Fatima (a) (Arabic: فاطِمَة) commonly known as Fatima al-Zahra (a) فاطِمَة الزهراء) (d. 11/632) was the daughter of the Prophet (s) of Islam (a) and Lady Khadija (a) and the wife of Imam Ali (a). She is one of the People of the Cloak and, in Twelver Shiite belief, one of the Fourteen Infallibles. The second and third Imams, as well as Lady Zaynab (a), were her children. Al-Zahra', al-Batul, Sayyidat Nisa' al-'Alamin and Umm Abiha are among her epithets. She was the only lady chosen by the Holy Prophet (a) to be part of the Mubahala with the Christians of Najran.
She opposed the decisions made during the event of Saqifa, and regarded the caliphate of the first caliph as illegitimate, therefore, she never paid allegiance to him. In defense of Imam Ali’s right (a) to caliphate and objecting to the Usurpation of Fadak, she delivered a speech that became famous as the Fadakiyya sermon. After the demise of the Holy Prophet (s), Fatima (a) was injured when an armed group of zealots, at the order of the first caliph, Abu Bakr, stormed her house. As a result of suffering from both emotional and physical wounds that had debilitated her body, she was advised to rest at home. However, after a short time, she passed away on the Jumada II 3, 11/August 26, 632 in Medina. The body of the Holy Prophet’s (a) daughter was, as she had requested, buried at night and in private. Since then, the location of her grave has not been revealed.
Some Qur'anic verses, such as al-Tathir Verse (the Purification Verse), al-Mawadda Verse (the Love Verse) and al-It'am Verse (the Feeding Verse), and many traditions, such as "Fatima is a part of me", were stated in relation to Lady Fatima (a) and her virtues. According to some of these traditions, the Holy Prophet (s) introduced Lady Fatima (a) as the most superior of the women of all Worlds and equated her anger with that of Allah. It was to her that the Holy Prophet (s) taught the dhikr (litany) that came to be known as the Tasbih of Lady Fatima (a).
After the demise of the Prophet (s), an angel would visit her and talk to her. The sayings of the angel were recorded by Imam Ali (a) in a book called the Mushaf of Fatima (a), which is currently in the possession of the last Imam, Imam al-Mahdi (a).
During the days that precede the anniversary of Fatima's (a) martyrdom, -known as the Fatimiyya Days- the Shi'a hold mourning ceremonies. Also her birthday, which is on the 20th of Jumada II, is celebrated as Women's and Mother's Day in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The names Fatima and Zahra are among the most popular names chosen for newborn Shi'a girls.
Cause of Martyrdom
Injured after the attack on her house
Medina (hidden grave)
Lady Fatima (a) was the daughter of the Holy Prophet, Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah (s), and Lady Khadija bt. Khuwaylid (a). It has been reported that nearly thirty epithets have been mentioned in relation to Lady Fatima (a). Researchers are of the opinion that every one of these epithets is an explainer of a specific behavioral trait related to her. Some of her well-known epithets are al-Zahra, al-Siddiqa (the truthfull), al-Muhadditha (being talked by engels), al-Batul, Sayyidat Nisa’ al-‘Alamin, al-Mansura (being helped), al-Tahira (the pure), al-Mutahhara, al-Zakiyya (the guiltless), al-Radiyya (pleased) and al-Mardiyya (pleasing). In addition, some teknonyms have been mentioned for her: Umm Abiha, Umm al-A’imma, Umm al-Hasan, Umm al-Husayn, Umm al-Muhsin.
See also: Titles of Lady Fatima (a)
Lady Fatima (a) was the fourth or according to some reports the fifth child of the Holy Prophet (s). Her mother was the first wife of the Holy Prophet (a), Lady Khadija (a). Historians are in agreement that she was born in Mecca, in the house of Lady Khadija (a) which was located on the alleys of al-‘Attarin and Hijr, which was located in close proximity to the Mas’a. According to Shi’i sources, her date of birth is recorded to be the 20th of Jumada II, five years after Bi’tha/March 28, 615.
