophet (sawa) did not perhaps have a servant to give them, or perhaps he did not want to make his house or his daughter's house better than the houses of some of the poor. Hence, he taught her what was better than a servant, and eternalized with that what was later known as 'tasbeeh al-Zahra'. This perpetrated the praise after every prayer performed by the believers and before they would go to sleep, remembering through it the living hardships of their Lady al-Zahra (as), who transcended her difficulties and forgot her concerns when she sat to praise Allah (in that particular way). In this way, they learn how to live with Allah and feel the company of Allah and the sweetness of His praise when they are assailed by their concerns, difficulties and pains.

The Struggler


Fatimah (as) did not live in seclusion; rather her short life was filled with the wonderful holy struggle

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1- Wesa'il al-Shi'ah, vol. 6, p. 446; Sahih al-Bukhari, al-Karmani commentary, vol. 14, p. 244; Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 106.
2- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, chapter 4, p. 82.

on all fronts, and that she lived for Allah and His way, and to implement truth.

(A) In the Battles

She used to accompany her father (sawa) in some of his battles and wars. Historians have said that: 'When the Messenger of Allah (sawa) was wounded in the Battle of Uhud, Ali was bringing water, using his shield, from al-Mihras - the water source there - to wash the wound, but the blood did not stop.'(1) Fatimah (as) now played the role of a nurse: 'Fatimah came - gave him a dose of kindness first - and embraced him, crying, then she burned [palm tree] mat and put its ash on the wound and the blood stopped.'(2)

This suggests the depth of relationship between her and the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and her intense care for him, even though he, at that time, had more than one wife.

(B) Angry for the Truth

After the death of the Messenger of Allah (sawa), she started a holy struggle of another kind. Her biggest concern was to prove the right of Ali to the caliphate, as an Imam appointed by Allah. All her actions centered upon this high goal, and when she talked about Fadak, she did not do so because it represented a financial need, as other people might try to acquire money, for - to her and her husband - Fadak was not worth anything. As Ali (as) put it: 'What do I do with Fadak and [anything] other than Fadak when the self will, tomorrow, end up in a grave?'(3)


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1- Al-Nihayah, Ibn al-Atheer, vol. 5, p. 259.
2- Al-Kamel fil Tareekh, vol. 1, p. 554; Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, p. 1416.
3- Nahj al-Balaghah, letter no. 45.

(as) proceeded in protecting the politics of truth with her stances, words, sermons and all her activities. The women of the Supporters (ansar) came to visit her during her final illness and started to inquire about her health, her pain and weakness. And how did she answer? She said: 'I have become abandoning your life, hating your men!'(1) Why? Because they did not support the truth - did not stand with Ali (as) who represented the truth. Her stance was not because Ali (as) was her husband or cousin, but because he was her Imam, her custodian and leader (Walyy al-Amr), and the Muslims' Imam and their custodian and leader, and because Ali was with the truth and the truth with him, and because Ali was the one who was taught by the Messenger of Allah and to whom he (sawa) opened one thousand gates to knowledge, with each gate opening to one thousand other gates(2); and because had Ali been handed over the rule, he would have ruled with truth and would have laid the foundation of justice.

(C) Her reply to the Migrants and Supporters

When they came to her and said: 'Had Abu al-Hasan come and mentioned this issue before the covenant [to Abu Bakr] was confirmed and the contract [of caliphate] was fastened, we would not have chosen anyone else!' She said: 'Go away from me! You have no excuse after the warning and no say after failing in your obligations!'

Here was Fatimah (as), a firm woman flaming up with rage, entering into dialogue and

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1- Dela'il al-Zahra, p. 87.
2- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 26, p. 28-9. (This narration is one of the most famous narrations regarding the virtues of Ali (as), and has been extensively narrated by scholars in both schools of thought. The translator.)

dispute and arguments with men and women, not to prove a personal right for herself, but for a big missionary goal which was the succession and caliphate after the Prophet (sawa).

(D) Her visits to the houses of the Ansar

She retained this same firmness in her stance to the extent that, according to some narrations, she used to go out with Ali (as) to the houses of Muslims, especially the Ansar, to talk to them about the right of Ali (as) and his suitability for the caliphate. They would reply: 'Had your husband and cousin come to us before Abu Bakr, we would have never chosen anyone else!' and Ali (as) would reply: 'Do you want me to leave the Messenger of Allah (sawa) in his house, unburied, and go out to quarrel with people about his rule?' And Fatimah (as) would say: 'Abu al-Hasan could not do otherwise, and they did what Allah would judge them and reclaim from them!'(1)

She lived for the major issues and never for the minor ones, because whoever lives for Islam and all truth will have to be of the size of Islam and truth, and will have to stay firm - not to take sides or to flatter, back down, weaken, or be humiliated or saddened.

The Orator


Fatimah (as) stood like a revolutionary or opposition activist, giving voice to her side of arguments in sermons matching argument with argument, offering rebuke when strong rebuke could emphasize the meaning of truth, and being lenient when leniency and gentleness could be useful.

