The Prophet’s (PBUH) daughter was born c. 605. She lived with her father for eight years in Mecca and ten years in Medina. After the demise of the Prophet, she lived only between 75 and 95 days before she too passed way. (Kashf Al-Ghamma) She lost her mother when she was five years old. Her father’s main supporter, Abu Talib (RA), died a few years later. These two sad events distressed her greatly. Fatimah (SA) was eight when her father left Mecca for Medina. She arrived in Medina along with a group of Muslim women known as the Fawatim.
The Quran’s description of people is never flawed because the book speaks for God, the Creator of all mankind, and God knows human beings better than they know themselves!
‘WOULD GOD WHO HAS CREATED NOT KNOW? AND GOD IS THE ALL-ATTENTIVE, THE ALL-AWARE.’ (QURAN 67:14)
The Quran may not have mentioned Fatimah (SA) by name, but it has spoken implicitly about people whose characteristics match those of Fatimah (SA).
The Verse of Purification
This famous verse was revealed about the Prophet’s household, describing them as pure and pious people; Fatimah (SA) is a member of the Prophet’s (PBUH) Household, as many Ahadith confirm (Dhakhāʾir Al-ʿUqbā).
‘INDEED ALLAH (SWT) DESIRES TO REPEL ALL IMPURITY FROM YOU, O’ PEOPLE OF THE HOUSEHOLD, AND PURIFY YOU WITH A THOROUGH PURIFICATION.’ (QURAN 33:33)
The prophet (PBUH) describes his daughter as follows:
‘God will become angry for the sake of Fatimah’s anger and God will be pleased on account of her happiness.’ (Farāʾid Al-Samṭayn)
This tradition, narrated by Muslim traditionists with minor variations, indicates that Fatimah (SA) is infallible, or else her feelings could not have influenced God’s:
‘SAY, ‘INDEED ALLAH (SWT) DOES NOT ENJOIN INDECENCIES. DO YOU ATTRIBUTE TO ALLAH (SWT) WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW?’’ (QURAN 7:28)
The Verse of Mubahila
Mubahila in Islamic tradition refers to a form of resolving religious disputes. The event of Mubahila involved a debate between the Prophet (PBUH) and the Christians of Najran, in which he summoned the members of his household. The event is recorded in several Hadiths collections and is referred to in Surah Aal-e-Imran:
‘SHOULD ANYONE ARGUE WITH YOU, AFTER KNOWLEDGE THAT HAS COME TO YOU, SAY, ‘COME! LET US CALL OUR SONS AND YOUR SONS, OUR WOMEN AND YOUR WOMEN, OUR SOULS AND YOUR SOULS, THEN LET US PRAY EARNESTLY AND CALL DOWN ALLAH’S (SWT) CURSE UPON THE LIARS.’’ (QURAN 3:61)
Exegetes of the Quran say the only woman present in the Mubahila was Fatimah (SA), as no other woman from the Emigrants or Helpers was qualified to be included in the above supplication by the Prophet.
The Verse of Mawadda
It is well-known that the Prophets have endured great difficulties and hardships all for the sake of God and their reward lies with Him. However, God has obliged mankind to love the close associates of the Final Messenger:
‘SAY, ‘I DO NOT ASK YOU ANY REWARD EXCEPT LOVE OF [MY] FAMILY.’’ (QURAN 42:23)
The prophet’s (PBUH) daughter, Fatimah (SA), is the closest person to him and therefore it is incumbent upon all Muslims in the world to love and respect her.
Ali (AS), Fatimah (SA) and their sons, Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS), as well as Fidha (who helped Fatimah) had decided to fast for three days as part of a vow for the health of Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS). On the first night, a beggar came and asked for food so they gave him their food and broke their fast with water. On the second night, an orphan came and asked so the Prophet’s (PBUH) household repeated their sacrifice. On the third night, the same happened for a slave. Out of respect for the sacrifices of these four people, fifteen verses were revealed to the Prophet (PBUH). Two of these verses read:
‘THEY GIVE FOOD, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, TO THE NEEDY, THE ORPHAN AND THE PRISONER, [SAYING,] ‘WE FEED YOU ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH (SWT). WE DO NOT WANT ANY REWARD FROM YOU NOR ANY THANKS.’ (QURAN 76:8–9)
‘INDEED WE HAVE GIVEN YOU ABUNDANCE. SO PRAY TO YOUR LORD, AND SACRIFICE. INDEED IT IS YOUR ENEMY WHO IS WITHOUT POSTERITY.’ (QURAN 108:1–3)
Enemies of the Prophet (PBUH) such as As ibn Waʾil taunted the Prophet (PBUH) for not having any male descendants but God dismissed this view and revealed these verses to tell him that he will have progeny through Fatimah, his only surviving offspring. Fatimah’s children were killed one after another by Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs, but today the entire world feels the presence of the progeny of the Prophet (PBUH).
