Story No. 297 – Bibi Fizza (ra) the maidservant of Bibi Fatimah (sa) / Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa)

Bibi Fizza (ra) the maidservant of Bibi Fatimah (sa)Bibi Fizza (ra) had come from Abyssinia to Arabia as a slave. She was freed by Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and afterwards served Bibi Fatimah (sa) as her maidservant. Bibi Fizza (ra) was only 11 years of age when she came to serve Bibi Fatimah (sa). It is believed that she knew how to make Gold and she also knew Noble Qur’an by heart. Bibi Fatimah (sa) divided her house work equally between herself and Bibi Fizza (ra) and they would take turns to do the chores. She remained faithful to the household of Ahlul Bayt (as) and even accompanied them to Karbala and the prison of Sham. She also had the honour of taking part in the “Three Days Fast”. Once, when Imam Hassan (as) and Imam Hussain (as) fell sick, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) suggested that Imam Ali (as) make a vow (Nazr) to fast for three days when the children recovered. When they were better, Imam Ali (as), Bibi Fatimah (sa), Imam Hassan (as), Imam Hussain (as) and Bibi Fizza (ra) all fasted to fulfill the vow.


However, on each of the three days, when they sat to break their fast, a hungry person called at their door. The first said he was poor, the second said he was an orphan and the third said he was a freed captive. Each time, the big-hearted members of the house, including Bibi Fizza (ra), gave away their food and broke their fast with water. In praise of this selfless action Allah (SWT) revealed the 76th Chapter Ad Dahr (Surah al-Insan) of the Noble Qur’an.


Abdullah Mubarak has related a very interesting dialogue between himself and Bibi Fizza (ra). He states, I saw a woman passing through the desert who had fallen behind the caravan and asked her, “Who are you and where are you from?”


Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [And say, “Salaam” for they shall soon know! Noble Qur’an, 43:89]


I learned that she expected me to greet her and say “Assalaamu Alaykum” first, before any question. I did as she reminded, and then enquired why she was in the desert.


Bibi Fizza (ra) answered: [And whomsoever Allah guides, there can be none to lead astray! Noble Qur’an, 39:37]


On hearing her reply, I asked her, “Are you from mankind or from the Jinn?”


Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [O Children of Adam! Look to your adornment at every place of worship. Noble Qur’an, 7:31]


I understood that she was human and then asked her, “Where are you coming from?”


Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [Those who are called to from a place far off. Noble Qur’an, 41:44]


I asked her, “Where are you intending to go?”


Bibi Fizza (ra) said: [And (purely) for Allah, is incumbent upon mankind, the Pilgrimage of the House. Noble Qur’an, 3:97]


I asked her how many days she had been traveling.


Bibi Fizza (ra) told me: [We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in Six Days. Noble Qur’an, 50:38]


I asked her, “Do you feel hungry?”


Bibi Fizza (ra) replied: [We (Allah) did not make them such bodies that ate no food. Noble Qur’an, 21:8]


I gave her food and asked her to hurry up to catch the caravan but she replied:


Bibi Fizza (ra) the maidservant of Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa)[Allah does not task any soul beyond its ability. Noble Qur’an, 2:286]


I suggested that she sit on the camel behind me, but she said:


[Had there been gods therein besides Allah, there would have been disorder in both (the heavens and the earth). Noble Qur’an, 21:22]


I realized that, because we were not husband and wife, it was Haram (forbidden) for both of us to ride the camel. So I got off and mounted her on it. As she sat on the camel, she said:


[Glory to Him Who has subjected these to our (use). Noble Qur’an, 43:13]


When we reached the caravan, I asked her, “Do you know anyone among them?”


Bibi Fizza (ra) called out in reply: [O Dawood, Verily, We have appointed you a vicegerent in the earth. Noble Qur’an, 38:26]


[And Muhammad is not but a Messenger. Noble Qur’an, 3:144]


[O Yahya! Hold the book with firmness! Noble Qur’an, 19:12]


[O Musa! Verily I am Allah, the All-Mighty. Noble Qur’an, 27:9]


I began to call out these four names at which four youths came out of the caravan and ran towards Bibi Fizza (ra). I asked her who they were and she replied:


[Wealth and children are the adornment of the world. Noble Qur’an, 18:46]


I realized that they were her sons. The woman turned to the youth and said:


[O my Father, employ him, verily the best of those who you can employ is the strong man and the trusted one. Noble Qur’an, 28:26]


Bibi Fizza (ra) thus made them understand that I had helped her. Then she told them:


[And verily God increases manifold to whosoever He wills. Noble Qur’an, 2:261]


The sons understood their mother’s hint and paid me well. I asked them who this noble lady was, and they replied, “She is our mother, Fizza, the maidservant of Bibi Fatimah (sa). She has conversed in nothing but Noble Qur’an for the last 20 years.”