Published on 1st
Muharram,1430/27th December, 2008.
Fatimah and Fatimah
The Daughters of Imams Hasan
and Husayn ('a)
Discussion concerning Fatimah al-Kubra and
By Hj S.Abidin
Illustration by Hj S.Abidin. Photos courtesy of Islamic
Fatimah and Fatimah, the pious daughters of the Holy Imams
Hasan and Husayn ('a), grandsons of the
Prophet Muhammad ('s)
were both present at Karbala, Iraq on the
Day of Ashurra, 10th
Muharram, 61 A.H. (680 AD) when the third Holy Imam Husayn
('a) was martyred. This humble work endeavours to explore
greater detail concerning the lives of these two Holy ladies
after the event of the Battle of Ashurra. The significance of
these ladies is borne from the fact that Fatimah bint Hasan
was the daughter, wife and mother of three of our Holy Imams
('a), and I explore the possibility that Fatimah bint Husayn
went on to become the mother of the Fatimid Caliphs of
Fatimah bint al-Hasan,
the mother of
Muhammad al-Baqir ('a), was a pure and chaste
woman. Imam ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin ('a), her husband, called her
al-Siddiqa (the very truthful one).
Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq ('a)
said concerning her, “She was very truthful. No one in the
family of al-Hasan looked like her”. It is enough for her
highness that she was part of the plant of the sweet basil of
the Apostle of Allah (Imam Hasan) and that she grew up “in the
houses which Allah permitted to be exalted and that His name
may be remembered in them. She brought up Imam Muhammad al-Baqir
('a) in her pure lap. She poured upon him rays of her pure
soul. She fed him with her noble ideas that became part of his
qualities” (al-Qarashi, 1999). There
is no record of any other children being born to her after the
Battle of Ashurra.
Her son, Muhammad al-Baqir ('a) was the
first Imam who descended from 'Ali b. Abi Talib ('a), through
both his father, Imam Ali Zayn al-Abidin, and his mother
Fatima b. al-Hasan ('a), who was praised by Imam Jafar as-Sadiq
('a) as being a faithful woman (al-Balagh, 1995, p7).
Fatimah bint al-Hasan was the daughter of Umm Ishaq bint Talha
b. 'Ubayd Allah al-Taymi. Umm Ishaq later married Imam Husayn
after the martyrdom of Imam Hasan and bore him a daughter
also, named Fatimah
(al-Mufid, 1981, p379).
Therefore, Umm Ishaq was the mother of both Fatimah bint al-Hasan
and Fatimah bint al-Husayn ('a).
Both her daughters, Fatimah b. al-Hasan and Fatimah b. al-Husayn,
were therefore both cousins and sisters. This could be one of
the confused points leading to misunderstandings that Imam
Husayn ('a) had two daughters named Fatimah, when Fatimah b.
Hasan was in fact his niece, stepdaughter and daughter-in-law.
They may have been referred to as Fatimah al-Kubra and Fatimah
Fatimah bint al-Husayn
Fatimah b. al-Husayn was
taken prisoner from Karbala onto Damascus and survived to
return to Madinah and continue her marriage with Hasan b.
al-Hasan and bear him the son ‘Abd Allah. This Fatimah is the
one to whom the
bad Syrian refers to in the court of Yazid. Her
husband, Hasan b. al-Hasan, was not, however, taken
prisoner onto Damascus from Karbala after surviving the events
of the day of Ashura. He was captured and taken elsewhere.
are numerous reports of Fatimah bint al-Husayn having lived
decades beyond Ashura. It is therefore questionable as to whom
the tomb in Damascus, Syria truly belongs. The tomb reads –
Fatimah as-Sughra. This may in fact actually be
Fatimah al-Kubra who is the daughter of Imam al-Hasan,
Fatimah wife of ‘Ali Zayn al-Abidin. And Allah (swt)
Fatimah bint al-Husayn was often quoted by her nephew, the son
of her brother Imam Ali Zayn al-Abidin, al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b.
