Fatimah az-Zahra, the Queen of Jannah RadhiAllahu anha.
The intricately patterned metal doors, heavily secured with antique locks, guard the sacred chamber of the place where the house of Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha was; the most loved daughter of our Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, who is resting in his Abode of Peace a few meters to the left. This was the residence of Fatimah and her husband Ali and their five esteemed children, Hasan, Hussein, Mohsin (who died in childhood) Umme Kulthoom and Zainab RadhiAllahu anhum.
This small room was the earthly home of the Queen of Jannah! Her husband, Ali RadhiAllahu anhu being one of the ‘Asharah Mubasharah, the ten to have been given the glad tidings of their place in Jannah, with Hasan and Hussein being the Masters of the youth in Jannah! Such a humble dwelling exchanged for the most magnificent mansion in Paradise! The Prophet said, “On the Day of Judgment, a caller will call out, ‘lower your gaze until Fatimah has passed.”
Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha will be the first woman to enter Jannah, where she will be surrounded by Al-Hur with downcast eyes due to the extreme reverence they have for her! Their exceptional beauty will wane in her presence, as their beauty is their natural disposition as gifted by Allah Ta’ala, whereas Fatimah RadhiAllahu earnt her status and radiance from the sacrifices and struggles she endured throughout her short life for the sake of Islam and her Akhirah. SubhanAllah.
When the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam traveled for five hundred thousand light-years on his journey to the Seven Heavens, and arrived at the fifth paradise which is called Jannat al Naim, the Garden of Beauty and Felicity, with doors of mixed gold and silver from heaven, he saw beautiful ladies whose radiant light among their servants made them appear like diamonds surrounded by pearls. His heart was moved towards them. He asked Jibreel, “Who are these ladies?” He answered, “This is Khadeeja, your first wife and the first Mu’minah, this is Maryam, the mother of Isa, and this is Asiyah, the wife of Firoun.” (Some say Hawwa, the mother of all humanity, and Yukabid the mother of Musa are among these ladies, Allahu ‘Alum.) The most glowing lady looked like a sun among stars. Her light shone over the rest of the inhabitants of that Paradise. Jibreel said, “This is an angel representing your daughter Fatimah, 0 Prophet!”
Her mission to support the new Message bestowed on her father, our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam began when she was only five. She witnessed much of the torture and torment he was subjected to from such an innocent age. It was our Glorious Lady Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha who with passionate grief ran to the aid of our Noble Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and cleaned his body from the filth the Quraysh threw on him when he was in Sujud in the Ka’aba. From her chaste lips she stood cursing the Quraysh.
Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha seeing her father SallAllahu alaihi wasallam being shunned and abused so much at one time asked him to halt this mission of spreading and propagating Islam, but he replied to the effect that he would never desist from what Allah Ta’ala has commanded him to do and that these actions made him even more determined to spread the Truth throughout the world.
Life in Madinah was a series of different tests and trials.
Ali RadhiAllahu anhu wanted to propose to Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam for Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha, but he had nothing. When Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam heard of this he asked, “Where is your coat of mail I gave you on such and such a day?” (Some narrations say it was a shield) Ali RadhiAllahu anhu replied, “I have it.” The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam said, “Give that to her.” It is said that Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha married Ali RadhiAllahu anhu for an iron coat of mail! Other narrations offer slight variations saying that she also received an old Yemeni shawl and a worn out sheep skin, which they slept on during the night and would turn it over during the day using it to put the feed for the animals.
The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam instructed that fresh sand be spread on the floor of their original house, and he gave them gifts of a palm leave bed, a leather pillow stuffed with palm fibre, a waterskin and a stone grinding mill. Slight variations have also been narrated. Their life was simple, both working tirelessly. The touching story of Tasbih Fatimah humbles us to accept all conditions Allah Ta’ala in His Wisdom presents to us.
The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam made the following beautiful Du’a for them.
The First, The Beginning, The Foremost, The Last, The End, The Ultimate, The Most Powerful, The Most Merciful for the Humble, The Most Merciful for the Merciful. O Allah, forgive my sins, be generous to my nature, make my earnings lawful. Satisfy me with Your sustenance. And do not let my heart turn to anything You have diverted away from me.
Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam also instructed Ali RadhiAllahu anhu to perform five acts every night before going to bed.
1. Give 4,000 dinaar, gold coins, as Sadaqah
2. Read the Qur’an Shareef once.
3. Pay the price of Jannah.
4. Reconcile two fighting persons.
5. Perform Hajj.
Ali RadhiAllahu anhu said: Ya Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, this is difficult for me. I will not be able to do that. Whereupon Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam replied:
- Recite Surah Fatiha 4 times and the reward for giving 4,000 dinaar will be recorded in your Book of Deeds.
- Recite Surah Ikhlas 3 times, and this will be equal to the reward of reciting one Qur’an Shareef.
- Recite Durood Shareef 3 times, and this will be the reward of paying the price of Jannah.
- Recite Astaghfirullah 10 times and you will receive the reward of reconciling two fighting persons.
- Recite the third Kalimah 4 times to receive the reward of performing one Hajj.
On hearing this Ali RadhiAllahu anhu said, Insha’Allah I will perform these acts every day before going to bed.
