When Fatima Zahra reached nine years of age, she was a full-grown woman who enjoyed intellectual maturity and integrity of conduct. Allah gifted her with a brilliant mentality and cleverness, together with beauty, grace and elegance. Her talents were many and her inherited and acquired noble traits excel those of any female or male.
Fatima’s religious feelings and literary knowledge were unlimited. You will come to know that she was the most knowledgeable and most honorable woman in the world. In fact, history has not witnessed any other woman who achieved such a high level of education, knowledge, and social graces that Fatima reached; regardless of the fact that she did not graduate from any educational establishment save the school of Revelationand Messengership.
In light of this, it is not strange that prominent companions of the Prophet asked to marry her, but he (S) rejected them by saying:
“Her affair is left to her Lord; whenever He wills, she will marry.”
Shu’aib Ibn Saab Al?Misri said the following in Ar?Rawd Al?Faeq:
“When the sun of her beauty shined in the heavens of Messengership and became full on the horizon of exaltation of the moon of her perfection, the dawns of thoughts reached towards her and the sights of the chosen longed to observe her beauty; so the masters of the Muhajerin and Ansar asked to many her, but the one who was bestowed with Allah’s satisfaction (the Prophet (S) rejected them and said: `I am waiting for Allah’s ordinance in her regard.”‘
Abu Bakr and Umar were among those who asked to marry Fatima, but the Prophet (S) rejected them too, and said that she was still too young for marriage. AbdurRahman Ibn Awf also asked for her hand, but the Prophet (S) ignored him.
Ali Ibn Muragi reported in his book Kanz Al?Umal v.2 p.99, that Anas Ibn Malik said:
“Abu Bakr came to see the Prophet (S). After sitting down he said:
`O Messenger of Allah, you surely know of my devotion and long standing service to Islam…’
The Prophet then said: `What is it that you want?’
Abu Bakr then said: `I want you to give me Fatima in marriage.’
When the Prophet heard this, he did not say anything, so Abu Bakr returned to Umar and said:
`I have ruined myself and others!!’
Umar said: `What happened?’
Abu Bakr replied: `I asked for Fatima’s hand from the Prophet, but he ignored me.’
Umar said: `You stay here, and I will go ask the Prophet for the same thing that you asked him for.’
Umar went to the Prophet and after sitting down started saying:
`O Messenger of Allah, you surely know of my devotion and long standing service to Islam…’
The Prophet (S) then said: `What is it that you want?’
Umar replied: `I want you to give me Fatima in marriage.’
But the Prophet (S) ignored him too.
Umar returned to Abu Bakr and said: `He is waiting for Allah’s command in her regard.”‘
Al?Haithami also reported in his book Majma Az?Zawa’ed that Abu Bakr and Umar sent their daughters to the Prophet (S) in order to ask him to give Fatima in marriage to them; but when the daughters mentioned why they had come, the Prophet said:
“No! Not until Allah’s command in her regard is revealed”
Perhaps the Messenger avoided telling Abu Bakr and Umar openly that he is keeping Fatima for the qualified man, because he did not want to declare to them that they were unqualified to marry her, and that his daughter was above their level. The Prophet also wanted everything to occur in its natural order.
Imam Ali (A) was staying in the house of Saad Ibn Ma’adh (according to one historical finding) since he immigrated to Medina. One day, While Imam Ali was in one of the gardens of Medina, Saad came to him and said:
“What prevents you from asking to marry Fatima from your cousin?”
It has also been mentioned in Kanz Al?Umal that Umar came to Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and said:
“What prevents you from (marrying) Fatima?”
Imam Ali replied: “I fear that he (the Prophet) will not give her to me in marriage!”
Umar said: “If he does not give her to you in marriage, then who will she marry? Besides, you are the nearest of Allah’s creatures to him ….”
Actually, Ali had never mentioned his desire to marry Fatima for two reasons; first his shyness to do so in front of the Prophet, and secondly because of his very difficult economic condition. Imam Ali owned nothing of the empherial belongings of this world?not even a house or a peace of land!! So how could he get married? And where would he live with his wife? Besides, Fatima (A) is not the type of woman who can be neglected or looked down upon!!
Nevertheless, the purpose of marriage in Islam is to establish a family. The question of sex is not the main goal, rather it is a matter included and taken care of by marriage. In addition, Islam came to break the chains and the blind adoption of concepts which deprived many people from marriage by making it difficult for them to acquire partners; thus, preventing them from a basic and natural necessity needed for the survival of mankind. Therefore, thanks to Islam?marriage became an easy affair. Tribalism and race consciousness were eradicated by the new religion. The Prophet (S), who was still going through the stage of building Islam, wanted to set an example through his words and deeds in this field; for he is the exemplar and model for the people. So he fought ignorant and infidel customs through his works and actions.