al-Husayn. Husayn b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn was a man of
merit and piety. He reported many traditions on the authority
of his father ‘Ali b. al-Husayn (a) and his aunt Fatimah b. al-Husayn
(a) and his brother, Abu Ja’far Muhammad al-Baqir ('a) (al-Mufid,
of the Imamate
sealed with twelve seals containing within all of the names of
each successive Imam from Imam Ali b. Abi Talib ('a) through
to Imam al-Mahdi (htfs) that was due to pass from Imam Husayn
('a) to his son and successor Imam Ali Zayn al-Abidin ('a) is
claimed to have been kept by Fatimah bint al-Husayn ('a) and
thereafter passed onto her brother.
M.al-Zahra has stated that "An
account concerning the testamentary of bequests (wasiyya) made
by Imam al-Sajjad’s (‘a) father, Imam al-Husayn (‘a) was that
they were deposited with Umm Salama for him (‘a). He (‘a)
received them when his (‘a) father (‘a) died. Imam al-Husayn
(‘a) made the request (for these) from Umm Salama, the sign of
the Imamate of the one who should request them among men. (cf.
al-Kafi, I, 204, tradition number 3), but other sources say
that these things were in the hands of Fatimah, his daughter,
(cf. al-Kafi, I, 363-4} in Al-Mufid 1981, pg.381). The facts
do tend to favour the opinion that the bequests were left in
the trusted care of Imam al-Husayn’s (‘a) daughter, Fatimah,
as she was present at Karbala, whereas Umm Salama was in
Medina at the time, and according to the information above,
Imam al-Sajjad (‘a) received these bequests at his father’s
(‘a) death" (al-Zahra, 2005).
'Abd Allah, the son of Fatimah bint al-Husayn and Hasan
b. al-Hasan, is quoted as having said:
"My mother, Fatima, daughter of al-Husayn ('a) used
to tell me to sit with my maternal uncle, 'Ali b. al-Husayn
Zayn al-Abidin ('a). I never sat with him without rising with
some good which I had derived from him, whether it was fear of
God which occurred in my heart when I realised (what) fear of
God (was) or some traditional knowledge ('ilm) which I
acquired from him" as was related by his grandson 'Abd
Allah b. Musa b. 'Abd Allah b. Hasan b. al-Hasan (al-Mufid,
Beyond the Battle of Ashura in 61AH, there are many proven accounts of the
continued life of Fatimah bint al-Husayn ('a).
It is therefore possible that Fatimah bint al-Hasan, her
cousin and sister, was killed
in Damascus and never made it back to Madinah, as reports
concerning any continuation of her life in Madinah are not apparent,
unlike reports of Fatimah bint Husayn which are numerous.VNM. This may be why Imam ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin said that Ash-Shams
(Damascus) was by far when the greatest suffering took place
possibly due also to his wife's death. The absence of
references to the continued life of Fatimah bint al-Hasan is
supported by the following statement made in an Ansariyan
"We have no information about the
period which he (Muhammad al-Baqir) spent with his mother. That is because the
references have neglected that period."
(al-Qarashi 1999, p18).
Fatimah b. al-Hasan was the:
daughter of Umm Ishaq bint Talha b. ‘Ubayd Allah al-Taymi
‘Ali b. al-Husayn Zayn al-‘Abidin
Abu Ja’far Muhammad al-Baqir ('a)
daughter of Umm Ishaq bint Talha b. ‘Ubayd Allah al-Taymi
wife of Hasan b. al-Hasan
‘Abd Allah b. al-Hasan
al-Hasan, the second born son of Imam al-Hasan ('a) and son of
Khawla b. Manzur al-Fazari, was the husband of Fatimah bint al-Husayn
reported that Hasan b. al-Hasan sought to become engaged to
one of the two daughters of his uncle, al-Husayn ('a).
al-Husayn ('a) told him, “the one of them which is
preferable to you.”