(A) Excerpts from her sermon in the Mosque


She stood in the Mosque,

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1- Al-Imamah wal Siyasah, p. 12.

delivering her sermon. This had no equivalent in the Arabic history - an orator talking about the secrets of Islamic jurisprudence in all its major categories providing for every one of them its explanation and a clarification of the wisdom behind it. All this was to show the people the nature of the dynamic movement of this jurisprudence in their lives.

Thus, she entered into arguments around the issue of inheritance and its related verses, and her right in it.

We shall break her sermon into several parts, according to the topics with which each part deals.

(Because of the size of this book, the full text and full commentary of his eminence is not included here, only a few excerpts from the various parts, as divided up by his eminence. The translator.)

Part 1 - The Oneness of God

'Praise and gratitude to Allah for His bounties...'

'There is no God but Allah, the One, Who is impossible for the eyes to see, and the tongues to describe.'

'He innovated the things not from something before, and created them not in imitation of past models... to bring attention to his obedience/worship and to show his powers...'

Part 2 - The Secrets of Prophethood, the Message and the Qur'an

'I bear witness that my father Muhammad is His slave and messenger, He has chosen him before sending him... He sent him in completion of his matter... So Allah has lit by my father Muhammad their [the nations] darkness, and uncovered from the hearts the difficult matters...'

'You are the worshippers of Allah, in front of His do's and don'ts, and the bearers of His religion and revelation,

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and guardians of yourselves, and His messengers to the nations...'

'And a leader of truth with you, and a covenant which he presented for you... the speaking book of Allah and the truthful Qur'an, and the shining light... a leader to [Allah's] satisfaction is following it and leading to saving is hearing it...'

Part 3 - The Rationale and Goals of Islamic Jurisprudence

'Allah made belief a purification of you from polytheism, and prayer to lead you away from arrogance, and [religious] tax to elevate the soul and increase the income, and fasting to make firm (your) faithfulness, and pilgrimage a glorifying building of the religion...'

Part 4 - Justice, Imamah and other Jurisprudence Secrets

'... and justice to harmonize the hearts (of people)... and obedience to us [Ahlul Bayt] a [perfect] system for the nation, and our Imamah a safety from differences... And good conduct with the parents a protection from the anger [of Allah]... and punishment to save blood [souls]...'

Part 5 - Defending the Right and Truth

'O people! Know that I am Fatimah and my father is Muhammad! I say again from the start, and I do not say what I say wrongfully, nor do I do what I do without reason. If you seek his family descent you shall find him father of me and not your other women, and the brother of my cousin, not your men; and you have been on the edge of Hell. Humiliated people, fearing the raids of the people around you, so Allah the Most High saved you by Muhammad, every time they lit a war fire Allah extinguished it, Or the polytheists opened their mouths [with their canines to

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bite], he [the Prophet] send his brother [Ali] unto their mouth ceilings [i.e. sent him to the points of danger and death]; he would not come back until he stepped with his foot on their ears and extinguished their flames with his sword, tired for Allah's sake near to the Messenger of Allah, a master amongst Allah's holy people... Whilst you were in soft living... And when Allah chose for his Prophet the place of His prophets and the shelter of His chosen [people], the enmity of hypocrisy showed up amongst you, and the dress of religion got worn out...Then he [Satan] called upon you and found you quick [in responding to his call], and made you angry [to instigate your bad response] and found you angry [behaving out of emotional reactions]... and that whilst the time was [still] near, and the calamity wide, and the wound still open, and the Messenger had just been buried!

Part 6 - Setting out the proof for her right to Fadak

'And you claim now that we have no inheritance! Don't you know? O yes, it has uncovered for you like mid-morning sun that I am his daughter... O son of Abu Quhafah [i.e. Abu Bakr]! Is it that by the Book of Allah you inherit your father and I do not inherit mine? You have committed a grave thing! Is it with intention that you have abandoned the Book of Allah and left it behind your backs when it says: "And Solomon inherited David" (Qur'an 19:16), and says in what it tells of the story

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of John the son of Zakariyyah when he has said: "... So grant me from thyself an heir. Who shall inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob?" (Qur'an 19: 5-6) Has Allah made a verse exclusive for you and taken my father out of it? ... Or you are more knowledgeable in the particulars and general rulings of the Qur'an than my father and my cousin? Here is [the inheritance] for you [Abu Bakr] complete, to meet you on your day of judgement; for the best judge is Allah, and the leader [in the argument] is Muhammad and the date is the Judgement [day]...'

Then she looked to the side of the Supporters (Ansar) and said:

- 'O people of support, and supporters of religion, and embracers of Islam! What is this denial to my right, and silence about my grievance? Didn't the Messenger of Allah used to say: "The person is to be taken care of in his children?"

'O sons of Qaylah! Am I being usurped from my father's inheritance and you are looking and hearing?!... And you have the numbers and [battle] preparations... And you have the weapons and the shields...'