Birth and Early Childhood
Based on the popular opinion amongst the Shia, she was born in the 5th year after bi’tha (the beginning of the prophetic mission), which was also more commonly known as the al-Ahqafiyya Year i.e. the year in which Sura al-Ahqaf (Quran 46) was revealed (9 BH/614 CE). However, al-Shaykh al-Mufid and al-Kaf’ami believe her birth to have taken place in the 2nd year after the prophetic mission (12 BH/611). The popularly held opinion amongst the Sunni scholars is that she was born five years before the beginning of the prophetic mission (605 CE).
In many Shia resources, Jumada II 20 is mentioned as lady fatima’s (a) birthday.
The lack of extensive historical reports about her childhood and youth makes it difficult to gain an understanding of her early life. According to records, after the Holy Prophet (a) committed himself to the initiative of publicly inviting people to Islam, Lady Fatima (a) was a witness to some of the harsh treatments that the polytheists subjected him to. In addition to this, for three years of her childhood she was exposed to the harsh financial and social sanctions that were imposed on Banu Hashim and the followers of the Holy Prophet (s) by the polytheists whilst in the Shi’b Abi Talib.
While still in her childhood, Fatima (a) experienced the loss of her beloved mother, Lady Khadijah (a) and of her father’s uncle and a close supporter, Abu Talib (a). Some other important events that occurred during her childhood include the decision of the Quraish to assassinate the Holy Prophet (a), his night migration from Mecca to Medina and finally the migration of Lady Fatima (a) accompanied by Imam Ali (a) and other ladies from Mecca to Medina.
Proposal and Marriage
Main article: Marriage of Imam ‘Ali (a) and Lady Fatima (a)
Lady Fatima (a) received several marriage proposals, however she chose to marry Imam ‘Ali (a). According to some researchers, after the Holy Prophet (s) migrated to Medina and became the leader of the Islamic community, Fatima (a), because of her being the daughter of the Holy Prophet (s) was held in very high regard by the Muslims. In addition to this, because of her superior qualities over the other women of her era and the clear love that the Holy Prophet (s) showed to her caused some Muslims to pursue her hand in marriage.
Even some of the Quraysh dignitaries, because of their precedence in accepting Islam or financial reputation also asked for Fatima’s (a) hand in marriage. Abu Bakr, Umar, ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Awf and Imam Ali (a) are said to be among this group. All proposals except the one brought by Imam Ali (a) were rejected by the Holy Prophet (s). The Holy Prophet (a) is reported to have said in response to these proposals: “The marriage of Fatima is a heavenly ordainment and requires a divine verdict.” In some instances, the discontent of Fatima (a) towards the proposer has been reported.
Due to his family attachment with the Holy Prophet (a) and the ethical and religious traits of Fatima (a), Imam Ali (a) truly desired her hand in marriage; however, historians have narrated that he shunned from proposing to the Holy Prophet (s) for his daughter. Sa’d b. Mu’adh informed the Holy Prophet (s) about this, which lead to the Holy Prophet (s) accepting the proposal of the Imam (a). He then took the proposal to Fatima (a) and told her of his praiseworthy traits and characteristics, to which she gave her approval. Imam Ali (a), like the other migrants (muhajirun), during the early period after the migration did not enjoy a stable financial situation and therefore found difficulty in addressing the prescribed dowry payments. In resolving this issue, he followed the advice of the Holy Prophet (s) and gave the money earned from selling or loaning his armor as the dowry to Fatima (a). The marriage ceremony of Imam Ali (a) and Lady Fatima (a), which was attended by the Muslims, took place in the mosque.
There is a difference of opinion concerning the date of the marriage ceremony. Most sources record it to have taken place in the second year after Hijra (2/624) i.e. the ceremony took place after the Battle of Badr, in the month of Shawwal or Dhu al-Hijja in the second year after Hijra (Apri or June, 624).
Her Life with Imam Ali (a)
It is reported in historical records and traditions that Fatima (a) in varying ways showed her affection towards Ali (a) and even in the presence of her father, the Holy Prophet (s) would call him the best of husbands. Her respect towards her husband has been counted as one of the great qualities of Fatima (a). It has been reported that Fatima (a) would address Imam Ali (a) with affectionate words whilst at home and would address him with the respectful teknonym of Abu l-Hasan whilst in public. It has also appeared in reports that Fatima (a) would use perfumes and jewelry while at home and it can even be seen that on occasions she would give her necklaces and bracelets as charity.