Imam Ali (A) finally approached the Prophet (S) and asked for Fatima’s hand in marriage. The Messenger, who has absolute guardianship over all Muslim men and women, including his daughter, would not announce his agreement to the marriage without Fatima’s consent. By this action, he (S) made it clear that it is inevitable to obtain the daughter’s permission for marriage, because she is the one who is to live with the man and share his life. Indeed, giving a girl in marriage to someone without her prior approval or permission is a clear violation of her honor, degradation of her personality, disruption of her soul and a practical declaration to her that she is like an animal who can be sold or given as a gift to anyone without the right to state her opinion.
The Prophet (S) in reply to Ali said:
“Ah, many men have asked before you and she has rejected them?her resentment to marry them was clear on her face. Yet, wait until I bring you the answer.”
The Prophet (S) left Ali waiting for the answer. The Prophet informed his daughter that Ali wished to marry her. Fatima did not need to ask about Ali’s occupation, manners, age and other traits; because she knew all about his talents, excellent traits and long standing service to Islam. It is for this reason that the Prophet only said to her:
“Fatima, you know Ali Ibn Abu Talib’s relationship to us, his devotion and faithfulness to Islam. I asked Allah to give you in marriage to the best of His creatures, and the most beloved to Him; and he (Ali) has declared his wish to marry you; what do you say?”
Fatima did not reply, nor did she show a sign of rejection or resentment, so he (S) stood up and said:
“Allah is the Greatest! Her silence is her approval.”
The Prophet considered Fatima’s silence as her consent and approval of the marriage; because a shy, virgin girl is not expected to declare her agreement openly. Yes, disagreement and rejection of marriage can be openly expressed by her. But shyness prevents a girl from declaring her wish to marry a man, but it does not stop her from rejecting it.
The Prophet (S) went back to the waiting Ali and informed him of Fatima’s approval of the marriage. He also inquired about the extent of his preparedness to fulfill the requirements needed for the wedding, because legally and traditionally there has to be a dowry. Especially in light of the fact that this marriage would be remembered and be of great influence to the future generations. Thus, it was important to observe every element and event, which would play a part of this marriage?within the limits of simplicity and modesty.
The Prophet said to Ali:
“Do you possess anything (which you can pay for the dowry) to marry Fatima?’
Imam Ali answered:
“May my parents be your sacrifice By Allah, there is not a thing of my affairs hidden from you; I own my sword, shield and the camel which 1 use for irrigation”
Indeed, this was everything that Ali possessed in this world when he was about to get married!!
The Messenger openheartedly listened to Ali and said:
“Ali you cannot do without your sword, for you have to struggle with it and defend yourself against the enemies of Allah. As for your camel you need it to irrigate palm trees and support your family, and you need it as a means of travel. But I accept the shield as a dowry from you; thus, sell it and bring me the money.”
Ali had won this shield from the booty of the battle of Badr. It was given to him by the Messenger, who named it Al?Hademah; because it destroyed all the swords, which stuck it.
The Commander of the Faithful (A) sold the shield for 480 or 500 dirhams and brought the money to the Prophet (S). They both agreed that this money would be the dowry of the most honorable girl and most exalted female of the universe. Yes, Fatima was the Mistress of the women of the world, and the daughter of the Master of Prophets and Messengers, who was the best of Allah’s creatures.
Yet, he gave his daughter in marriage in return for such a modest dowry in order to teach other Muslim girls not to refrain from marriage because of modest dowries. There are many other lessons, which we can learn from Fatima’s marriage, but this is not the place to mention them.
Despite Fatima’s modest marriage on Earth, Allah, the Exalted, bestowed her with an honorable gift. He (Glory be to Him) gave her in marriage to Ali Ibn Abu Talib, before the Messenger himself did so. This is not abnormal, for Allah had given women who are much lower than Fatima in marriage to the Prophet For example, He gave Zainab Bint Jahsh to the Prophet in marriage as it is stated in the Holy Quran.
“Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee.” (33: 50)
Therefore, was it not possible for Fatima’s wedding to have been celebrated in the exalted heavens, and attended by the nearest angels to Allah, the Exalted, as Prophetic traditions state? ! Indeed, this is what happened in tribute to Fatima, her Father, her husband, and her future children who are the authorities of Allah on His creatures.
The celebration took place in the fourth Heaven near Al?Bait Al?Ma’mour (the constantly attended house of Allah). It was a unique event the like of which the universe had never encountered before. Angels from all the Heavens gathered in the fourth Heaven and erected the Minbar of Honor, which is made of light. Then Allah, The Almighty, revealed to one of His angels, Rahil, to ascend the Minber and praise and glorify His names as He deserves. Rahil, who was the most eloquent of all angels, did what his Lord revealed to him and said:
“Praise be to Allah, since creation of the first (creatures); He who is ever?lasting (even) after the cessation of all beings; We praise Him for making us spiritual angels, who are submitting to His Godship, and for making us grateful to Him for His benevolence on us.