During the battle of Uhud, the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam sustained wounds to his face and head, and it was Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha who washed the blood while Ali RadhiAllahu anhu held the water. When she saw that bleeding was increasing continuously, she burnt a mat of date-palm leaves till it turned into ashes which she put over the wound and thus the bleeding ceased.
One day Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam went to Fatimah’s house but did not find ‘Ali there. So he asked, “Where is your cousin?” She replied, “There was something between us and he got angry with me and went out. He did not sleep for the mid-day nap in the house.” Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam asked a person to look for him. That person came and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Ali is sleeping in the mosque.” Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam went there and found him lying with his upper body uncovered as the sheet had fallen down and he was covered with dust. The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam started cleaning the dust from him saying: “Get up! O Aba Turab. Get up! O Aba Turab. There was no name dearer to Ali than his nickname Abu Turab, the father of dust. He used to feel happy whenever he was called by this name.
When Ali RadhiAllahu anhu had shown his dislike for what Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha had said to him she tried to win back his favour and circled around him seventy one times asking for his forgiveness. The next time she went around him he revealed a slight smile.
The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam requested Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha to visit a very pious lady, the wife of a woodcutter, who lived a little out of Madinah. Allahu ‘Alum, if this was in relationship to the incident when Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha upset Ali. So Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha set out to visit this lady whom her father recommended, walking in the hot sun over dusty tracks. She came upon the humble hut consisting of one room and knocked on the door, giving the greeting of Salam. A voice from inside asked who was there. Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha replied, “Fatimah, the daughter of Rasulullah.” An answer from behind the door said that she did not have permission from her husband to allow any body to enter, that she would request permission, and Insha’Allah, she come back the next day. So Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha returned to her house with the intention of visiting the following day. She decided this time to take Hasan and Hussein RadhiAllahu anhuma with her. So she once again made the journey to the woodcutters wife. Once again knocked on the door and stated who she was and how he father had sent her. The woodcutter’s wife could hear the voices of the grandsons of Rasulullah and said through the closed door, but I only received permission for Lady Fatimah to visit. Insha’Allah I will ask my husband if I may invite young Hasan and Hussein in as well. Once again Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha walked the dusty track back to Madinah, with the intention of returning the next day, which she did and this time she entered the humble woodcutter’s home.
As they sat talking Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha saw that there was one small window high in the wall with a beam of sunlight streaming through. At the end of this beam were a few pieces of bread. As the light beam moved, so too did the woodcutter’s wife move the pieces of bread, so they remained in the sunlight. This fascinated Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha, who found herself asking why the woodcutter’s wife was doing such a thing. Whereupon she explained that her husband went out each day, all day long in the searing sun with a few pieces of bread in his pocket, with the bread becoming dry and hard in the hot sun, and that she did not feel comfortable eating soft bread if her husband could not! SubhanAllah!
Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha noticed three mats on the ground constituting the bed, and she knew that there was only the wood cutter and his wife, so she politely inquired about the third mat. The woodcutter’s wife explained, that if her husband happened to turn during his sleep she would not like that her back would be facing him, so she would get up and go to the other mat. Repeating this moving of position if he happened to turn. Such respect and obedience to her husband winning her the praise of Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam!
I have heard Ulema narrate that this woodcutters wife will be the one leading Lady Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha’s horse into Jannah, SubhanAllah, and that Almighty Allah knows best, and therefore enter before Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha. This has also been said of Bilal RadhiAllahu anhu. That he will be honoured by holding the rope of al-Buraq, the same miraculous steed Rasulullah rode to Paradise during the Night Visit, when Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam rides it into Jannah. Allahu ‘Alum.
The great love and affection the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam had for his daughter was seen in the manner in which whenever Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha would visit her father SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, it was he who would stand and kiss her forehead before offering her his seat! When he set out on any journey it was her that he visited last, and upon his return, after attending to prayers in the Masjid, Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha was the first to be visited.
Only six months passed after the death of her Beloved father SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, when she too was called back to Allah Ta’ala. Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam had told her that she would be the first person to meet him in the world beyond death. Her Janazah was the first to use the modest custom of making a cover for the deceased female. This was based on a previous conversation she had with Asmaa bint Anees RadhiAllahu anha when she said, “I do not like the dead bodies of women taken to the grave yard uncovered.” Asmaa RadhiAllahu anha, who had been in Habshah, explained how they created a frame over the body of a woman. She demonstrated this to Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha with two long stems of the date palm forming an arch over the body, then draping a sheet over them to conceal the shape. Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha was thus carried to her grave in Jannatul Baqi upholding all the resplendent qualities befitting the name of Zahra.
Lady Fatimah RadhiAllahu anha, represents the embodiment of all that is divine in womanhood, the noblest ideal of feminine virtues, who was proclaimed by her devoted father SallAllahu alaihi wasallam to be the Queen of Jannah. May Allah Ta’ala shower her and all her noble lineage with the most brilliant of lights and the most fragrant of perfumes. Ameen. And may He, place in our hearts a desire and tenderness to follow her endearing examples. Ameen.
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. Ameen.
The Arabic Hadith relating to when Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam called Ali RadhiAllahu anhu “Aba Turab”: