Story No. 283 – Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) the Little Supporter: Umme Abiha (mother of her father)
The tenth year after Besat-e-Rasool (The year Prophet Muhammad (saw) began his mission) was a very hard period for Muslims. The respected Hazrat Abu Talib (as) and Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (sa) had passed away within a short span of time. Prophet Muhammad (saw) had lost two of his best and kindest supporters both at home and in the society.
Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) had a very difficult time as well. She had lost a mother like Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (sa) while she was only six years old. However, this was not the only difficulty she had to face; as a matter of fact, every time she would come out of the house, she was faced unpleasant events. She would see the enemies cursing Prophet Muhammad (saw) or even hurting him physically. Nevertheless, she had understood the new situation and despite her young age she had realized that supporting her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw) was of her new responsibilities. Hence, she became a great contributor and supporter of Islam and Prophet Muhammad (saw).
Once she saw a number of people had gathered around in Masjid al-Haram to plan the murder of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) returned home with tearful eyes, and told her father about the plan; as a result the enemies had failed to carry out their plan. At another time, one of the polytheists, who had apparently come to visit Prophet Muhammad (saw), threw dirt and garbage on Prophet Muhammad (saw). Prophet Muhammad (saw), owner of the greatest morality, acted as if nothing had happened, forgave him, and returned home. When Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) saw what had happened to her father, ran to him with some water and washed his father’s head and face. She began to cry at the harsh act the enemies had done to her father, but Prophet Muhammad (saw) told her:
“O my daughter! Do not cry. Be sure that Allah (SWT) will protect your father from all evils and will make him successful in his mission.”
At another incident, when some polytheist poured the waste of a slaughtered Camel and sheep on Prophet Muhammad (saw) during his prostration, again, it was Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) who went to help Prophet Muhammad (saw) with love. She helped her father clean the waste, and with her act caressed her father’s soul.
These affectionate moralities of Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was so much that Prophet Muhammad (saw) called her “Umme Abiha (mother of her father)” implying the deepness of love and care little Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) showed her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw).
Fatima Al-Zahra (sa)As a wife, Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was deeply devoted to her husband, Imam Ali (as) and had never asked him for anything in her whole life. As a mother, she cared for and brought up the most wonderful children who have left their marks in history that time will not be able to erase.
Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was very intelligent, accomplished and cheerful. She had inherited the genius and wisdom, determination and willpower, the piety and sanctity, the generosity and benevolence, the devotion and worship of Allah (SWT) as well as other great qualities like self-sacrifice and hospitality, forbearance and patience, and the knowledge and nobility of disposition from her illustrious father, Prophet Muhammad (saw), both in words and deeds. Her generosity and compassion for the poor was such that no destitute or beggar ever returned from her door unattended.
We, Muslims believe that Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) is the most superior woman through all the centuries and eras. This belief is inferred from Prophetic narratives. In one of these statements (on which both Shiites and Sunnites agree) the Great Prophet Muhammad (saw) says: “Sayyidati Nisa il Aalameen (Fatima is the master of all the women of the worlds.)” Although it is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an that Maryam [Mary, mother of Prophet Jesus (pbuh)] is the best woman in the worlds and has high position and is considered to be chaste and continence and is one of the four greatest women, she was the best woman of her life’s period, but Fatima Al-Zahra’s (sa) superiority is not restricted to her life’s period and is history time. That is why Prophet Muhammad (saw) named her as the greatest women of all the women from the first to the last in another saying. Another point that can be inferred from these narratives is that because Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) is the greatest woman and no other has competence with her, knowing and recognizing all her life and every moment of her life is extremely valuable, as we can reach high spiritual states by deliberating it. Furthermore, by referring to the Noble Qur’an we find out that several verses are descended to state her position: (33:33, known as Ayat-e-Tatheer), (3:61, known as Ayat-e-Mubahila), (17:26), the beginning verses of chapter 76 (al-Insan) , the whole chapter 108 (al-Kawthar).