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Lady Fatima al-Zahra’s (sa) Will to Imam ‘Ali (as)

Fatima told Imam Ali (as) that she had seen the Messenger of Allah (S) in her dream, and he had told her that she was going to join him that night. She then asked Imam Ali (as) to execute her will.

Imam ‘Ali (as) was surprised to find that his dear wife (Fatima al-Zahra (sa)) had left her bed, and had started doing the housework; he asked her about it and she replied:

“This is the last day of my life. I want to wash my children’s hair, and clothes, because they will soon be orphans, without a mother!!”

Imam ‘Ali (as) then asked her about the source of know­ledge of this news (the day of her departure). She (sa) told him that she had seen the Messenger of Allah (S) in her dream, and he had told her that she was going to join him that night. She then asked Imam ‘Ali (as) to execute her will.

He (‘Ali (as)) said:

“Instruct me to do anything you wish, daughter of Allah’s Messenger (as).” ‘Ali (as) then asked everyone to leave the house, and he sat next to her.

Fatima az-Zahra (sa) started:

“Cousin, you are not accustomed to me being a False-teller, undevoted, or, have I disobeyed you since I have become your companion?”

‘Ali (as) said:

“Allah forbid!! You are more knowing of Allah (SwT), more devoted, more pious, and more honorable and more fearing of Allah than (to give me a reason) to reprimand you for disobeying me. Surely, it is very painful for me to be separated from you and to lose you; but, it is an inevitable destination. By Allah (SwT), you have renewed the sorrow I have just encountered with the death of Allah’s Messenger (as); surely your death and departure will be a great calamity, but `to Allah (SwT) do we belong, and to Him shall we return.’

What a painful, bitter and sad calamity. Surely this is a calamity for which there is not consolement, and a disaster for which there is no compensation.”

Then they both cried and Imam ‘Ali (as) embraced her head, and said:

“Instruct me to do anything you wish; you certainly will find me devoted, and I will execute everything that you command me to do. I shall also put your matters over mine.”

She (sa) said:

“May Allah reward you with the best of goodness. Cousin, firstly I ask you to marry after my death, my niece Umamah; surely she will be to my children as I was. Besides, men cannot do without women.”

Fatima az-Zahra (sa) then added:

“I ask you not to let anyone who did injustice to me to witness my funeral, for they certainly are enemies of mine, and the enemy of Allah’s Messenger (as). Also, don’t give them the chance to pray over me, nor, to any of their followers. Bury me at night when eyes are rested, and sight is put to sleep.”

Commenting on Imam ‘Ali’s (as) speech after Fatima’s (sa) burial, the commentator on Nahjul Balagha, English version, published by Ansariyan Publication, p.347 – wrote:

“The treatment meted out to the daughter of the Prophet (S) after his death has been extremely painful, and sad. Although Sayyedah Fatima az-Zahra (sa) did not live in this world more than a few months after the death of the Prophet (S); yet, this short period has a long tale of grief and woe (about her). In this connection, the first scene that strikes the eyes in that the arrangements for the funeral rites of the Prophet (S) had not yet been made when the contest for power started in the Saqifa of Bani Sa’eda. Naturally, their leaving the body of the Prophet (S) (without burial), must have injured Hadhrat Fatima’s (sa) grief-stricken heart to see that those who claimed love and attachment (to the Prophet) during his life, became so engrossed in their machinations for power that instead of consoling his only daughter, they did not even know when the Prophet (S) was given funeral bath, and when he was buried; and the way they condoled her, was that crowded at her house with material to set fire to it, and tried to secure allegiance by force with all the display of oppression, compulsion, and violence. All these excesses were with a view to so obliterate the prestigious position of this house that it might not remain its lost prestige on any occasion. With this aim in view, in order to crush her economic position, her claim for (the estate of) Fadak was turned down by dubbing it as false, the effect of which was that Hadhrat Fatima az-Zahra (sa) made the dying will that none of them should attend her funeral.”

Fatima (sa), bint Muhammad (S) was ready to meet her Lord. She bathed, than lay down in her garment. She then instructed Asma Bint Umais to wait awhile and then to call her name; if there was no answer, this would mean that she (sa) had departed towards her Lord.

Asma waited awhile, then called Fatima’s (sa) name. But, there was no answer;

Asma repeated the call:

“O daughter of the chosen Muhammad!

O daughter of the most honorable of them whom women bore!

O daughter of the best of those who have walked on gravel! O daughter of him who was at `A distance of but two bow-lengths, or, (even) nearer” (a Qur’anic verse, (53:9))

…There is no answer… silence overwhelms the house …Asma then proceeds towards Fatima and finds her dead.

At that point, Hasan (as) and Husayn (as) entered, and asked:

“Where is our mother?”

Yet Asma uttered not a word!

Hasan (as) and Husayn (as) proceeded towards their mother, and found her dead. At this, Husayn (as) turned towards Hasan (as), and said:

“May Allah console you for our Mother!”

Imam ‘Ali (as) was at the Mosque. Hasan (as), and Husayn (as) went to the Mosque, and broke the news to their father. As soon as he (as) heard their words, he fell unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he said:

“Who will console me now, daughter of Muhammad? You used to console me, so who will take your place now?”

The Hashimite women were then gathered to receive the news of the great calamity. Yes, the calamity befell them once more, while the blood was still flowing from the wound of losing the Prophet.