Hasan became shy and could not make a choice in answer. So al-Husayn
('a) said, “I have chosen my daughter, Fatima, for you. Of
the two she is the most like my mother,
Fatima, daughter of
the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family.”
Hasan b. al-Hasan had been present with his uncle, al-Husayn
('a) at the battle on the banks (of the Euphrates). When al-Husayn
('a) was killed and the rest of his family had been taken
prisoner, Asma’ b. Kharija, his maternal uncle, had come to him and taken him
in his severely wounded state from among the prisoners as the
rogues prepared to cut the pure heads off the martyrs.
Asma' b. Kharija said: “By God, don’t ever let him
go to Ibn Khawla.”
go to Abu Hasan, the son of his sister”
said Umar b. Sa’d." He was taken to
Kufa where his uncle treated his wounds and once recovered he
returned to Madinah and resumed his role of collecting the
sadaqat, zakat and khums taxes on behalf of his Father and
Grandfather, Imam al-Hasan and Imam Ali ('a) (al-Qurashi,
Hasan b. al-Hasan died when he was thiry-five years of age,
may God have mercy on him, after being poisoned by Waleed b.
Abdul Malik (l). When Hasan b. al-Hasan died, his
wife, Fatimah b. al-Husayn ('a), pitched a tent at his tomb and
she used to stand in prayer at night and fast during the day.
She was like a houri of heaven in her beauty.
At the beginning of the new year, she said to her retainers:
“When the night becomes dark, pull down the tent.”
Then when the night became dark, she heard a voice saying:
“Have they found what they had lost?”
She answered: “Nay, they have despaired so they have
Sayyeda Zaynab ('a) in Cairo, Egypt
After the members of the Holy House who were
taken prisoner, returned to Madinah,
Lady Zaynab bint 'Ali b.
Abi Talib ('a), the sister of Imam Husayn ('a) was exiled to
her choice of country, namely Egypt, and was accompanied by
her nieces Fatimah bint al-Husayn and Sakina bint al-Husayn
('a) (Shahin, 2002, p220).
"A good number of
historians have recorded that Lady Zaynab was buried in Egypt.
For all Egyptians, this is an unquestionable fact, and her
handsome shrine there is one of the most significant signs
in Egypt. About Lady Zaynab's immigration to Egypt, historians
have recorded the following:
In Medina, Lady Zaynab began to rally the
public support against the ruling authorities and the unjust
Umayyad State. As a result, people of Medina rebelled and
formed armed forces to face the ruling authorities. As a
reply, Yazid sent a heavy army commanded by the criminal
Muslim ibn Aqabah to kill the rebels and civilians so harshly
and mercilessly. He even turned them into slaves for Yazid.
Shams al‑Din, 1981,
Lady Zaynab was sent into exile to Egypt, where,
grief‑stricken, she died the following year.
Sayyeda Fatimah in Cairo, Egypt
the activities of Lady Zaynab, the ruler of Medina wrote to
Yazid about her danger. The tyrant wrote back that he should
banish her to any country she would choose. First of all, Lady
Zaynab refused, but Zaynab daughter of 'Aqil, her cousin,
convinced her to leave for the good of the religion. She hence
opted for Egypt. In this (final) journey, she was accompanied
by her nieces Fatimah and Sukaynah daughters of Imam al-Husayn.
They arrived in Egypt on the last days of Dhul Hijjah, and
were received hospitably by the ruler of Egypt, Maslamah ibn
Mukhallad al-Ansari, who offered Lady Zaynab to reside in his
own house in al-Hamra, and she lived there for eleven months
and fifteen days. On Sunday, 15th Rajab, 62 A.H., Lady Zaynab
departed life and was buried in that house. There is now a
handsome shrine carrying her name and teaching all generations
the meanings of real humanity and defense of freedom and
belief" (Shahin, 2002, p220-221).
