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Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadhlullah

On the day of rising, Lady Fatimah ('a), the infallible daughter of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (p) and Lady Khadija ('a) , the beloved wife of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib ('a), the loving Mother of Imam Hassan ('a), Imam Hussain ('a), Lady Zaynab, Ume Kulsoom and Mohsin, will be called by Angel Jibrael, where the gathering of people will be asked to lower their gaze. 
Allah (swt), the exalted will say:
"O people of the gathering; lower your heads and cast your eyes down, for this is Fatimah proceeding towards Paradise." 

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3 Jumaada Ul Thaany, 1424

Fatima Zahra ('a): The Universal Lady

On the Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Sayyida Fatima Zahra ('a)

By Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadhlullah

Praise be to Allah Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be on our master, Muhammad, his purified progeny, his selected companions and all God’s Messengers.

Allah, the most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book: Allah's wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing 
(33:33)

Her Father’s Mother

One of these that are Purified is the infallible pure lady, the greatest lady of the worlds, of Heaven and pre-eminent among the believers, as both Sunnis and Shiites agree upon in their books of traditions, is Lady Fatima Al-Zahra ('a).

 This great lady who lived with those who represent the highest level of humanity and all the virtues of infallibility, humanitarianism and concern for all the wronged, wretched and deprived. This great lady who also lived, along with them, the confrontation of the arrogant and the oppressive. This great lady whose greatness was not restricted by the fact that she was the daughter of the Messenger (p.), who was united with her in his heart and soul whether in her childhood or in her youth that was too short and she left this world early. She was so united with her father that she lived all his feelings. Knowing from his eyes what he wanted and from his steps what he meant, yet their relationship was not merely one between a father and daughter but a relationship in which love is mixed with a message.

In her childhood, Fatima ('a) used to accompany the Messenger (p.) in all his pains and sufferings: If the infidels tortured him in one way or another, she used to condole him with her tears, although she was barely five years old. She lived with him in the same house, and when he, peace and blessings be upon him, lost her mother, she gave him all the affection and love he lost with the death of his wife and uncle. That is why he called her “the mother of her father” for he felt the love and tenderness of a mother in her marvellous ability of love and giving.

The Universal Woman

Fatima ('a) was a woman of universal proportions. It is quite regretful that we have imprisoned her in the circle of tragedy. She was much larger than tragedy. She never talked about her tragedy but always talked about the right of Ali ('a) and his legitimacy. Her voice was that of Ali ('a) when he said that the truth did not leave for him any friends (all had left him because of his insistence on what is right). She also was left with no friends when she adhered to the right, for she stood firm in the face of falsehood, not caring for who might blame her when it was a matter of standing with the truth.

Thus, we should take the personality of Lady Fatima Al-Zahra ('a) in its totality and not imprison her is the tragic death of a human being or the joy of the birth of another. The world needs a great pure lady like Al-Zahra ('a) It talks about the achievements of several ladies, but we do not see in any of them the sacrifices and the morals of Lady Fatima ('a).

This human being who thought of others more than she thought about her self. We believe that the biggest virtue of a believer is to equate others with himself. (You will not believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself). This is what her son, Imam Al-Hassan ('a) tells us about her, when he used to hear her in the long nights she spent praying for others and not for herself.

Her humanitarianism was like that of her cousin and husband, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ('a). They used to spend their days in hunger and prefer to give the little food they had to the poor, the orphans and the prisoners. They were the embodiment of sacrifice and good doing and the highest symbol of humanitarianism.

The Ever-Patient

In addition, Lady Al-Zahra ('a) was a dedicated housewife, and she was such a hard worker that her health was affected.

Seeing how much she was enduring, Imam Ali ('a) asked her to go the Messenger (p.) and ask for a servant, but he, peace and blessings be upon him, replied: 

“Should I tell of something better than a maid: When you come to sleep say God is Great 34 in times, say Praise be to God 33 times and say Subhan'allah (glory be to Allah, the most Exalted,) 33 times. This is better for you then the servant” 

And this what they did and what a tradition it is, which all Muslims follow when they pray or go to bed.

In addition to her duties as a wife, a daughter and a mother, she used to gather Muslims from both the Muhajireen, (who migrated from Mecca) and Al-Ansar (who received them in Medina) to recite to them what she had heard from the prophet. She was a caller and a leader, despite all the problems and hardships she was facing. She believed that the woman believer should be well knowledgeable of Islamic culture to guide fellow Muslim women. The woman, in her view, the view of Islam, was not a discarded and neglected mass, she is a human being that is responsible for the society just as the man is.

She was also one of those who struggled for the cause of Allah. She stood before Al-Muhajereen and Al-Ansar in the same mosque where her father used to deliver his sermons and guide the nation. It has been said that one who heard her heard her father, for she resembled him in the content and guidance of her speeches as well as her looks and the way she talked. She was able to deliver Islamic speeches that outlined the general and specific principles of Islam. She defended her right to inherit her father, talking about the Quran and the prophet in a polite and gracious way. For, like her father and husband before her, she did not want to insult those she differed with. She only wanted the truth and sought what is right. Her cause transcended her person. It was the responsibility of a person who carries a message and who believes that this message comes before him or herself.

Al-Zahra ('a) endured a lot of suffering when her house was attacked and in other ways as well, but she endured all that with the patience of a true believer. She was the human being who knew her message and who knew how to protest. Her last protest was when she asked her husband to bury her at night. On another level, she, together with her husband, raised and educated Imams Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein ('a), those great Imams whether they rise up or hold their peace. It was her great spirituality and her love that nourished their love of God and made them feel the purity of Islam.

The Role Model

This is the great lady whom Allah has purified. There is no uncleanliness in her thought, emotions and in all her life. She is infallible, as the Ayah of purification states, as well as being the first lady of the worlds. In addition, her entire life proves that she represents this purity.

Thus, when we remember Al-Zahra ('a), we have to understand her in this sense as the universal Muslim woman whose humanitarianism, idealism and dedication for the cause, make her a role model for women all over the world. We have to take her out of the frame of tragedy we have imprisoned her in, to let her live in our hearts and consciences, our minds, morals and culture. We want her to become the role model of all humans: men and women.

May Allah grant us His blessings.

Walhamdo Lillahi Rabbil Aalameen

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Last Updated Friday, 29 January 2010