Story No. 298 – Woodcutter’s Wife is the Woman to enter the Paradise first

Bibi Fatimah (sa) was Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) most loving daughter. Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa) used to help out Prophet Muhammad (saw) in most of her daily affairs. She had this feeling that she should be the first woman to enter the paradise. However, she had a grain of doubt. Unless Prophet Muhammad (saw) himself assured her, she would not believe it. She was eagerly waiting for an opportunity to know the reality from her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw).

One day finally when they were chatting together and both were in high spirits; she could not resist her eagerness anymore and enquired from her father as to who would be the first lady to enter the heavens. Prophet Muhammad (saw) was perplexed and was in two minds whether to disclose the truth. Finally he revealed the fact that one woman; wife of a woodcutter and living close by would be the one to enter the paradise first. Bibi Fatimah (sa) was shocked and was almost in tears. But Prophet Muhammad (saw) consoled and sympathized with her and asked her to visit the woman at the earliest.

The very next day Bibi Fatimah (sa) visited her, not only to chat with her but also to assess her and to find out as to in what ways she (woodcutter’s wife) was superior to herself. She knocked on the door. Hearing a female voice, the woodcutter’s wife, without opening the door, enquired as to who she was? Bibi Fatimah (sa) replied that she was so and so and the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Immediately the woodcutter’s wife replied, I am sorry I cannot admit you since I have not taken permission from my husband. I would suggest you to come tomorrow, by that time I would take permission from my husband.

The next day almost the same time, Bibi Fatimah (sa) intentionally carried her kid Imam Hassan (as) with her and knocked at the door. When asked as to who she was, Bibi Fatimah (sa) replied that she was so and so and she was accompanied with her kid Imam Hassan (as). Promptly came the reply that I am sorry my husband had permitted to let in only yourself and how can I admit two of you, so it is better you come tomorrow.

The next day Bibi Fatimah (sa) accompanied by two of her kids Imam Hassan (as) and Imam Hussain (as), visited the woodcutter’s wife and knocked at the door and requested the women to open the door and that she is accompanied by two of her kids. The woodcutter’s wife was jubilant and opened the door instantly saying that her husband has permitted her to open the door to anyone and any member from Prophet’s family and it is a great honour for her. They sat together and chatted for sometime and during that process Bibi Fatimah (sa) was able to glean the various humane and Islamic qualities in the woman. Bibi Fatima Zahra (sa) was very much satisfied with all that she noticed and returned home to report the matter to her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said to Bibi Fatimah (sa) that when you enter the heavens through the main gate riding on a horse, you will find that woodcutter’s wife is holding the reins of the horse in front of you. That means the woodcutter’s wife will be the first woman to enter the heaven.