He safeguarded us from craving for lusts; and made our only pleasure and enjoyment to glorify and exalt Him.
He Who extended His Mercy (upon everything); and bestowed His benevolence (upon everyone). Exalted is His Name from the polytheism of polytheists of the dwellers of Earth, And Elevated by His Creatures from the fabrications of the atheists. Allah, The Omnipotent King, chose the one who was bestowed with special Divine Honor, and the worshipper of His Greatness, for His worshipper, the Mistress of women and the daughter of the best of prophets, the Master of all messengers and the Imam of the pious; so He brought into relations the Prophet with a man from his kin. One who is his believing companion, and was prompt in answering his call ?Ali the devout, with Fatima the splendid and the daughter of the Messenger. ”
Then Gabriel added the following words, which were from Allah, the Exalted:
“Praise is My garment Greatness is My Magnificence
All the creatures are My slaves men and women. I give Fatima, My Worshipper in marriage to Ali My chosen worshipper. So bear witness O My angels.”  This narration was also reported by a group of Sunni scholars, among them are:
1. AbdurRahman As?Safawi in Nuzhat Al?Majalis v.2, P.223, reported that Jabir Ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“Umme Ayman came to the Prophet crying; the Prophet asked her why she was crying?
“A man from the Ansar just informed me that his daughter has just been married, and that sprinkled sweets and almonds on her. Thus, this reminded me that when Fatima married Ali, you did not sprinkle anything on her.”
There?upon the Prophet (S) said:
“By Allah Who sent me with honor, and gifted me with the Messengership; when Allah gave Fatima to Ali in marriage, He ordered the nearest angels to surround the Throne?including Gabriel, Michael and Israfil. He also commanded birds to sing and ordered the tree of Tuba to sprinkle them with fresh pearls, white gems, green chrysolites and red rubies.”
According to another tradition, he said:
“The marriage took place near the Lotus tree in the seventh Heaven, on the night of Ascension. (On that occasion) Allah revealed to the tree: `Sprinkle all that you bear on them.’ So it sprinkled them with gems, jewelry and corals.”
2. Al?Hafiz Abu Nu’aym reported in Hilyat Al?Owliya v.5, P.59, that Abdullah Ibn Masoud said:
“…then Allah commanded the Tree of Paradise to bear gems and jewelry; He then ordered it to sprinkle them over the angels. So whoever received more than the others on that day, will be proud of it until the Day of Resurrection.”
3. This narration was mentioned by: Kharazmi in Maqtal Al?Hussain, Asqalani in Lisan Al?Mizan and Tahdhib Al?Tahdhib, and Qandouzi in Yanabi’ Al?Mawaddah.
4. It has been reported in Nuzhat Al?Majalis that Anas Ibn Malik said:
“The Prophet (S) was in the mosque when he said to Ali:
`Here is Gabriel informing me that Allah gave Fatima to you in marriage, and made forty thousand angels testify to her marriage. He also revealed to the Tree of Tuba to sprinkle them with gems, rubies, jewelry and embellishments. When it had done this, the Huris rushed to collect these gems, rubies, jewelry, and embellishments to exchange them for gifts until the Day of Resurrection. ” (Suyuti reported this narration in Tahdheer Al?Khawas.)
The Messenger (S) performed the engagement proceedings in the mosque while he was on the Minbar, in the presence of the Muslims, so as to enact the practice of announcing and assigning witnesses to engagement proceedings; and specified the amount of dowry, so that the Muslims could follow his practice in requesting modest dowries for marriages. He said:
“Avoid exaggeration in the (amounts of) dowries, because this causes enmity (between you).”
The Prophet also assigned the desirable practice of limiting dowry to five hundred dirhams. He and the Holy Imams of Ahlul?Bayt never exceeded this amount of dowry in their marriages.
When Ali had sold his sword, he brought the money to the Prophet; who divided it into thirds: one?third was for household necessities, one?third was for perfumes and embellishments for the wedding, and the remaining one?third he gave to Umme Salamah, who was to give it back to Ali to assist him in paying for food for the guests attending the ceremony.
Naturally, Ali’s marriage to Fatima Zahra (A) raised envy and enmity in the hearts of some men; especially those who were rejected by Fatima and her father when they had asked for her hand. So it was not strange to see some Quraishans come to the Prophet and say:
“Surely you have taken a lowly dowry for Fatima from Ali.”
The Prophet replied:
“It was not I who gave (Fatima to) Ali in marriage, rather Allah did so on the night of ascension near the Lotus tree (in the seventh Heaven)…”  He then added: “Verily I am a man just like you, I marry (from) your women and give you my (marriageable) women in marriage, save Fatima, for her marriage was revealed in Heaven.”  The Prophet gave Abu Bakr some money and asked him to accompany Bilal and Salman, (or Amm?r Ibn Yasir) to buy some household necessities for Fatima’s house. The Prophet said to Abu Bakr:
“Buy some appropriate household necessities for my daughter with this money.”