'You are the good choice which has been chosen for us Ahlul Bayt... You fought the Arabs, and withstood the difficulties and hardships... How come you deviate after clarification... and committed polytheism after belief? ... Do you fear them? Allah is more worthy of fear if you are truly believers!'

'O, since I see that you have favoured safe

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life, and turned away the one who is more worthy of ruling... if you become infidels you and all people on Earth, surely Allah is Self-sufficient, Most Praised...'

'Thus, I said what I said, whilst knowing the deviation which had befallen you... but it was the rage of the soul and the letting out of anger... And to present in advance the argument and advice...'

'It is in Allah's eyes what you do; and those who have committed injustice shall see where they will end up; and I am daughter of a warner to you of an imminent torture; so do, we will be doing, and wait, we shall be waiting.'

(B) Excerpts from her speech to the women of Ansar

Then she spoke with the women, who gathered in her house, about the basis for Ali's right through the words of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and through Ali's capabilities.

Excerpts of what she said include:

- 'Where have they moved it [the caliphate] away from the firm origins of the Message and the foundation of Prophethood and the place of descent of the Holy Spirit and the knowledgeable in the issues of life and religion? This is surely the clear loss;'

- 'What have they grudged from Abu Hasan? I swear by Allah that they have grudged his terribly effective sword and little concern about his death.'

- 'I wonder what proof they have relied on? And what support they depended on? And to what handle they held on? And what offspring they committed [their bad deed] to and usurped?!'

- 'May the noses be damned

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of people who believe that they have done a good thing; surely they are the corrupt but without knowing! Woe unto them "Is then He who guideth unto truth more worthy to be followed or he who himself goeth not aright unless he is guided? What then hath befallen you? How [ill] ye judge?'' (Qur'an 10:35)

(C) Excerpts from the argument between Abu Bakr and Fatimah (as)

When Fatimah (as) finished her sermon, Abu Bakr said:

- '...O you the best of women and daughter of the best of prophets, truthful in your speech... not turned away from your right...'

- 'By Allah, I have not done other than the opinion of the Messenger of Allah and not done but with his permission... I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: "We the folk of prophets do not bequeath gold or silver, or houses or estates, but we bequeath the book and wisdom and knowledge and Prophethood, and what has been for us as income is for the ruler who succeeds us to do with it according to his ruling"...'

- 'O you the Doyenne of your father's nation, and the good tree of your sons... your ruling is implemented on what I own, but as for Fadak it is not mine, so do you want me to disobey your father (sawa)?'

Then Fatimah (as) replied:

- 'May Allah be praised! My father the Messenger of Allah (sawa) would not abandon the Book of Allah, and not be disobedient to its rulings; rather he used to follow it and abide by its chapters (surahs). So, do you add

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to betrayal [of us] lying on him?'

- 'This is the book of Allah - a just judge and decisive speaker - saying: "Who shall inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob;" and "And Solomon inherited David"; so Allah the Great and Almighty clarified what He divided of installments, and legislated of rights and inheritance, and allowed of the shares of the males and females what had removed the argument of the false (people) and the thinking and doubts of the perished [people]. O no! ".... Have beguiled you your [guilty] selves into something. But [my course is] comely patience; and God is He whose help is to be sought against what ye describe." (Qur'an 12:14)

Abu Bakr then said:

- 'Allah and His Messenger have told the truth, and his daughter has told the truth! I do not deny what you have said; here are the Muslims between you and me... it has been on agreement with them what I have taken... and they are witnesses.'

Fatimah (as) said finally:

- 'O you Muslim folks who are quick to the speech of falsehood, the silent [not objecting] to the losing, ugly deed; do not you [read and] ponder the Qur'an, or have your hearts been locked? Verily, I swear by Allah, that you shall see its bearing heavy, and consequences terrible, when the cover is removed... and come unto you from your Lord what you have not been preparing for, and the false people shall thence be losing.'

Then, she turned to the

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Prophet's grave and said a poem, one line of which was:

We have felt your absence likewise the Earth its rain

And your folk have deviated; so be a witness and do not be absent.

Pioneer in the Political Role of Women

In this way she was talking - as the narrations suggested - to the Muslims about that right; she was the holy struggler. To use some contemporary terminology, she was the person who practiced political work in the strongest manner: she stood alone in front of a new ruling power - albeit that people might differ regarding its nature - while Ali (as), because of some other circumstances, did not confront the matter in such a direct way....

She was alone in the Mosque, she was alone with the women of Muhajiroon and Ansar, she was alone in the Medinah arena, and she was alone in all her practical attitudes, in which the emotions of her sorrow for the Messenger of Allah (sawa) would move dynamically one time, and with revolutionary zeal at another. With that, she legitimized Muslim woman's participation in politics as an orator, as a dynamic force of opposition, with all the effort and energy that that role would call for.

She was distinguished in her opposition, in that she wanted that opposition, rage and protest to remain after her death, requesting in her will to be buried at night, so that none of those who oppressed her or deviated from the right path could be present.