"Lady Zaynab resided
in Egypt where she died and was buried. The lady buried in
Damascus is her sister, Zaynab al-Wusta" (Shahin,
Corrections on Some
bin Hasan was not present at Karbala, nor was he taken
Umar bin Hasan was a martyr of Karbala, along with his two
brothers, Qasim and Abd Allah, who were all children of a Umm
Walad. Umm Walad was one of the wives of Imam Ali Zayn al-Abidin
whose son Abdillah, is buried in Damascus.
Shahzanan was not present at Karbala, as she died giving birth
to the Fourth Holy Imam 'Ali Zayn al-'Abidin ibn Husayn (al
Sajjad). Her sister is not on the list of wives of Imam Husayn
and therefore was not present either at Karbala.
Al-Husayn's ('a) Wives
to Shaykh al-Mufid, Al-Husayn's ('a) wives were as follows:
Shahzanan daughter of Choesroe Yazdigard
bint Abu Murra bin Urwa bin Mas'ud al-Taqafi.
Ja'far a woman of the tribe of Qud'a
bint Imru al Qays bin Adi of Kalb of Ma'd
Ishaq bint Talha b. ‘Ubayd Allah al-Taymi
1981, p 379).
Fatimah and Fatimah, the
pious ladies belonging to the Holy House of Prophet Muhammad
('s) with beautiful faces like the full moon, are victorious
in their own ways and left an enduring legacy upon the Earth.
It would be logical
therefore to conclude that both Fatimahs would have appeared
remarkably similar to one another and to the daughter of the
Apostle of God, Lady Fatima al Zahra ('a).
I have drawn the
conclusion that the grave in Damascus belongs to Fatimah bint
al-Hasan and not the grave of Fatimah bint al-Husayn ('a).
Therefore it is strongly likely that Fatimah bint al-Hasan
departed this world whilst imprisoned by Yazid (l) in Damascus
shortly after the Battle of Ashura. Her impact on her son,
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir ('a) was a lasting legacy.
She ('a) is quoted thus:
"Fatima bint Imam al-Hasan (‘a) narrated from her grandmother
Fatima az-Zahra’ (‘a) that the Prophet (‘s) charmed al-Hasan
and al-Husayn by these words as he taught them Qur’anic
verses. He recited: “I seek protection by the perfect words of
Allah from every devil and every vermin, and from every
 Ath-Thuriyyah at-Tahirah an-Nabawiyyah, p.107.
I theorize that as Fatimah bint al-Husayn
('a) had moved to Egypt, perhaps accompanied by her son, 'Abd
Allah, it may be logical to presume that there would be
descendents in Egypt and Northern Africa. The voluminous loss of literature however
prevents this theory being collaborated by proofs and
She ('a) is quoted thus:
"Fatima bint Imam al-Husayn (‘a) narrated from her
grandmother Fatima az-Zahra’ (‘a.)
that the Prophet (‘s) said, ‘If someone becomes ill, Allah
reveals to his angels: stop writing against My slave as long
as he is in My tie. I have tied him until I take his soul or
 Musnad of Fatima az-Zahra’, p.220.
Her Son 'Abd Allah b. Hasan b.al-Hasan is
"Abdullah bin al-Hasan narrated from his mother Fatima
that his grandmother Fatima az-Zahra’ (‘a) said, ‘When the
messenger of Allah (‘a) entered the mosque, he recited: “O
Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the doors of Your
mercy”, and when he left the mosque, he recited: “O Allah,
forgive me my sins and open to me the doors of Your favor”.’"
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 81 p.22, Amali of Sheikh at-Toosi, p.401.