Abu Bakr said: “He gave sixty?three (63) dirhams, so we went to the market and bought the following:
1. Two mattresses made of Egyptian canvas. (One stuffed with fiber and the other with sheep wool)
2. A leather mat
3. A pillow made of skin, filled with palm tree fiber
4. A Khaibarion cloak
5. An animal skin for water
6. Some jugs and jars also for water
7. A pitcher painted with tar
8. A thin curtain made of wool
9. A shirt costing seven (7) dirhams
10. A veil costing four (4) dirhams
11. A black plush cloak
12. A bed embellished with ribbon
13. Four cushions made of skin imported from Ta’ef, stuffed with a good smelling plant.
14. A mat from Hajar
15. A hand?mill
16. A special copper container used for dyestuff
17. A pestle for grinding coffee
18. A (water) skin
When Abu Bakr and the other companions had bought the above-mentioned articles, they carried them to Umme Salama’s house. When the Prophet (S) saw them, he started kissing every article and supplicated to Allah, saying:
“O Allah, bless them for they are people who the majority of their belongings are made of natural materials.”
These were all the furnishings they purchased for the daughter of the best of all prophets and messengers. But indeed, marital happiness is not achieved by wealth and overspending, nor can expensive wardrobes, gems, golden ware, luxurious furniture, splendid palaces or comfortable automobiles provide a person with marital happiness, contrary to the beliefs of most people.
How many wealthy women dressed in expensive wardrobes and embellished themselves with gems and jewelry, which cover their necks, arms, and ears consider life an unbearable misery. On the contrary, how many women are there who live in shacks, who cook, bake bread, wash clothes, sweep floors, nurse their children and struggle hard in light of their simple lives, yet consider themselves happy people and their houses to be gardens of Eden.
This fact is also true for men. Yet, unfortunately, many young unmarried women hold the wrong view that marital happiness can only be found through wealth and luxuries. They consider simplicity a sign of misery and deprivation; therefore, these miserable youths remain unmarried waiting for marital happiness to knock on their doors, accompanied by wealth and luxuries!!
PART OF FATIMA’S DOWRY IS”INTERCEDENCE ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION’
Although Fatima’s dowry was modest, because of the Messenger’s wish to set an example for the Muslims and for other implicit reasons, Fatima Zahra (A) did not ignore her greatness and exalted identity to obtain a fantastic gift for her wedding. Fatima’s drive for excellence and perfection motivated her to ask for the right of intercedence?if Allah willed?for the sinners among the Muslims.
Ahmad Ibn Yusuf Ad?Dimashqi in his book Akhbar Al?Doual Wa Ath?tha Al?Uwal reported the following:
“It was narrated that when she (Fatima) learnt about her marriage and that her dowry was a small number of dirhams, she said:
`O Messenger of Allah, lay girls take money for dowries; what is the difference between me and them (if my dowry was to be money too)? I kindly ask you to give it back and supplicate to Allah, the Exalted, to make my dowry the right to intercede for the sinners among Muslims (on the Day of Rising).’ It was then that Gabriel descended with a label on which the following statement was written:
‘Allah ordained Fatima Zahra’s dowry to be intercedence for the sinners among Muslims.’
When Fatima (A) was on her deathbed, she asked that the label be put on her chest under the coffin. Thus, it was done so. Fatima said:
“When I am raised on the Day of Resurrection, I will present this label with my hand to intercede for the sinners from among my Father’s nation.”
It is apparent that the narration mentioned above illustrates the greatness, honor, and excellence Lady Fatima enjoyed. The Messenger’s supplication was answered, so Fatima will present the label on the day when it is most needed. Nasfi said:
“Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet (S) that her dowry would be intercedence for his nation on the day of Resurrection. So when she passes the path, she will ask for her dowry.”
It is worthy to mention that many narrations have been reported on the account of Ahlul?Bayt (A) to the effect that intercedence is part of Fatima Zahra’s dowry.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE WEDDING
A non?planned period of time elapsed between the engagement and the wedding ceremony, because Imam Ali (A) was too shy to ask the Prophet to assign a day for the wedding, while he wanted to protect Fatima’s pride by refraining from asking Ali to do so.
A month or more passed by before Imam Ali said anything regarding the wedding. Aqeel (Ali’s brother) asked him about the reason for the delay in holding the wedding ceremony and encouraged him to prepare for the wedding and to ask the Prophet to assign a date for it. Despite Ali’s shyness, he accompanied Aqeel to the Prophet’s house to fulfill his wishes. On their way to the Prophet’s house, they met Umme Ayman who, when told the reason for their visit, asked them to leave the matter to her. She, in turn, informed Umme Salama and the Prophet’s wives who gathered in Aisha’s house, where the Prophet was, and said:
“May our parents be your sacrifice! We are gathered here in regard to that, had Khadija been alive would have brought happiness to her life!!!”