The Truthful, the Witness

It was narrated by Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as): 'Fatimah is surely

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'siddeeqah' (truthful) and 'shaheedah' (witness).'(1)

We understand from this hadith that our Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (as) has achieved the position of individuals who live the truth with the self, Allah and people around them. You know, now, that she was the most truthful after her father (sawa) - as narrated by 'Aisha - and that she reached the position of the witnesses who shall bear witness on the conduct of the nation, as is the case with the prophets (as) whom Allah the Most High has chosen for this position.

It is the combination of the word 'shaheedah' with the word 'siddeeqah' that suggests for us this interpretation of the word 'shaheedah', because it matches the verse: 'And whoever obeyeth God and the Apostle (Muhammad) these shall be with those God hath bestowed favours upon them; of the Prophets, and the Truthful, and the Righteous ones; and excellent are these as companions!' (Qur'an 4:69); and: ‘And on the day when We will raise up in every people from among themselves, a witness (upon them)' (Qur'an 14:89), and others which talk about the position of the 'shadadah' (witness) in the nation.

There is no doubt that the position of 'shadadah', meaning witness in the nation, is greater than 'shahadah', meaning getting killed in the way of Allah, because the word in its former meaning is the description of Allah the Most High: 'Is it not sufficient for thy Lord that He is a witness over all things.' (Qur'an 41:53) It is also the description

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1- Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 458

of Allah's prophets: ‘How will it be [then] when We shall bring forth from every people a witness and when We shall bring thee a witness over these?' (Qur'an 4:41)

And when Allah chooses someone for the witness stance, as he did with our Lady Fatimah (as), this choice would not come without reason. Rather it would come from the characteristics which made these individuals beloved to Allah and made them worthy of bearing the Message and of manifesting its values in life.

Chapter 4: Questions and Answers

Q1 - The infallibility of the Imams (as) is perhaps because they are the Imams and leaders for the people. What is the benefit of Fatimah's infallibility: she is not a prophet or an imam?

A - Fatimah (as) is the mother of the infallibles (as). She gave them all her effort and virtues, and amongst these is the infallibility which Allah had given her. However, the question of infallibility is a human issue which arises from Divine grace. Like the role of the Imamah as the leadership, which needs infallibility as a must, Allah may give infallibility to another person, especially the woman who is prepared to be an Imam, not in the strict sense of the term, but as the example. We believe that women have reached the level of infallibility as has been established with Virgin Mary (as) and Fatimah (as); but we may find some women who have not had a verse revealed regarding their infallibility, but who have not been distant from infallibility,

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such as Lady Zaynab (as) - women can come near to infallibility when they live their responsibility towards Allah and the people.

In addition, Allah, through his grace to Fatimah (as), wanted to tell people - men and women - that women can be elevated with Allah's bestowing and grace to the most exalted positions, and to infallibility.

Moreover, Allah wants to make the woman a role model for all people, men and women, so that men can be told that, just as they can have an infallible man as a role model, you can also have an infallible woman as a role model, because there is no difference between men and women as far as reaching the level of infallibility is concerned.

Q2 - What, apart from Infallibility, is the difference between Fatima al-Zahra (as) and all other women?

A - The difference is that Fatimah possessed a degree of spiritual depth in her personality that made her a manifestation of the message. Most women with a mission have a commitment to the message which comes from outside of themselves. By contrast, for Fatimah (as) it came from inside her mind and heart and soul, because she lived the whole of her life with the message and under the wing of the Messenger of Allah (sawa), and then opened herself up to the full vigor of the message in the House of Ali (as), and moved dynamically in the emotion of the message with al-Hasan and al-Husain (as). Therefore, she lived the message.

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This is the difference between depth and shallowness. You cannot find anything in her personal life that speaks of leisure or purposelessness. This is what makes her a role model - the ultimate role model.

Q3 - How did she achieve that degree of belief?

A - How and where did Fatimah (as) live? She lived her childhood with the revelation revealed to her father (sawa) day and night, and so she was sensing the atmosphere of revelation day and night. She was living with the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and learning something from him every day, and living his manners, spirituality and prayers day and night. She used to accompany her father in his battles, and followed him in the dynamic movement of his Message, and to take from him kindness and give him kindness, take from him manners and ways of conduct that became manifest in her. Hence, in the house of the Prophet (sawa) Fatimah lived the whole of his Message in spirit and in detail. We know that she was not taught by another teacher, and so the whole of her knowledge came from the Messenger of Allah, and she spent the whole of her upbringing at his side. In addition, Allah has bestowed upon her his grace and mercy, to complete the picture; so it was by her own effort that she learnt from the Prophet (sawa) with the grace of Allah.

Hence, we saw that when she moved to the house of Ali (as) that she lived

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with him his spirit, intellect, patience and holy struggle.

Q4 - In dialogue with one Sunni brother, he said: You say that Fatimah is the Doyenne of the Women of the World while it is in fact - according to the Qur'an - Mariam (the Virgin Mary)?