In the beginning periods of their married life, Imam Ali (a) and Fatima (a) lived in very difficult financial conditions to such an extent that at times they were not able to find food to satiate their children, al-Hasan (a) and al-Husayn (a). However, even with the existence of these harsh conditions, Fatima (a) never complained and even at times tried to assist her husband in acquiring livelihood by spinning wool.
Fatima (a) took it upon herself to do the household work and left the outside work to Imam Ali (a); even when the Holy Prophet (a) sent a helper by the name of Fidda to her home, she did not pass over all the chores to her, rather she was responsible for doing half the work and Fidda was responsible for doing the other half. According to some reports it is said that Fatima (a) would assign Fidda to do the chores one day and then she would do them herself the next day.
Both Shi’i and Sunni sources state that al-Hasan, al-Husayn, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum are the four children of Ali and Fatima. In Shi’i sources and in some Sunni sources a name of another son is mentioned who was miscarried as a result of the injuries that Fatima (a) sustained during the events that occurred after the demise of her father, the Holy Prophet (a). His name is recorded to have been either al-Muhsin (Arabic: مُحسِن) or Muhassan (Arabic: مُحَسَّن).
Events towards the End of her Life
During the last few months of her life some very unpleasant and painful incidents occurred. It has been mentioned that during this period no one saw Fatima al-Zahra (a) smiling. The passing of her father, the event of Saqifa, the usurpation of the caliphate, the confiscation of Fadak by Abu Bakr and the delivery of the Fadakiyyah sermon in the presence of many important companions of her father are some of the most important events that took place during this period.
Being at the side of Imam Ali (a), she was one of the main opponents of the Saqifa council and the choosing of Abu Bakr as caliph. It was because of this stance that they became targets of the government’s threats, of which one example is when the government threatened to set the house of Fatima (a) on fire. When Imam Ali (a) and the other opponents of the caliph refused to pay the oath of allegiance (Bay’a), they sought refuge in the house of Fatima (a), this led to the supporters of the caliph attacking her house and as a result of this attack, Fatima (a) got severely injured when trying to prevent them from taking Imam Ali (a) to Abu Bakr in order to forcibly take his oath of allegiance; this was also the cause of her child being miscarried. After this incident, she fell very ill and after a short time was martyred.
On her death bed, Fatima (a) made a request to her husband that all those who opposed her and oppressed her should not participate in her funeral prayer and burial and asked him to bury her at night. According to the commonly accepted view, Fatima (a) passed away on the 3rd of Jumada II, 11/August 29, 632, in Medina.
Fatima (a) had numerous social activities and political stances. The migration to Medina, the treatment of the Holy Prophet (s) at the Battle of Uhud, bringing supplies to the Holy Prophet (a) at the Battle of Khandaq and accompanying him during the Conquest of Mecca were just some of her activities before the demise of the Holy Prophet (s); however, after his (s) demise the political activities of Fatima (a) increased and her stances became more profound.
Amongst her most important political stances the following can be mentioned: opposing the Saqifa council and the selection of Abu Bakr as the caliph after the Holy Prophet (s), going to the houses of the heads of the muhajirun (migrants) and the ansar (helpers) in order to get a confession from them on the superiority and worthiness of Imam ‘Ali (a) for the position of caliphate, attempting to reclaim her property of Fadak, deliverance of the Fadakiyya sermon in the presence of the Migrants and Helpers and defending Imam Ali (a) during the attack on her house. Some researchers are of the belief that a large amount of Fatima’s (a) speeches and actions after the demise of the Holy Prophet (s) were political reactions and her protests towards the usurpation of the caliphate by Abu Bakr and his supporters in the government.