Medina shook.

Everyone came to console ‘Ali (as), and his two children. Allah is with you, Zahra’s children.

It was just yesterday that you were inflicted with the death of your great father, the Prophet of Allah, and your new calamity is not any less than that one! But, take patience, for this is the will of the Mighty Lord.

A Quiet Funeral

In the darkness of the jet-black night, when eyes were asleep and voices were silent, a Heavenly procession left ‘Ali’s (as) house while carrying the Messenger of Allah’s daughter to her final abode.

This was on the night of the third (3rd) of Jamadi al-Thani (the second), 11 A.H.

The heartbreaking procession moved towards an unknown location followed by a small number of devoted ones. They were ‘Ali (as), Hasan (as), Husayn (as), Zainab and Um Kulthum. Abu Dharr, Ammar, Miqdad, and Salman were following them.

Where are the thousands who inhabited Medina?! One asks, and the answer came: Fatima az-Zahra (sa) requested that they may not be present at her funeral!!

The family and their friends hurry to bury Fatima az-Zahra (sa). Then they rushed back to their own homes so that no one would know where Fatima az-Zahra (sa) was buried!

In such a matter, the first start from Ahlul-Bayt set after the sun (the Prophet (S)), and left everyone with the only light of Imamate!!

Here I was asked:

“What do you think about the end of the life of Fatima az-Zahra (sa)?

What will be the position of those who oppressed her in the hereafter!?”

I waved my hand to him…

So long… with no word… dead silence…

So long!

But wait… can’t you hear the Commander of the faithful… the known hero… ‘Ali (as)… Don’t you realize that he is crying? Yet, who would not cry for being separated from “the Mistress of women”?

Listen to him (‘Ali (as)), he is speaking to the Prophet (S):

“O Prophet of Allah, peace be upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O Prophet of Allah ! My patience about your chosen (daughter) has been exhausted and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heart-rending event of your separation. I laid you down in your grave while your last breath had passed (when your head) `Verily we are Allah’s and verily unto Him shall we return (2:56) between my neck, and the chest.

Now, the trust has been returned and what had been given has been taken back. My grief knows no bounds, and my nights will remain sleepless till Allah chooses for me the house in which you are now residing. Certainly your daughter would apprise you of the joining together of your Ummah (people) for oppressing her. You ask her in detail and get all the news about the position. This happened when a long time had not elapsed and your remembrance had not disappeared. My salam be on you both, the salam of a grief stricken not of a disgusted or a hateful person; for if I go away, it is not because I am weary (of you); and if I stay, it is not due to lack of belief in what Allah has promised the endurers.”

Failing Attempts

At sunrise people gathered to participate in Fatima’s (sa) funeral, but they were informed that the darling of Allah’s Messenger (as) had been secretly buried during the night.

Meanwhile, ‘Ali (as) made the shapes of four fresh graves in Baqi’ so as to conceal the location where Fatima az-Zahra was buried. When the people entered the graveyard, they were confused as to which spot was actually Lady Fatima az-Zahra’s (sa) grave; the people turned towards each other, and with feelings of guilt said:

“Our Prophet (S) has not left behind but one daughter; yet, she died and was buried without our participation in the funeral, or, the prayer rituals. We do not even realize the place where she has been buried”

Noticing that a revolt might be ignited because of the emotional atmosphere this event created, the governing party announced:

“Select a group of Muslim women and ask them to dig these graves so that we may find Fatima az-Zahra (sa), and perform prayers on her.”

Yes! They attempted to execute the plan, violating Fatima’s (sa) will and causing ‘Ali’s (as) attempts to hide the grave in vain.

Have they forgotten ‘Ali’s (as) sharp sword, and his well-known courage!! Did they really think that ‘Ali (as) would remain indifferent to their outrageous actions up to the point of letting them dig Fatima’s (sa) grave?!

Imam ‘Ali (as) did not fight back after the Prophet’s (as) death because he considered the Muslim’s unity, and over all interests. Yet, this did not mean that he would ignore their villainous crimes against Fatima az-Zahra (sa) even after her death. In other words, ‘Ali (as) was asked by the Prophet (S) to have patience, but only to a certain extent; when ‘Ali (as) received the news of the about-to-be-executed plot, he put on his fighting gear, and rushed towards Baqi’. A man from among the people called out:

“This is ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (as) leveling his sword, and saying:

If anyone moves even a mere stone from these graves, I shall strike even the “back of the last follower of the unjust.”

People realized ‘Ali’s (as) seriousness, took his threats with complete belief that he would do just as he said if anyone were to oppose him. Yet, a man from the government addressed ‘Ali (as) by saying:

“What is the matter, Abu Al-Hasan?! By Allah, we shall dig her grave out and perform prayers on her.”

‘Ali (as) then grabbed the man by his clothes, shook him and threw him to the ground, and said:

“Son of the Sawada! I have abandoned my right to prevent people from forsaking their faith, but as regards Fatima’s grave, by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you and your followers attempt to do anything to it, I will irrigate the ground with your blood!!”

At this, Abu Bakr said;

“Abu Al-Hasan, I ask you by the right of Allah’s Messenger (as), and by Him Who is above the Throne: leave him alone and we will not do anything which you would not approve of…”

Thus, until this day, the location of Fatima’s (sa) grave remains a secret.

The selection taken from “Fatima The Gracious” by Abu Muhammad Ordoni.

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