A - It is narrated, by both the Sunnis and Shi'ites that Fatimah (as) is the Doyenne of the Women of the World.(1)

Q5 - It was narrated that you said that Fatimah (as) had no right to Fadak. Is this true?

A - Fadak is a Fatimid fact and an Islamic fact.

Q6 - Regarding Fadak again: some say that if Fatimah (as) had had a right in Fadak, Imam Ali (as) would have returned it to its legal owners, i.e. Ahlul Bayt (as), when he became caliph, because he was capable of doing that.

A - The issue of Fadak was not, for Ali and Ahlul Bayt (as), a financial one. How come and Ali was the person who said: ‘What do I do with Fadak and [anything] other than Fadak when the self will, tomorrow, end up in a grave?' Rather, for them, Fadak was a symbol of the usurped caliphate. When Ali (as) became the caliph, he did not see any benefit in getting it back himself, and did not want to be accused of using the (power of) caliphate for personal interests. Also, perhaps he found that getting it back would have created problems from those who cried out 'O the sunnah of 'Umar'

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1- Musnad Abu Dawood, p. 196, hadith 1373; al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 156.

when Ali (as) changed some of the things which 'Umar introduced in the prayer of Taraweeh.(1)

Q7 - Fadak again: it is well known that Ahlul Bayt (as) did not care about worldly things, so why did Lady Fatimah (as) demand that the first caliph hand Fadak back to her?

A - Fadak was a right for Fatimah (as), a gift from the Messenger of Allah or an inheritance from him. It is natural for her to demand this right, without indicating a concern in money and worldly things. Demanding one's right, through natural needs and familial responsibilities, is a legitimate pursuit which is commended by Allah. That is the point.

Secondly, demanding Fadak was a bridge to the caliphate, a legitimate right of which Fadak was one of its indications. It was told that one 'Abbasid caliph said to Imam al-Kadhim (as): 'I am ready to return Fadak back to you, so set its boundaries', thinking that it was a mere area in al-Hijaz. However, the Imam said: 'If I set Fadak's boundaries you shall never give it to me.' The caliph asked: 'What are its boundaries?' He replied to him that the boundaries of Fadak were the boundaries of all the Islamic countries!

Hence, Fadak was the starting point and not the goal. Ibn Abi al-Hadeed - as quoted in his commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah - asked his teacher: 'Why didn't Abu Bakr give Fadak to Fatimah (as); if it was for the Muslims, wouldn't they have given it to Fatimah?' His

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1- The prayers performed in the nights of Ramadan, which used to be performed on an individual basis, but which 'Umar transferred to use in congregation. The translator.

teacher replied: 'If she was given Fadak, she would have demanded the caliphate for Ali, and therefore he decided to stop the matter at the start lest her demand would stretch to more than that.'

Q8 - How can we reconcile the stances of Fatimah (as), when she died quite upset and angry with Abu Bakr and 'Umar, and that of Ali (as) who gave them bay'ah (oath of acceptance of rule)? There are some people who are confused by this and would say that Fatimah (as) had been driven by emotions and that she got angry out of self-interest, while the stance of Ali (as) was rational?

A - The stance of Fatimah (as) was the stance of Ali (as)! Ali's stance was negative and rejecting, just as Fatimah's was. Also, who said that Fatimah's stance was driven by emotion? Had her emotion moved for the caliphate for Ali, more than Ali's emotion for himself? No, Fatimah was angry for the right, not for herself, and defended the right just as Ali (as) did, with all resolve and force.

Hence, when we read in Nahj al-Balaghah his speech: 'I swear by Allah that Ibn Abi Quhafah has put it [the caliphate] on [without suitability] like a shirt while [at the same time] he knows that my place regarding it is like the [center] pole in the mill - the torrent comes down from me, and the bird cannot reach my [high] position.'(1) This speech represented Ali's protest over and rejection of what

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1- Nahj al-Balaghah, the Shiqshiqiyyah sermon.

had happened.

Yes, after that, Ali (as) saw that Islam's interests lied in patience'... So, I was patient, (but) with a speck in the eye and sorrow in the throat.'(1)

Also, he said a wonderful word, explaining his patience and tolerating the situation, in spite of his rejection of its false claims to legitimacy. This was in his letter to the people of Egypt, and I would like every Shi'ite Muslim to read it, to know the approach of Ali (as) in the Islamic reality when the disturbance (fitnah), differences and problems would arise. He said: 'I was surprised to see the people pour unto that person to give him bay'ah; so I held my hand, until I saw the people heading backwards and turning from Islam, calling for the annihilation of the religion of Muhammad (sawa), so I feared that if I did not support Islam and its people I would see its breakage and demolition, a disaster for me which would be greater than losing my rule over you, which was after all only few days long, and that it would vanish as when a mirage vanishes or the clouds disperse; so I stood up in those events until falsehood disappeared and perished and the religion felt secured and comfortable...'(2) And he used to say: 'I shall make peace [with them] as long as the interests of Muslims are safe and that there is no injustice in it but to me personally.'(3)

Q9 - Fatimah's rib: what is your true position

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1- Ditto.
2- Ditto, letter 62.
3- Ditto, sermon 74.

regarding this matter?

A - Anyone who claims that I have said that Fatimah's rib was not broken is a liar!

Some people have been talking this nonsense for more than five years.(1) Here, I have this to say to you, to clarify the matter: to start with, I reiterate that I did not say that Fatimah's rib was not broken, and everyone who claims that I did is a liar. I merely regarded it as unlikely; I raised a question mark on the basis of historical analysis. I said: 'I do not react positively with this because the Muslims' love for Fatimah (as) had been greater than their love for Ali, and greater than their love for al-Hasan and al-Husain, and greater than that their love for the Messenger of Allah (sawa). I said that it was unlikely that anyone would commit such an act, but conceded that bad intentions were plotted - not to establish the innocence of anyone, but in fear of agitating Islamic public opinion.

There were many narrations: some said that they entered the house, while others said they did not. Hence, I said: 'I see that to be unlikely and I do not react positively to the word itself'. The world roared and heavens fell on earth, and words began to be fabricated and spread in some quarters!

This reaction has still not abated in more than one place, and leaflets are being distributed around the world. It is as if the dangers confronting the Muslims and all

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1- This was in October 1997. The translator.

the injustice that we live in have become nothing, and all that matters is this historical issue!

In fact, this is a symptom of the backwardness which is being practiced by many in our Islamic arena. This problem still festers among those who do not care about the dangers which confront Islam, and that the problem is still alive means that we are not addressing the major issues on the proper level of awareness.

Q10 - Much wisdom, lessons and depth lie like concealed treasures in the narrations of Ahlul Bayt (as). What is the way to open oneself up to this great grace?

A - We have spoken more than once that our problem with Ahlul Bayt (as) is that we have contained them in the prison of tragedy only! And when we opened out their horizons, we did that in the area of miracles and miraculous favours. As for their thinking, their approach to life, their authentic prophetic line in life, their comprehensive Qur'anic approach and all that they have said and moved dynamically in, which can provide answers to the questions, queries and problems from which our generation is suffering and future generations will be suffering, there is no work done that brings it out and explains it satisfactorily. We have cut them off from the dynamic movement of life and entered them in the movement of tears, and therefore we have made a wide opportunity quite narrow!

You have attended, in this season, more than one gathering to mark the

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anniversary of Fatimah's death. What have you heard about Fatimah al-Zahra (as)? I am here speaking in general terms, for amongst the orators there are those who bear the responsibility of enlightenment in the ways of Ahlul Bayt (as). However, most have concentrated on the tragedy and grievance. We emphasize the grievance, but this has been the grievance in the way of the Message, and not a weeping grievance. Ours is a grievance which encompasses vigour, strength, enlightenment, criticism and confrontation.

Q11 - Is it required from men to be the Messenger (sawa) or Ali (as), and women to be Fatimah (as), a hundred percent, so that we achieve the level of a healthy society? Or is the grace of those personalities and their characteristics more than what is needed for a healthy society, and so men only need a certain percentage from the Messenger and Ali, and women a certain percentage from Fatimah (as)?

A - In the world of the role models, you are not expected to reach the level of the role model, but to regard them as the highest example of the virtues and values, which have proved their realistic nature by the fact that the role models are human beings. This was why Allah said: 'Indeed (there) is for you in the Apostle of God (Muhammad) an excellent pattern (of conduct) for him who hopeth in God and the latter day and remembereth God much' (Qur'an 33:21); and Ali (as) said: ‘Your Imam is content from life

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with his two pieces of cloth, and from his food with his two pieces of bread; and you cannot bear that, but help me with God-fearing and hard work, and modesty and good thinking.'(1)

And the poet says:

Imitate them, if you are not [exactly] like them

Surely imitating the virtuous is winning.

The greatest human examples among prophets, Imams and virtuous individuals are the summits to which we can aspire. Some may come near the summit, whilst others may stay on the foot of the mountain, but (whatever the case) we have to proceed to get the happiness through what they have manifested, because this is the way of Islam. The Messenger of Allah (sawa) did not have anything apart from the Qur'an and Islam, and Ali (as) and Fatimah (as) did not have anything other than the Qur'an and Islam, but the difference between them and us was that they had manifested the Qur'an and Islam in their conscience using what Allah had bestowed on them in the knowledge which we could not reach because we lacked the means.

Q12 - Is loving Fatimah (as) without a practical attempt to apply the Qur'anic system as applied by Fatimah (as) sufficient to bring women to her on the Day of Judgement?

A - Fatimah (as) lived with the Messenger of Allah (sawa), Ali (as), al-Hasan and al-Husain (as), the conscience of the Imams (as) and all workers (in the way of Allah). The important thing is that the woman lives Islam in the obedience of

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1- Nahj al-Balaghah, letter 45.