Opposition to the Decisions of Saqifah
Main article: Incident of Saqifa
After the commencement of Saqifa and the acceptance of Abu Bakr as the caliph by some of the companions of the Holy Prophet (s), Fatima (a) together with Imam Ali (a) and a handful of companions, including Talha and Zubayr, opposed this decision; because the Holy Prophet (s) had already selected Imam Ali (a) as his caliph and successor at the event of Ghadir. According to historical reports, Fatima (a), along with Imam Ali (a), went to the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) to ask for their assistance. The companions of her father replied to her that if she had come to them before they had given their oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, they would have supported and defended the claim of Ali (a) to the caliphate.
The Usurpation of Fadak and the Fadakiyya Sermon
Main articles: Usurpation of Fadak and Fadakiyya Sermon
After Abu Bakr seized Fadak away from Fatima (a) and used its profits for the benefit of his government, he was met with her opposition. In order to reclaim what was rightfully hers, she tried to dialogue with Abu Bakr and after providing proofs and witnesses for her claim, Abu Bakr gave her the deed to the land of Fadak. Following on from this incident, Umar b. al-Khattab took the deed and tore it. Some sources narrate that Umar hit Fatima (a) and it was because of this that she miscarried her child. After seeing that her attempts to try and reclaim Fadak had yielded no results, she went to the mosque of the Holy Prophet (s) and delivered a speech, which later became known as the Fadakiyya sermon, in the presence of the companions in which she severely criticized the seizing of Fadak and the usurpation of the caliphate. Fatima (a) in this speech warned that the actions and the results of the actions of Abu Bakr and his followers would be the fire of Hell.
Aiding the Opponents of Abu Bakr
After the companions ignored the Holy Prophet’s (a) selection of Imam Ali (a) as his caliph and established Abu Bakr as the caliph and gave him their oath of allegiance, Lady Fatima (a), Imam Ali (a), Banu Hashim (descendants of Hashim) and a number of other companions opposed this decision and allegiance. Those who opposed the caliphate sought refuge in the house of Fatima (a). Al-‘Abbas b. ‘Abd al-Muttalib, Salman al-Farsi, Abu Dhar al-Ghifari, Miqdad b. ‘Amr, ‘Ammar b. Yasir and Ubay b. Ka’b were amongst those who opposed the caliphate of Abu Bakr and sought refuge in the house of Fatima (a).
Attack on her House; Defense of Imam Ali (a)
Main article: Attack on the house of Fatima (a)
When the supporters of the caliphate attacked the house of Ali (a), Fatima (a) took a stand in defending her husband and tried to prevent the attackers from forcibly taking him to give his oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr. According to the report of the Sunni scholar, Ibn Abd Rabbih, after Abu Bakr became aware of his opponents’ refuge in the house of Fatima (a), he gave the orders for it to be attacked and for their gathering to be broken up; if they resisted then they should be fought against. Umar together with a group of people went to the house of Fatima and demanded that the opponents of the caliphate come out; they warned that if this order was not followed they would set the house on fire. Umar together with the other attackers aggressively entered the house. At this moment Fatima (a) threatened the attackers that if they did not leave her home she would complain to Allah (swt); as a result they left her house and took all the opponents except Imam Ali (a) and the Banu Hashim (descendants of Hashim) to the masjid to give their oath of allegiance.
However, the attackers, after taking the oath of allegiance from the other opponents, returned to the house of Fatima (a) in order to get the oath of allegiance from Imam Ali (a) and the other members of Banu Hashim. When they attacked for a second time, they set the door on fire. Fatima (a) found herself behind the door and because of the fire, the force and the hits of Umar and his cohorts, she got injured against the door and miscarried her child al-Muhsin. It has been reported in some sources that Qunfuz squashed Fatima (a) between the door and the wall which resulted in her rib being broken. This incident caused Fatima (a) to become very ill and bedridden.
Fatima’s Anger towards Abu Bakr and Umar
After the way that she and her husband were treated by Abu Bakr and Umar concerning Fadak and the events related to the forceful acquiring of the oaths of allegiance for the caliph, Fatima (a) became extremely angry with Abu Bakr and Umar. According to reports, after the attack by Umar and the other government supporters on the house of Fatima (a), Abu Bakr and Umar decided to apologize and seek forgiveness from Fatima (a), however she refused their request to enter into her house. Eventually they gained entrance by seeking the assistance of Imam Ali (a). When they entered the room, she turned her face away from them and did not return their Salam (greeting). After she reminded them of the narration of the Holy Prophet (s) that her anger is equated to the anger of the Holy Prophet (s), she then informed them that they have earned her anger. It has also been reported in some accounts that she promised to curse them after every prayer.