When hearing Khadija’s name, the Prophet cried and said:
“Surely Khadija believed me when men did not, and helped in establishing Allah’s religion, and granted me her belongings in its path. Allah?Exalted is His Name?commanded me to bring the good news to Khadija that (she has) a house in Paradise made of brocade and emeralds, where there is not roaring nor strain.”
Umme Salama said:
“May our parents be your sacrifice, O Messenger of Allah!! Surely everything you have praised Khadija for is true, but she departed to her Lord! May He bring happiness to her and gather us with her in the Paradise of His satisfaction and Mercy. Messenger of Allah! Your brother from among the people of the world who is also your cousin, Ali Ibn Abu Talib, wished that you specify a day for the wedding so that he may be united with his wife Fatima.”
The Prophet answered: “Why doesn’t Ali ask me to do so?”
She replied: “Shyness prevents him!’
He said: “Umme Ayman, go call Ali for me.”
When Umme Ayman came out, she found Ali (A) waiting for the answer. Upon her request he, entered the house and shyly sat near the Prophet who said to him:
“Do you wish to be wedded to your wife?”
Ali replied: “Alright, it is to your honor!! If you wish, the wedding can take place tonight or tomorrow night, if Allah wills.”
The Prophet said: “So prepare a house for Fatima.”
Ali then said: “The only house I can acquire is Harithah Ibn Al?Numan’s.”
The Prophet said: “Surely we are shy for Harithah Ibn Al?Numan, for we have taken the majority of his houses!”‘
When Harithah heard about this, he proceeded towards the Prophet and said:
“Messenger of Allah, I and my property belong to Allah and His Messenger. By Allah, there is nothing more beloved to me than that which you take; it surely is more desirable to me (that you take it) than if you leave it (for me)!!”
Consequently, Harithah, motivated by his strong faith and belief in good deeds, granted Ali (A) one of his houses. Imam Ali (A) furnished one of the rooms by spreading sand on the floor and erecting a pole for hanging the water container. In addition to some gifts that were given to him by some companions, he also purchased a jug and jar and laid a piece of wood between two walls for hanging clothes, and placed a ram’s skin on the floor and put a pillow made of fiber on it,
The Prophet (S) ordered Ali (A) to hold a dinner because Allah, the Exalted, is pleased with those who do so; for the social good it does?such as bringing people together and implementing love and harmony among them.
It is noteworthy that Lady Fatima Zahra (A) excelled in giving on the path of Allah; she possessed generosity that no other woman can claim to be equal to.
Al?Asfouri wrote in his book Nuzhat Al?Majalis v.2, p.226, on the authority of Ibn Al?Tawous:
“The Prophet had a new dress made for Fatima (as a gift) for her wedding; she had just one old patched dress. On her wedding night, someone knocked on the door and said:
“I ask the household of Prophethood to give me an old dress.” At first, Fatima was going to give him her old dress, but then remembered the Quranic verse:
`By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love (prefer)’
She then gave the poor man her new dress. Consequently, Gabriel descended and said:
“O Muhammad! Allah sends Him peace upon you; He commanded me to greet Fatima and (give her the gift He sent her) which is a dress from Paradise, made of silk brocade etc.”
(Returning to the feast), when the food had been prepared, the meat cooked, the bread baked and the dates and butter obtained, the Prophet started spitting the dates and mixing them with the butter to replace sweetmeat for the wedding When everything was ready, he asked Ali to invite the people to the feast.
When Ali reached the Mosque, he found it crowded with people?all were at the Mosque, from the poor immigrants who lived there to the Ansars. Nevertheless, Ali’s generosity and noble?heartedness did not allow him to invite some people and exclude others, especially since everyone wanted to be invited to the Prophet’s daughter’s wedding feast.
Ali’s belief in Allah’s power and the Prophet’s blessed heart, motivated him to call out loud:
“O people, answer the call for the feast of Fatima Bint Muhammad”
Men and women from all around Medina gathered in the house. They ate, drank and even took food to their homes. The blessings of the Prophet were obvious on that day, for not only the food was enough to feed everyone, but also it did not decrease at all. The Prophet asked for food containers to be brought and filled them and sent them to his wives and left a special container for Fatima and her husband.
By sunset, the wedding night had begun; it was time for Fatima to depart to her new home.
