Story No. 287 – Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa): Learning, Applying and Teaching Knowledge to others

With regard to knowledge, Islam teaches us three things: Learn, apply and teach others. In the life of Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa), we find that she gave importance to all these three stages of Knowledge.


Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa): Learning and Applying Knowledge


One day Prophet Muhammad (saw) came to the house of his beloved daughter Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa). She (sa) asked him a number of questions on religious rights. Among them was a question regarding a wife’s duty towards her husband?


One of the many things that Prophet Muhammad (saw) told her was, “O Fatimah! A woman who demands things, which are outside the means of her husband, is removed from the pale of divine grace.”


After her marriage to Imam Ali (as), we will find that Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) never asked or demanded anything from her husband – lest he (as) cannot afford and is embarrassed to say so!


One day Imam Ali (as) insisted that his wife Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa), ask him for something. After much insistence, she (sa) agreed and asked for a pomegranate. As Imam Ali (as) bought one from the market and was walking towards home, his eyes fell upon a poor man who was ill. He (as) asked the poor man what he wanted and the poor man expressed his desire to eat pomegranate. Without any hesitation, Imam Ali (as) gave away the pomegranate he had bought for his wife.


Now, as Imam Ali (as) walked towards his home, he (as) felt guilty and thought that this was the first time ever Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) had asked for a pomegranate and I have been unable to fulfill her wish.


Although Imam Ali (as) was certain that Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) would be happy to know that the pomegranate was given away in good cause, nevertheless, he (as) still felt guilty. Meanwhile, Jibril (Gabriel) came to Prophet Muhammad (saw) with a tray of pomegranates from the Paradise and informed him as to what had happened. Prophet Muhammad (saw) gave the tray to Salman Al-Farsi (ra) and asked him to deliver it to Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) before Imam Ali (as) reached home.


Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) asked, “O Salman! Where has this tray come from?”


Salman Al-Farsi (ra) said, “O Daughter of Holy Prophet! You expressed your desire for a pomegranate from Imam Ali (as), he (as) bought it and gave it to a poor beggar. For his sincere action, Allah (SWT) has sent this tray from the Paradise so that your wish is fulfilled and Imam Ali (as) is also saved from any embarrassment.”


Imam Ali (as) arrived home with his head down due to guilt. As soon as he (as) entered, he (as) asked, “O Fatima! What is this smell of pomegranates I am feeling?”


Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) said, “O Ali! These pomegranates are what you sent. You gave away one to a beggar and in return Allah (SWT) has sent them from Paradise.”


The above incident indicates, how Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) was learning from his father, Prophet Muhammad (saw) and applying the same knowledge practically into her life.


Remember: One may say this is irrelevant today! Because men and women both work and earn, and as such there is no need for a workingwoman to ask for anything from her husband. As a matter of fact, in some cases workingwoman may end up financially supporting her husband – then what?


Perhaps Prophet Muhammad (saw) was also aware of this. In the advices, which he (saw) gave to his daughter Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa), one was also this: “A woman who says to her husband: You eat and clothe yourself from my wealth, will not have even the glimpse of Paradise.”