In his interpretation of this Sura, Fakhr Al-Razi says: God means God will protect the Prophet’s (PBUH) progeny for the rest of time: ‘Look how many of the Prophet’s (PBUH) household have been killed, but still the world is replete with them. But there is no one important from the Umayyad family. Then look at the scholars in the Prophet’s (PBUH) family like Al-Baqir (AS), Al-Sadiq (AS), Al-Kadhim (AS) and Al-Ridha (AS)…’ (Mafātīh Al-Ghayb)
Fatimah (SA), a paragon of virtue
Fatimah (SA) is an example for all people to follow in their lives. The Quran refers to two women as examples of piety and prosperity and two others as signs of misery. The latter are wives of the Prophets Noah and Lot. These two women betrayed their husbands who were messengers of God. To that effect, the Quran says:
‘ALLAH (SWT) DRAWS AN EXAMPLE FOR THE FAITHLESS: THE WIFE OF NOAH AND THE WIFE OF LOT. THEY WERE WITH TWO OF OUR RIGHTEOUS SERVANTS, YET THEY BETRAYED THEM. SO THEY DID NOT AVAIL THEM IN ANY WAY AGAINST ALLAH (SWT), AND IT WAS SAID [TO THEM], ‘ENTER THE FIRE, ALONG WITH THOSE WHO ENTER [IT].’’ (QURAN 66:10)
The two examples of prosperity are Asiya, the wife of Pharaoh, and Mary (SA), the mother of Jesus Christ (AS). Asiya was the Queen of Egypt. She accepted the invitation of Moses (AS), regardless of all risks. Pharaoh was infuriated when he discovered his wife’s inclination towards his enemy. Despite his love for her, he crucified her as she refused to change her beliefs and acceptance of God and Moses. The Quran says:
‘ALLAH (SWT) DRAWS AN[OTHER] EXAMPLE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH: THE WIFE OF PHARAOH, WHEN SHE SAID, ‘MY LORD! BUILD ME A HOME NEAR YOU IN PARADISE, AND DELIVER ME FROM PHARAOH AND HIS CONDUCT, AND DELIVER ME FROM THE WRONGDOING LOT.’’ (QURAN 66:11)
The second woman was Mary (SA), the mother of Jesus (AS). The Quran describes how she reacted to Gabriel: ‘Thus did she seclude herself from them, whereupon We sent to her Our Spirit and he became incarnate for her as an immaculate human. She said,
‘I SEEK THE PROTECTION OF THE ALL-BENEFICENT FROM YOU, SHOULD YOU BE GODWARY!’ HE SAID, ‘I AM ONLY A MESSENGER OF YOUR LORD THAT I MAY GIVE YOU A PURE SON.’’ (QURAN 19:17–19)
The Quran describes Mary as follows:
‘AND MARY, DAUGHTER OF IMRAN, GUARDED THE CHASTITY OF HER WOMB, SO WE BREATHED INTO IT OF OUR SPIRIT. SHE CONFIRMED THE WORDS OF HER LORD AND GOD’S BOOKS, AND SHE WAS ONE OF THE OBEDIENT.’ (Q 66:12)
Fatimah (SA) the best woman of the world
The third example of women to follow is Fatimah (SA). The prophet has said that four women, including his daughter, will be the best women in Heaven. Aisha says: ‘I found nobody much virtuous than Fatimah except her father…’ (Sīrat Al-Ḥalabī)
Hussain ibn Ziyad Attar says: ‘I asked Imam Al-Sadiq (AS) if the Prophet (PBUH) meant that Fatimah (SA), who will be the best of women in Heaven, is the best of her own time too. The Imam (AS) said: ‘Maryam (SA) was so, but Fatimah (SA) will be the best in Heaven.’
Fatimah’s (SA) martyrdom
Fatimah (SA), the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH), passed away at the age of 18 (according to many narrations). It happened three months after her father’s death. Fatimah (SA) was killed as a mob invaded her home. Imam al-Sadiq says she drank the chalice of martyrdom. Nobody is able to cover up the injustice perpetrated against the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH). The Eighth Imam (AS) says she was buried in her own home. (Al-Kāfī)
Source: Shīa Islam: History and Doctrines, Ayatullāh Jaʿfar Subḥānī, Chapter 22