Everything went well, for the Prophet had made all the necessary preparation for the wedding. Despite the simplicity and modesty of her wedding, Fatima’s marriage ceremony was surrounded by signs of greatness, excellence and beauty. Al?Haithami wrote in Majma’ Az?Zawaed that Jabir said:
“We were present at Fatima and Ali’s (may Allah be pleased with them) wedding ceremony, and indeed we have not seen any ceremony better than that one…”
The Messenger of Allah (S) ordered his wives to embellish Fatima (A) before the wedding; they perfumed and dressed her with jewellery. They all helped to ready Fatima; some combed her hair while others embellished and dressed her in the dress brought by Gabriel from Paradise.
Allah’s Messenger (S) paid special attention to Fatima Zahra (A), which he did not bestow on his other daughters for the following reasons:
A. Her special characteristics and noble traits.
B. Her husband is Ali Ibn Abu Talib, who is known for his talents and longstanding service to Islam?besides being the Prophet’s cousin.
C. The Prophet also knew that his daughter was going to be included in the verse of purification, the verse of Mubahelah (supplication), and the verse of Kinship.
D. Fatima also is the mother of the Holy Imams who will lead humanity until the Day of Resurrection.
The night of Fatima’s wedding arrived. Because every girl needs her mother on her wedding night, Fatima missed Khadija and felt very much like an orphan. With his noble and special attention to Fatima, the Prophet wished to fill Khadija’s space; the Prophet called Ali (A) and Fatima, who proceeded towards him?Fatima was in her long heavenly dress overtaken with shyness. He (S) brought his gray horse and asked Fatima to ride it and ordered Salman to lead while he (S) followed them.
Yes, indeed, Fatima’s wedding was attended by heavenly creatures as well as people, for she is a human huri.
Al?Khateeb Al?Baghdadi in Tareekh Baghdad v.5, p.7, Al?Hamvini in DurarAl?Simtain,
Al?Dhahabi in Mizan Al?Etedal, Garani in Akhbar Al?Dowal, and Qandouzi in Yanabi’
Al?Mawaddah have narrated that Ibn Abbas said:
“When Fatima was taken to Ali’s house on her wedding night, the Prophet proceeded her, Gabriel was on her right, and Michael on her left, and seventy thousand angels followed her. These angels praised and glorified Allah until dawn!!
The Hashemit men, Abdul Muttalib’s daughters, and Muhajerin and Ansar’s women all accompanied Fatima’s caravan that night. The Prophet’s wives joyfully led the caravan; they were also the first to enter the house.
Upon arriving, the Prophet placed Fatima’s hand in Ali’s hand and said:
“May Allah bless his Messenger’s daughter;
Ali this is Fatima, you are responsible for her (or I entrust her to you)
Ali, what an excellent wife Fatima is!!
Fatima, what an excellent husband Ali is!!
O Allah, bless them, bless their lives, and bless their children
O Allah, surely they are the most beloved to me from among your creatures, so love them too, and assign for them a guardian
I place them and their progeny under Your protection from the curse devil.”
The Prophet then asked for a jug of water; he sipped a small amount of the water and after gargling with it, placed it back in the jug. He then called for Fatima (A) and sprayed her head and shoulders with that water and did the same thing to Ali (A). Thereafter, he ordered the women to leave the house. They all left except Asma Bint Umais. When he (S) noticed that she had stayed behind, he exclaimed: ‘Didn’t I ask you to leave?’
She answered: `Indeed, O Messenger of Allah! May my parents be your sacrifice; I did not intend to disobey you, but I promised Khadija to take her place on this night.’
The Prophet (S) was moved by this; he cried and said to Asma: ‘By Allah, is this the reason that made you stay behind?’
She said: ‘Yes, by Allah!’
He (S) then said: ‘Asma, may Allah fulfill for you the needs of this world and the Hereafter.’
THE YEAR OF FATIMA’S MARRIAGE
Opinions of the historians and narrators differ from one to another regarding the year of Lady Fatima Zahra’s marriage.
Sayid Ibn Tawoos wrote in Al?Iqbal on the authority of Sheikh Mufid:
“Fatima’s marriage took place on the night of the 21st of Muharram, 3 A.H.”
Al?Misbah: “Zul Hijja first or sixth.”
and, Al?Amali: “Her marriage took place sixteen (16) days after the death of Ruqiyya, Uthman’s wife, after he returned from Badr. This means that it took place at the beginning of Shawwal.”
Asma Bint Umais and Umme Salama under the Spotlight
Asma was Ja’far Ibn Abu Talib’s wife. It is a given fact that he had immigrated to Habashah with his wife and a group of Muslims several years before Hijra. It is also known that Ja’far returned to Medina after the Muslims conquered Khaibar in 5 A.H. These findings are unanimously agreed upon by all historians.
Nevertheless, we have seen that Asma was present when Khadija passed away in Mecca, and at Fatima’s wedding ceremony according to many narrations, which state her name as Asma Bint Umais Al?Khathamia.