Allah and the call for His religion and work, in a way that Fatimah (as) did, even if only to a certain percentage.

A Call from His Eminence

Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Husain Fadlullah to the Muslims and the followers of Ahlul Bayt in particular .(1)

I say to you, with all love... All of you have listened to me, day and night, in seminars, lectures and Friday sermons; so, is it reasonable that some people from this generation do not understand me? I ask you: who has spoken with you like I have; who has been with you in all issues like I have; who has worked - and I am honoured - in your service? Is it acceptable that irresponsible words have come out, and not one voice has come out to say, silence this wrong?

May I say to you a word in this matter? As far as I am concerned, this matter is like thin air 'If you have no anger on me, I do not care [about anything else] then.'(2) My concerns, first and last, are not with you - my concerns are with Allah the Most High - 'O my Lord! If you bring me down who can elevate me and if you elevate me who can bring me down?'(3)

In this regard, I say to you: I remind you of Allah in the Islamic situation; I remind you of Allah in the way of Ahlul Bayt (as). Do not let anyone mess it up; do not let anyone

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1- This call was not issued separately, but was extracted from his eminence's lectures and speeches. The translator.
2- This was part of the words that the Prophet (sawa) said in prayer, just following his very bad experience with the people of Ta'if, whom he went to call to Islam, but they sent their youth after him, who threw stones at him and wounded his feet. The translator.
3- This is a line from a supplication by Imam al-Sajjad (as). The translator.

offend (or bring bad image unto) it, and do not let anyone come up with confusing words in this regard.

For forty years, I have been saying to the old and young amongst you that there is no unimportant question and no embarrassing question; fact is the outcome of dialogue, and I am ready to enter into dialogue with all people and to answer the young and old, and you know this. Therefore, do not defend me, but defend your Islamic situation, defend this reality which you live in, where the entire world is attacking and aggressive towards you.

Be aware, have political awareness and understand how the enemies infiltrate the arenas. We do not say that everyone who is involved in this is working for the enemy, but we say that they exploit points of weakness.

Therefore, O my beloved, there is no problem (as far as I am concerned) in this matter. As I told you, had it not been that they had been muddling and disrupting the Islamic situation and threatening it with danger I would have said: 'May Allah forgive them!' However, the matter does not concern me personally, but the Islamic situation. I say: 'I pray to Allah for their guidance, but if they do not desist, I shall not forgive them because they have offended Islam and Muslims, and I do not mean a particular party or a particular person, but the phenomenon and situation.'(1)

If some continue to insist - in spite of all our words and

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1- The dialogue meeting, al-Jinan hall, 22/10/1997.

frankness in sanctifying Lady Fatimah (as), glorifying her and explaining her infallibility, and in spite of our numerous and wide-ranging lectures for more than fifty years regarding Ahlul Bayt (as) - to fabricate lies in what we say, and to fabricate false meanings regarding our Lady Fatimah (as) and her infallibility, or regarding the guardianship of our master, the Commander of the Faithful (as), which has been laid down and emphasized by the trustworthy Prophet (sawa) in many locations, the most distinguished of which is in Ghadeer Khumm, we then pray to Allah to guide them, if they still have capability for that, otherwise their judgement shall be with Allah. And we shall have a position to hold with them on the Day of Judgement, the day on which people stand up in front of the Lord of the worlds and creation, He who does not miss a small or a big deed, but has it registered in a book, and the settlement of our dispute shall be at the presence of our grandfather the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and our grandfather the Commander of the Faithful (as) and our grandmother the truthful al-Zahra (as), and we shall see who will win that day!(1)


The book al-Zahra al-Qudwah, excerpts of which had been translated to form this book, was compiled from numerous lectures and sermons which were listed in that book as follows:

1. Lecture at Usrat al-Te'akhi society, 9/10/1966.

2. Lecture, 16/12/1992.

3. Lecture entitled 'al-Zahra, a role model for man',

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1- Al-Zahra (as) al-Qudwah, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Husain Fadlullah, compiled by Husain Ahmad al-Khashin, Al-Malak publishers, Beirut, 3rd edition, 2001, p. 173.

the Law College 6/12/1993.

4. Lecture at the Islamic Institute, Beirut, the Women Hawzah (college), 10/6/1414H.

5. Lecture at the College of Medicine, Lebanese University, 24/11/1994.

6. Lecture entitled 'The role of Muslim woman in the contemporary challenges', birth anniversary of Lady Zaynab (as) and International Nurses Day, Bednayil, Beqa', 9/10/1994.

7. Lecture in the birth anniversary of al-Zahra (as), Husainiyyat al-Zahra (as), Sayyidah Zaynab district, Damascus, 19/11/1995.