It has been stated
that the Fatimid Caliphs of the period pre Ottoman and post
Abbasid eras, 296 to 567 A.H., are descendent from Lady Fatima
al-Zahra ('a) and were fourteen in number. The Fatimid
territories extended from Northern Africa, Egypt and up to
Syria and Shiism was firmly routed in Jordon and Palestine at
that time. The people of Tabriyya, half of Nablus, Quds and a
large part of Oman were Shia (Mughniyyah, 1985,
year 359AH saw the building of the Al-Azhar University of Cairo, Egypt, by Jawharus
Sayqali, the Commander of the army of the
Fatimid Caliph. An extensive programme of the Shia jurisprudence, faith and
philosophy were taught and all verdicts and teachings throughout
Egypt conformed with the religion of the Ahlul Bayt ('a).
The first text used at Al-Azhar University was al-Iqtisad,
which dealt with the Jurisprudence of the progeny of the Holy
Prophet ('s) and thereafter Da'a'imul Islam which contained the
rules and regulations of the Ahlul Bayt ('a) regarding lawful and
unlawful things" (Abidin, 2002).
It therefore may be concluded that Fatimid
Caliphs are descended from Fatimah bint al-Husayn ('a) who
moved to Egypt in 62 A.H. after Ashura whilst accompanying her Aunt Zaynab
into her forced exile. There are other unconfirmed
reports of the Holy Head of Imam Husayn ('a) having
accompanied them also giving rise to the existence of the Imam
Husayn Mosque in Cairo. And Allah (swt) only knows.
No matter what view
the humble reader may take concerning the lives of these two
women, Fatimah and Fatimah, it is true to say that their
contribution to this world was remarkable in aiding Lady
Zaynab ('a) in the protection of the message of the Prophet
('s). VNM. Both of them played a role in the protection of the
next Holy Imam Ali Zayn al-Abidin ('a) and his son the next Holy Imam
Muhammad al-Baqir ('a) as a small child and other members of
the Prophet's household who survived the Battle of Ashurra,
even if it may have only been for a short while.
May Allah (swt) shower his abundant blessings upon both
Fatimah and Fatimah.
Salamu'alayki ya Fatimah bint al-Hasan
wal Fatimah bint al-Husayn!
Allahumma salley ala Muhammad wa ale
Abidin, S. (2002)
of Shi'ism in Egypt,
Victory News Magazine
Imam al-Baqir: Ahlul Bait Series,
al-Balagh Foundation, Tehran, I.R.Iran, p7.
Baqir Sharif (1999) The Life of
Imam Mohammad al-Baqir, Ansariyan Publications, Qum,
Baqir Shareef (2006) The Life of Imam
al-Hasan al-Mujtaba, Ansariyan Publications, Qum,
al-Zahra, M. (2005)
Sajjad -The Witness:
The Role of Imam Ali Zayn al-Abidin ('a)
in Ashura, Victory News Magazine,
accessed 22nd January 2009.
Maaref Foundation (2008) The Life of Fatima,
Accessed 1st Muharram, 1430/27th December 2008.
Shahin, Badr (2002)
Lady Zaynab, Ansariyan
Publications, Qum, I.R.Iran.
M. M. (1981) The Rising of al‑Husayn,
English translation by I. K. A. Howard, London, U.K. p.
145. Cited on source page
Accessed 2nd February, 2009.
haykh al-Mufid (1981)
The Book of Guidance into the live of
the Twelve Imams,
The Muhammadi Trust of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland, London, U.K. p294/5,
Shaykh Muhammad Jawad Mughniyyah [Lebanon] (1985) Ash Shi'ah Wal
Hakimun (The Despotic Rulers) Islamic Seminary
Author: Hj S.Abidin
Illustrations/Map: Hj S.Abidin
Photographer: Islamic Occasions Network
Chief Editor: Hj Nurzaynab El-Fatah
Production: Hj S. Abidin
Published Date: 1st
Muharram, 1430/27th December, 2008.
Modification Date: 6
Safar, 1430/2nd February, 2009.
Publication ID: 08fatimah.
Fatimah and Fatimah. The Daughters of Imams Hasan
and Husayn ('a).
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