The following historians state that she was present at Fatima’s wedding ceremony: The author of Kashf Al?Ghommah, Hadhrami in Rashfat Al?Sadi, p.10, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in Al?Manaqib, Al?Haithami in Majma’ Az?Zawaed, Nisaee in Khasaes pg 31 and Muhib Ad?Din Tabari in Dhakhaer Al?Uqbi. They depend on the narrations of: Abu Abbas Khawarazmi from Al?Hussain Ibn Ali (A), Sayid Jalal Al?Din Abu Al?Hamid Ibn Fakhr Al?Musawi, and Dulabi from Imam Baqir and his father (A)
How can we comprehend the contradiction between these narrations and the fact that Fatima’s marriage took place after the battle of Badr, or even Uhud in 2 A.H.?
Actually, this is a historical problem that has not yet been solved despite the various attempts made by Sheikh Majlisi in Bihar v.10.
More interesting is the following statement that was mentioned in Safinat Al?Bihar on the authority of Mujahid in which Asma was said to have been present at Aisha’s marriage. In the statement it was claimed that Asma said:
“I was the one who, in the company of other women, prepared Aisha and brought her to the Messenger of Allah. By Allah, he had not but a cup of buttermilk which he drank and gave to Aisha; but she was too shy to take it, so I said to her: ‘Do not reject it; it is from the hand of the Prophet.’
She then took it and after drinking some, he (S) said: `Give some to your friends.’ But the women did not desire any.
The Prophet then said: ‘Do not gather hunger and lying together.’
I said: `Messenger of Allah, is it considered lying if one of us says she does not like something?’
The Prophet replied: `Surely lying is counted (against the person) up to the point that even a small lie is recorded too.”
As we said, this narration shows that Asma was present at Aisha’s marriage, which took place before that of Fatima’s.
Moreover, it is unanimously narrated that Asma was present when Imam Hussain (A) was born in 4 or 5 A.H. All these events are known to have taken place before conquering Khaibar and Ja’far Ibn Abu Talib’s return to Medina.
In an attempt to clarify the issue, Muhammad Ibn Yusuf (as Sheikh Majlisi also said in Bihar v. 10) wrote in Kefayat Al?Talib, concerning Asma’s presence at Fatima’s wedding:
“This is an authentic finding, exactly as Ibn Batta narrated. But mentioning Asma Bint Umais’s name is not accurate, for this Asma is Ja’far Ibn Abu Talib’s wife… Asma who attended Fatima’s wedding, is Asma Bint Yazid Ibn Sakan Al Ansari. As for Asma Bint Umais, she remained in the company of her husband in Habashah until he returned to Medina, the day Khaibar was conquered in 7 A.H. While Fatima’s marriage took place several days after the battle of Badr.”
Regardless of this, I say that the narrations clearly state Asma Bint Umais’s name; therefore, this justification cannot be taken into account. Besides, Asma Bint Yazid was an Ansarian woman, hence could not have been present at Khadija’s death. Her presence in Mecca at that time was not mentioned by any other historian.
In the light of these findings, I deem it necessary to clarify that Asma Bint Umais had actually immigrated with her husband to Habashah, but repeatedly returned to Mecca and Medina. This becomes clear especially when we realize that the distance between Jedda and Habashah is limited to that of the width of the Red sea, which in not so difficult for a journey. This historical confusion came about because her repeated trips were not adequately recorded, just as Abu Dhar’s immigration to Habashah with Ja’far was not given enough attention.
This conclusion is supported by the following tradition which Al?Majlisi wrote in Bihar v.1, quoting Mawlid Fatima:
“Ibn Babawaih said:
`The Prophet ordered Abdul Muttalib’s daughters… (until he said): The Prophet, Hamza, Aqeel, Ja’far, and Ahlul?Bayt followed the caravan.”
It is clearly stated in this narration that Ja’far, Asma’s husband, was present; which, as we said, supports our conclusion. In addition to this, the Prophet’s immigration to Medina took place after Khadija’s death, and Ja’far traveled to Habashah twice. The second journey took place before Hijra and after Khadija’s death. Thus, it becomes easy to understand how Asma was present at the time of Khadija’s death.
There is confusion in historical findings regarding the reason for the presence of Umme Salama’s name in the events preceding Fatima’s marriage; i.e., the Prophet leaving some of Fatima’s dowry with her, and the women’s consultation with her?despite the fact that he married her in 4 A.H., while Fatima’s marriage took place in 2 A.H. Thus, the question arises as to what role she played in these events even though she was not yet married to the Prophet?
There are two probable answers that can be given to this question.
First: Perhaps there was a mistake in recording the year she was married to the Prophet (S) But this is not based on any historical or scientific findings and therefore cannot be taken into account.
Second: Since Lady Umme Salama was the Prophet’s cousin, it was expected of her to participate in different stages of the wedding and to keep part of Fatima’s dowry in her possession according to the Prophet’s wish.
