The Prophet (SAWA) said, ‘My daughter Fatima is the chief [Lady] of all the women of the worlds.’
Fatima al Zahra (SA) is described by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) as the greatest woman of this world and the hereafter. Fatima is not an ordinary figure, from her childhood until her martyrdom she worked earnestly to serve God and those around her. It is in her honour that we at The Zahra Foundation do the work that we do. This post is dedicated to Fatima al Zahra and is a humble effort to provide information about her.
1. To cherish your parents and treat them in best manner.
“Verily, Fatima (SA) was surnamed ‘Umm Abiha’.”
Fatima al Zahra is widely known for how she used to cherish and treat her father, the Prophet of God, in the utmost best manner. Fatima would take such great care of her father that he would call her ‘Umm Abiha’, the mother of her father. On many occasions at a young age Fatima would care for her father after he had been harassed or attacked by others.
2. To give to others what you love for yourself and even when you may be in need yourself.
“And despite their love for it, they give the food to the needy, the orphan and the captive, [saying,] ‘We feed you only for the sake of Allah. We do not want any reward from you nor any thanks.’” [76:8-9]
Throughout the life of Fatima she would put the needs of others before herself. The quoted verse was revealed when Fatima al Zahra and Imam Ali (AS) (and some narrations include their maid Fidha and Imam Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS)) fasted for three days after Allah had healed Imam Hassan and Hussain from an illness. On each night, someone in need would come to their door asking for food and each night they would give what they had leaving themselves hungry.
On another occasion, on the wedding day of Fatima, she donated her wedding dress to a woman in need. It is said that she quoted this verse of the Qur’an when asked why: “You will never attain piety till you spend from that which you love.” [3:92]
3. To pray for the wellbeing of others before yourself.
Imam al Hassan narrates that he would hear his mother late at night praying for all the believing men and women without praying for herself. Upon asking her why, Fatima said ‘‘O my son, the neighbor (first) and then the house…’. This is a crucial lesson for us living in the modern world. With the rise of individualism, we may sometimes forget to care for our neighbours and community members. It is essential for us to follow the message of Fatima and pray for the wellbeing of the Muslim Ummaa.
4. The value of motherhood
“They are Fatima and her father and her husband and her children.”
Fatima al Zahra is the mother of the eleven infallible Imams. Without Fatima’s role as a mother there is no connection between Prophethood and Imammah. As a mother, Fatima’s influence was not limited to her own doings, but also the acts of the pure infallibles from her lineage. Sometimes we forget to value the mothers in our lives and, on a wider scale, the community. Especially in recent times, it has been found that often women who are stay at home mothers are looked down upon, while in fact they are doing one of the greatest services for society.
5. To stand up for justice in your community.
“O people of understanding, supporters of faith and defenders of Islam, what is [the cause of] this negligence in defending my rights and laxity before the injustice being done to me?”
Shortly after the death of the Holy Prophet the rights of inheritance of Fatima al Zahra were taken away. In response, Fatima delivered a famous sermon condemning the injustice. This was not for her own worldly gain but to uphold justice and declare her rights. Knowing the asceticism of Fatima, it is understood that she did not care for this inheritance for its material value. Yet, she still stood up for her rights. The lessons from this stance are critical as they highlight to us that maintaining justice is critical and should never be overlooked.
Fatima al Zahra (SA) is an excellent role model for both men and women alike. At The Zahra Foundation, we work in the name of Fatima and aspire to uphold the teachings and values she stood for.