8. Lecture, 7/10/1995.

9. Lecture, 28/10/1995.

10. Lecture entitled 'How do we live al-Zahra (as)', Damascus, 26/10/1996.

11. Friday sermon, Beirut, 4/10/1996.

12. Lecture entitled 'Al-Zahra Call: Be for Islam', al-Murtada Hawzah (college), Damascus, 13/9/1997.

13. Friday sermon entitled 'Al-Zahra, the patient when harmed and oppressed', al-Imamayn al-Hasanayn (as) Mosque, Beirut, 19/9/1997.

14. Interview with Dar al-Islam paper, London, issue 11, 1997.

15. Friday sermon entitled 'Al-Zahra, the most perfect example for Muslim women', Beirut, 24/10/1997.

16. Lecture entitled 'Fatimah al-Zahra (as), the sacred Islamic symbol for all Muslims', al-Murtada Hawzah (college), Damascus, 5/9/1998. (This lecture, along with the next six lectures, is about commentary on al-Zahra Sermon.)

17. Lecture entitled 'The secrets of Prophethood, Message and Qur'an', same as previous venue, 12/9/1998.

18. Lecture entitled 'The secrets/rationale and goals of Islamic jurisprudence', same as previous venue, 19/9/1998.

19. Lecture entitled 'Justice, the Imamah and other jurisprudence secrets', same as previous venue, 26/9/1998.

20. Lecture entitled 'Defending the right and truth', same as previous venue, 3/10/1998.

21. Lecture entitled 'The systematic approach to studying and understanding history', same as previous venue, 10/10/1998.

22. Lecture entitled 'Depending in dispute on the Qur'an first', same as previous venue, 17/10/1998.

23. Lecture entitled 'Al-Zahra infallibility',

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same as previous venue, 28/8/1999; printed in Qom under the title 'The Missionary Sorrow'.

There were also dozens of lectures for which we could not find dates; some of which were:

24. Lecture entitled 'Al-Zahra, the worshipper, responsible wife'.

25. Lecture entitled 'How should we live al-Zahra (as)'.

26. Lecture entitled 'Loving al-Zahra (as)'.

27. Lecture entitled 'Al-Zahra and defending the right'.

28. Lecture entitled 'Al-Zahra, the role model for women in Islam'.

29. Lecture entitled 'The role model, why'.

30. Lecture entitled 'The missionary role of women on the anniversary of Lady al-Zahra (as)'.

32. The book entitled Fi Rihab (in the courtyards) Ahlul Bayt (as), Dar al-Malak publishers, Beirut, 2nd edition, 1998.

34. Reply of his eminence to the queries forwarded to some of our religious authorities (maraji') in Holy Qom.

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About center

In the name of Allah

Are those who know equal to those who do not know?
al-Zumar: 9

Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan, from 2007, under the authority of Ayatollah Haj SayyedHasanFaqihImami (God blesses his soul), by sincere and daily efforts of university and seminary elites and sophisticated groups began its activities in religious, cultural and scientific fields.

Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan in order to facilitate and accelerate the accessibility of researchers to the books and tools of research, in the field of Islamic science, and regarding the multiplicity and dispersion of active centers in this field
and numerous and inaccessible sources by a mere scientific intention and far from any kind of social, political, tribal and personal prejudices and currents, based on performing a project in the shape of (management of produced and published works from all Shia centers) tries to provide a rich and free collection of books and research papers for the experts, and helpful contents and discussions for the educated generation and all classes of people interested in reading, with various formats in the cyberspace.
Our Goals are:
-propagating the culture and teachings of Thaqalayn (Quran and Ahlulbayt p.b.u.t)
-encouraging the populace particularly the youth in investigating the religious issues
-replacing useful contents with useless ones in the cellphones, tablets and computers
-providing services for seminary and university researchers
-spreading culture study in the publich
-paving the way for the publications and authors to digitize their works

-acting according to the legal licenses
-relationship with similar centers
-avoiding parallel working
-merely presenting scientific contents
-mentioning the sources
It’s obvious that all the responsibilities are due to the author.

Other activities of the institute:
-Publication of books, booklets and other editions
-Holding book reading competitions
-Producing virtual, three dimensional exhibitions, panoramas of religious and tourism places
-Producing animations, computer games and etc.
-Launching the website with this address: www.ghaemiyeh.com
-Fabricatingdramatic and speech works
-Launching the system of answering religious, ethical and doctrinal questions
-Designing systems of accounting, media and mobile, automatic and handy systems, web kiosks
-Holding virtual educational courses for the public
-Holding virtual teacher-training courses
-Producing thousands of research software in three languages (Persian, Arabic and English) which can be performed in computers, tablets and cellphones and available and downloadable with eight international formats: JAVA, ANDROID, EPUB, CHM, PDF, HTML, CHM, GHB on the website
-Also producing four markets named “Ghaemiyeh Book Market” with Android, IOS, WINDOWS PHONE and WINDOWS editions
We would appreciate the centers, institutes, publications, authors and all honorable friends who contributed their help and data to us to reach the holy goal we follow.

Address of the central office:
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Introduction of the Center – Ghaemiyeh Digital Library