I prefer the second opinion. Yet I leave it to Allah, for He is the Omniscient.
The contemporary civilized world realizes the importance of paying due attention to certain spots and structures, which are connected to identified noble people or valuable entities. Thus, laws related to this matter have been legislated, such as diplomatic immunity for specific individuals and buildings, and laws which regulate the use of public places, universities, temples, and so on, that are related to science, religion, and culture.
The importance of these actions and laws was known to Allah, the Exalted and His chosen worshippers from the beginning. Rules and regulations which govern entering mosques, especially the Sacred Mosque in Mecca, such as preventing certain groups of people like the infidels, the junub, and menstruating women from entering them, are a reflection of this fact. Other examples of such laws are: the necessity to keep these places pure; the importance of respecting the sanctity of mosques; the forbiddance of hunting in and around Mecca during certain periods of time.
Fatima’s house is certainly one of these places, which is surrounded by sanctity, holiness and exaltation. It was built on respect, honor and righteousness. Those who realize know the value of her house.
Sheikh Majlisi (may Allah bless his soul) reported on the authority of Anas Ibn Malik that Buraidah said:
“Allah’s Messenger read the verse: “In houses, which Allah hath permitted to be raised to honor; for the celebration in the, of His name: In them is He glorified in the mornings and in the evenings.” (5: 36)
A man then exclaimed: “Whose houses are these, O Messenger of Allah?”
The Prophet (S) answered: “Prophet’s houses.”
Abu Bakr said: “Messenger of Allah, is this one of these houses (He meant Fatima’s house)?”
The Prophet (S) replied: “Yes, it is among the best of them!!”
Ibn Abbas also said: “I was in the Prophet’s mosque when someone read:
`In houses which Allah hath permitted to be raised in honor;…’
So I said: `Messenger of Allah; which houses?’
He said: `Prophet’s houses;’ and pointed to Fatima’s house.”
It has been narrated in Al?Kafi that Abdullah Ibn Ja’far Al?Ansari said:
“Once, the Prophet of Allah proceeded towards Fatima’s house while I was with him; when we reached the door, he pushed the door (slightly) and said:
Fatima (A) answered: ‘Alaik as?Salam, Messenger of Allah.’
The Prophet (S) then said: `May I come in?’
She said: ‘I do not have my veil on, O Messenger of Allah.’
He said: ‘Fatima, cover your head with your cloak’
When she had done so, he said: ‘Assalamu Alaikum’
She answered: ‘Alaik?as?Salam, Messenger of Allah.’
He repeated the request for permission to enter the house with me, and she gave us permission.”
FATIMA ‘S MARITAL LIFE
Lady Fatima Zahra (A) moved from the home of Prophethood to the house of Imamate, successorship and guardianship. This turn in Fatima’s life, allowed her to become the companion of the Father of the Imams.
As days passed, Fatima’s life became more beautiful and splendid, for she lived in an atmosphere of sanctity and chaste, surrounded by modesty and humbleness. She aided her husband in his worldly and religious affairs, and cooperated with him in achieving his exalted goals. This harmony in their life was preferred by the ideological tranquility they both enjoyed, and the respect and glorification they held for each other. Fatima realized the great rank her husband enjoyed. She respected him in the best manner as a Muslim woman should respect her Imam?for she recognized that Ali (A) was:
The dearest person to Allah’s Messenger; The holder of the great guardianship;
The possessor of absolute Imamate;
The Prophet’s brother, successor and heir; The possessor of excellent talents;
His long?standing service to Islam was also apparent to everyone.
Likewise, Ali (A) respected Fatima, not only because she was his wife, but also because she was:
The most beloved to Allah’s Messenger; The mistress of all women; was his wife, but also because she was:
The most beloved to Allah’s Messenger; The mistress of all women;
And her sanctity was part of the Prophet’s.
Indeed, Fatima enjoyed noble traits which had any woman held even one of them, she would be worthy of respect and exaltation.
In view of such characteristics, you can imagine the great marital happiness Ali and Fatima enjoyed. We can also realize that their life was not disturbed by poverty or material deprivation.
It is written in Al?Bihar, on the authority of Manaqeb that Imam Ali (A) said:
“By Allah, I never angered Fatima, or forced her to do something (she did not like), up to the day she died; nor did she ever anger or disobey me. In fact, when I looked at her, depression and sadness would be removed from my (heart).”
Al?Aiashi, in his Tafsir (interpretation) of the Holy Quran, reported that Imam Baqir (A) said:
“Fatima vouched to take care of the household work, make dough, bake bread, and clean the house; in return, Ali vouched to take care of the outside work (such as) gathering firewood, and bringing food.”
It is not exactly known how long Ali (A) and Fatima (A) resided in Harithah’s house; but it is a given fact that Allah’s Messenger constructed a house for them, which had a door to the mosque just like his own house.