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Fatimah al-Zahra (ʻA) At Her Father’s Side

Fatima (615 – 632 A.D.), mother of the Imams (ع), is the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (ص) by his first wife, Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid, may the Almighty be pleased with her. Fatima was born in Mecca on a Friday, the 20th of Jumada II in the fifth year after the declaration of the Prophetic message which corresponds, according to the Christian calendar, to the year 615.

The holy Prophet says: “The first person to come to me in Heaven is Fatimah the daughter of Muhammad.[1]

At the time when the Muslims were spending their readiness period in Mecca, their living environment was severely stormy, and the conditions were extremely critical.
It was the beginning of Islam and the Muslims were in strict minority, while all of the power, might, wealth, and sovereignty was in the hands of the ruthless; irrational enemies of Islam, and they did whatever they wished to do.

There was no form of torment that was not brought upon the Muslims, while there was no boldness or insult that they didn’t allow in respect to the exalted position of the prophet.

At this time there were two people who devoted themselves and showed great generosity;

From among the women was “Khadijah” who dressed the wounds of the prophet’s with her self – sacrificing, her affection and pleasantness, her sympathy and compassion.

The other was “Abu Talib” the great father of “the Commander of the Faithful” Ali (a.s.), who had much respect and influence among the people of Mecca and was possessed of extraordinary intelligence, prudence, and wit; he made himself a powerful shield before the Prophet (S) and was the kind friend, helper and protector of the Prophet.

But it is extremely regretful that these two self- sacrificing friends, and two great personalities and generous human beings, in the tenth year of the prophet’s mission, within a short period of time closed their eyes to the world, making the Prophet (S) mournful in their deaths.

And in this respect, the Messenger of God remained alone. The extremity of the prophet’s sorrow in the mourning of these two personalities, both of whom played a considerable part in the progress of Islam, becomes clear for us in that the year of their death was named “Am-ul-Hozn” meaning “the year of sorrow and grief”.

But since God replaces the blessings that he gives his preferred servants with other blessings. Each of these two great persons left a child as a memorial, who exactly filled their places.

Ali (a.s.) just as his father was the friend and helper, protector (supporter) and defender of the Prophet (S), he was also previously such helper; but, after Abu Talib, he filled his empty place.
And “Khadijah” left her daughter “Fatimah” as a memorial, a girl who was kind, generous, brave and self – sacrificing and who was always at the side of her “father”, cleaning away the dust and dirt of suffering and hardship from the pure heart of her father.

“The commander of the Faithful” Ali (a.s.) according to well-known hadith had not aged more than five years in her blessed life. It is interesting here to note that both lived in the house of the prophet. And were his companions in his hours of loneliness.

There were still three years left before the Hejira, three years full of unpleasant incidents and severe storms of life, full of suffering and weariness, persecutions and contempt and the continued efforts of the enemy for the elimination of Islam and the Muslims.

Sometimes a hard-hearted enemy would throw dirt or ashes on the head of the Prophet (S). when he returned home Fatimah would clean away the dirt or ashes from his head and face while tears filled her eyes. The Holy Prophet (S) would then say:

My daughter, don’t be sad and don’t shed tears, God is the Protector and Guardian of your father![2]

Sometimes enemies would gather at the Stone of Isma’il and swear to the idols that wherever they find “Muhammad” they will kill him.

Fatimah (s.a.) would hear of this and inform her father so that he would be more careful.

And this shows us that not only inside the home but also outside, Fatimah (s.a.) thought of her father’s defence and salutation.
In one of these very years, Abu Jahl encouraged a group of Makkan ruffians to throw the paunch of a sheep on the Prophets head while he was bowing in prayer at the “Masjid al-Haram”. When this was done Abu Jahl and his companions began laughing, ridiculing and mocking the Prophet.

Some of the Prophet’s supporters saw this scene but the ruthless enemy was so prepared that they did not have the power for defence. When this news reached the ears of his little girl Fatimah (s.a.), she rushed to the “Masjid al-Haram” and took the paunch and with bravery particular to her, punished Abu Jahl and his supporters with the sword of her tongue, and cursed them.

Yes, in that place where some of the courageous men did not have the nerve of defending the Prophet (S); this brave young girl was present and went to the defence of her father.

This period of time, whatever it was, passed. The Holy Prophet (S) set out on his hejira to Medina. Fatimah (s.a.) must be temporally separated from her father, remaining at home alone until the time that permission for hejira would be given to her. This all happened when she was not more than eight years old. But just as Ali (a.s.) in the critical, sensitive moments of the hejira slept in the bed of the prophet, thus passed his test in self – sacrifice and generosity, putting his body in exposure to the swords of the enemy, Fatimah (s.a.) also without complaint or impatience announced her readiness to accept this new mission.

But the period of her separation couldn’t be too lengthy, and she must always stay at her father’s side, and in the environment of Medina just as in Mecca, continue her defence, and wash away the dust and dirt of sadness and difficult incidents from the sparkling heart of her father. Therefore, after a few days in company of Fatimah bint Omais and another Fatimah of Bani Hashem, accompanied by Ali(a.s.) she came to Medina.

Fatimah (s.a.) not only on normal days (even though the Prophet (S) had very few of these days), but even on stormy days of war in the range of tasks that she was commissioned to perform, defended the holy Prophet (S).

When the war of Uhud came to an end and the enemy troops had just left the scene, while the prophet (S), with an injured forehead and a broken tooth, was still in the field, Fatimah (s.a.) rushed quickly to Uhud and, even though she was still a young girl of a few years of age, she traversed the distance from Medina to Uhud on foot and with great eagerness. She washed her father’s face with water, cleaning his countenance of blood, but the wound on his forehead was still bleeding.

She burned a piece of mat and poured the ashes on the wound and stopped the bleeding. What is even more surprising is that, for the conflict that occurred the following day, she prepared arms for her father.[3]

In the war of Ahzab, which was one of the most painful of the Islamic wars with the infidels, and during the events of the conquest of Mecca on the day that the victorious Islamic Army, with the necessary precautions, took the last fortification of polytheism from the Polytheists, cleansing the House of God of the contamination of the existence of idols.

We again see that on both, occasions Fatimah (s.a.) was at her father’s side. During the war of Ahzab, she came to the trench and prepared a simple meal that was nothing more than a loaf of bread for the Prophet (S) who had remained hungry for several days. And at the time of the conquest of Mecca, she put up his tent and prepared the water for his ablutions, so that he could wash the dust and dirt from body, put on clean clothes, and proceed to the “Masjid al-Haram”.



[1] أورده «الكليني» في «الكافي» وطائفة من علماء العامة في مصادرهم من قبيل «كنز العمال» و «ميزان الاعتدال»، كما نقله آخرون. This Tradition was reported by “Kulainy” in the book of “Kafi” and a group of sunni scholars in books such as “Kanz-Al-Ommal” and “Mizanul-etedal” and other

[2] Sirreh-e ibn-e Hisham; vol. 1 pg. 416

[3] The war with the infidels was called “Hamra’e -Al-Asad” in which the polytheists returned to Uhud to finish the job they had begun. But God wanted them to leave disappointed, therefore when they met up with the brave Muslims and even those they had wounded the day before, they became afraid, and left.

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