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Condolences to you on the anniversary of a very painful day. Today is the 3rd of Jamadi as-Saani, the day the greatest lady of all time, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (peace upon her) succumbed to her wounds and attained martyrdom a mere 95 days after the passing away of her father, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).

During his last moments on earth, when the Prophet drew his immaculate daughter towards him and whispered something in her ear, she cried. The next moment the loving father whispered something else, and the daughter’s grief suddenly gave way to a smile. The onlookers felt surprised. They had no clue what transpired between the father and the daughter – a daughter who had earned the epithet of Umm Abiha or Mother of her Father for her care and concern for the Almighty’s last Messenger to mankind and his Divine Mission.

This motherly attitude was not confined to Mecca before the hijra or migration to Medina, following the passing away of her beloved mother, Hazrat Khadija (peace upon her), after over 26 years of marital bliss with Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).

As a matter of fact, so strong was Fatema az-Zahra’s care and concern for her widowed middle-aged father who out of social necessity had taken several spouses in the last ten years of his life, that we find her rushing to the battlefield of Ohad to tend his wounds when almost all companions of the Prophet had deserted him except for her steadfast husband, Imam Ali (PBUH).

This was not a solitary instance. The history of Islam is full of similar incidents that stand as beacons of guidance for the believers. The Prophet also spared no efforts to highlight to Muslims the peerless position of his immaculate daughter, the Kowsar, as God has chosen to address Fatema (peace upon her) in the Holy Qur’an.

The Almighty has also selected the Sayyidat-an-Nisa al-Alameen or the Noblest Lady of all time as the epicentre of spotless virtue as is evident by verse 33 of Surah Ahzaab that vouches the pristine purity of the Ahl al-Bait, whose only female member is Fatema Zahra (peace upon her). No wonder, it was the habit of the loving father to stand to his feet whenever the dedicated daughter would enter his presence.

She was also the last one he would visit her when leaving Medina and the first one he would meet when returning to the city. Thus, as Fatema (peace upon her) said on her displaying of two contrasting emotions in the last moments of the life of her father: she had cried when he had told her he was about to depart the mortal world, and had smiled when he said she would be the first one of the family to join him in paradise.

Today, the 3rd of Jamadi al-Akher is that fateful day in history when the young Fatema (peace upon her) rejoined her father in afterlife, a mere 95 days after his passing away. The way she departed the world was, however, tragic, because she did not die a normal death. She was martyred as a result of the disloyalty of a group of her father’s companions, who not just deprived the Siddiqat- al-Kubra or the Most Truthful Lady of her paternal property of Fadak and usurped the political rights of her husband Imam Ali – the divinely decreed vicegerent of the Prophet – but also flung the door of her house upon her, pinning her to the wall.

As a result of this cruelty her ribs were broken and she suffered a miscarriage with the result the son in her womb, Hazrat Mohsen (PBUH) was martyred. But this great calamity, the Prophet’s daughter strove to defend Islam, fundamental principle of wilaya or divinely-decreed leadership, the rights of women, her own inheritance, and all humanitarian laws.

When the lady whose radiance as the only women in the select group of 5 that convinced the Christians of Najran of the truthfulness of Islam during the memorable debate of Mobahela as testified by verse 61 of the Holy Qur’an, was confronted with a supposed hadith by the rulers that the Prophets do not leave any inheritance and whatever they leave it belongs to the nation, she swiftly exposed the lie. She cited verses of the Holy Qur’an where God introduces Solomon as the successor to the kingdom of David, and the prayer of Zachariah to God to grant him a son who will be his heir and inherit him.

The conspirators were speechless. They had no answer to the eloquent sermons of the Prophet’s daughter whose memorable words continue to provide guidance till this day for the seekers of monotheism, justice, truth and wisdom. She made it clear that their seizure of political power that did not belong to them was indeed a great injustice and a violation of the letter and spirit of the Holy Qur’an. She then left the intransigent to their fate.

During the last days of her life, it was a familiar sight to see this young lady bent in anguish and walking with the help of a stick. She dedicated all her life to her four young children – sons Imam Hasan and Imam Husain and daughters Hazrat Zainab and Omm Kolsoum (peace upon them). She groomed them to become the paragons of virtue in life.

As the hour of her last moment approach she called her loving husband, Imam Ali (PBUH) and willed that she be laid to rest in the dead of night at a secret spot so that none of the tormentors would feign repentance and attend her funeral. Fatema (peace upon her), whose habit was to pray for all and only lastly for herself and her family, and who used to give away whatever food she had to the needy for the sake of God, succumbed to her wounds and left the world a martyr, leaving four little orphans and a shocked young husband.

As per her will, Imam Ali (PBUH) laid her to rest in the dead of night at a secret spot in Medina, which is believed to be either in her own house or in the Jannat al-Baqie’ Cemetery. A third account says her site of eternal repose is between the tomb of the Prophet and his pulpit in what is now Masjid an-Nabi or the Prophet’s Mosque.

Alas her tormentors, in their greed for political power, not just ignored her famous admonition that she delivered in the Prophet’s Mosque but even disregarded the Prophet’s famous saying: Fatema is a part of me; whoever displeases her has displeased me and whoever displeases me has [in fact] displeased Allah the Glorious.”

We once again join our readers on this day of grief, which is public holiday in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where the faithful are holding commemorative ceremonies in her honour for the past few days throughout the country.

“O Prophet of God! Peace upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O Prophet of God! My patience 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 when your last breath had passed (while your head was) between my neck and chest.

As verse 156 of Surah Baqara says:”Surely, we are from God and unto Him shall we return.”


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