Story No. 302 – Failing Attempts to open the grave of Fatima Zahra (sa) in Jannat al-Baqi
At sunrise people gathered to participate in Fatima Zahra’s (sa) funeral, but they were informed that the darling of Messenger of Allah (saw) had been secretly buried during the night.
Meanwhile, Imam Ali (as) made the shapes of four fresh graves in Jannat al-Baqi, so as to conceal the location where Fatima Zahra (sa) was buried. When the people entered the graveyard, they were confused as to which spot was actually Lady Fatima Zahra’s grave; the people turned towards each other and with feelings of guilt said: “Our Prophet Muhammad (saw) has not left behind but one daughter, yet she has died and was buried without our participation in the funeral or the prayer rituals. We do not even realize the place where she has been buried.”
Noticing that a revolt might be ignited because of the emotional atmosphere this event created, the governing party announced: “Select a group of Muslim women and ask them to dig these graves so that we may find Fatima Zahra (sa) and perform prayers on her.”
Yes! They attempted to execute the plan, violating Fatima’s (sa) will and causing Imam Ali’s (as) attempts to hide the grave to lay vainly.
Have they forgotten Imam Ali’s (as) sharp sword, Zulfiqar and his well-known courage! Did they really think that Imam Ali (as) would remain indifferent to their outrageous actions up to the point of letting them dig Fatima’s (sa) grave?
Imam Ali (as) did not fight back after the Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) death because he considered the Muslim unity and over all interests. Yet, this did not mean that he would ignore their villainous crimes against Fatima Zahra (sa) even after her death. In other words, Imam Ali (as) was asked by Prophet Muhammad (saw) to have patience, but only to a certain extent; when Imam Ali (as) received the news of the about-to-be-executed plot, he put on his fighting gear and rushed towards Jannat al-Baqi. A man from among the people called out, “This is Ali ibn Abu Talib leveling his sword and saying: If anyone moves even a mere stone from these graves, I shall strike even the back of the last follower of the unjust.”
People who realized Imam Ali’s (as) seriousness, took his threats with complete belief that he would do just as he said if anyone were to oppose him. Yet, a man from the governing ones addressed Imam Ali (as) by saying: “What is the matter, Abu Al-Hassan? By Allah, we shall dig her grave out and perform prayers on her.”
Imam Ali (as) then grabbed the man by his clothes, shook him and threw him to the ground and said: “Son of the Sawada! I have abandoned my right to prevent people from forsaking their faith, but as regards Fatima’s (sa) grave, by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you and your followers attempt to do anything to it, I will irrigate the ground with your blood!”
At this, Abu Bakr said; “Abu Al-Hassan, I ask you by the right of Messenger of Allah, and by Him Who is above the Throne: leave him alone and we will not do anything which you would not approve of.”
Grave of Fatima Zahra (sa) in Jannat al-BaqiThus, until this day, the location of Fatima Zahra’s (sa) grave remains a secret.
Fatima Zahra (sa) had asked to be buried at night. Her request for hiding her shrine was in fact a message she wanted to send to history: a message for the entire Muslim Ummah that would lead to hearing her sad life story, and what her constant objections were. And this in fact could be a turning point in the history of Islamic civilization.
It was because of this that Fatima Zahra (sa) found life from death, victory from defeat, and an epic and everlasting peace from misery. She created a revolution in the hearts of all generations. Her heart still beats to the fate of the Muslim Ummah. And her eyes await the flag of freedom that will appear with his son the Promised Mahdi (as).
Today, like all other periods people face misery and oppression. We must look unto the secret of the hidden grave, and think about Fatima Zahra’s (sa) tears and burning sighs, and retell her message as best we can to the rest of the world.