Main article: Martyrdom of Lady Fatima (a)
After a period of illness which was caused by the physical injuries that she had to bear after the demise of her father (s), she was martyred in the 11/632. Regarding the date of her martyrdom, differing views exist. The most commonly accepted view according to the Shia is that she passed away on Jumada II 3/August 26. This view is in accordance with a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a). Based on another view, she passed away on Jumada I 13/August 6. Other views on her passing are the Rabi’ II 8/July 3, Rabi’ II 13/July 8, and the Ramadan 3/November 22.
Before her demise, Fatima (a) made a request that she does not want anyone who oppressed her or who angered her to take part in her funeral prayer and burial rites. Therefore, she asked to be buried in secret and the whereabouts of her grave to be hidden. According to historians, Ali (a) with the assistance of Asma’ bt. ‘Umays, washed the body of his wife and performed the funeral prayer himself. Other than the Imam (a), a handful of others, of which differing views exist concerning their names and numbers, also took part in the funeral prayers of Fatima (a). Historical sources report that Imam al-Hasan (a), Imam al-Husayn (a), al-‘Abbas b. ‘Abd al-Muttalib, Miqdad, Salman, Abu Dhar, ‘Ammar, ‘Aqil, al-Zubayr, ‘Abd Allah b. Mas’ud and Fazl b. Abbas are the ones who took part in the funeral prayer. Historical reports, however, are unified in the naming of Salman, Abu Dhar, Miqdad and Ammar as participators of the funeral prayer.
Some researchers are of the opinion that the request of Fatima (a) to be buried at night and in secret was her last political stance against the caliphate and the government.
Place of her Grave
Main article: Burial of Lady Fatima (a)
The body of Lady Fatima (a) was carried in a coffin that she requested to be made and buried at night in a secret location. Because of this secret burial, the grave of Fatima (a) remained unknown to the people and no grave has been clearly identified as hers. However, some historical reports and narrations have mentioned certain places as possible locations for the grave of Lady Fatima (a):
In the hadith, historical and exegetical literature of both the Shia and Sunni schools of thought, numerous virtues have been recorded for Lady Fatima (a). Some of these virtues are based on the Holy Qur’an, for example the verses of Purification and Mubahalah. In these types of virtues, the occasion of revelation is about Ahl al-Bayt of which Fatima (a) is a member. A number of other virtues have been reported in traditions such as the tradition of “Fatima is a part of me” and her being called Muhaddatha (being talked by angels).
Main article: Ahl al-Bayt (a) § Infallibility
The opinion of the Shi’i school of thought, because Fatima (a) is one of the referents of al-Tathir Verse (the Verse of Purification), is that she possesses the status of infallibility. According to this verse of the Holy Qur’an, Allah (swt) willed that the Ahl al-Bayt (a) be cleansed from all sorts of filth and uncleanliness and according to many traditions from both schools of thought, Fatima (a) is one of the referents of this verse. The first historical account of the infallibility of Fatima (a) being mentioned was after the demise of the Holy Prophet (a) during the seizing of Fadak. It was during this incident that Imam Ali (a) made reference to the infallibility of Lady Fatima (a) by mentioning the Verse of Purification; it was because of this that he was certain that the actions of Abu Bakr were wrong and that the claim of Fatima (a) was true. In addition to Shia hadith and exegetical literature, narrations reported from the Holy Prophet (s) that purifies his Ahl al-Bayt (a) i.e. Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn from all types of sins in the hadith and historical literature of the Sunnis.
See also: infallibility
Just like her father, Fatima (a) had a great affinity towards worship and spent a great deal of her time in prayers and supplications. Many of those who visited her or were close to her would report seeing her reciting the Holy Qur’an. In some sources it has been reported that she would receive help from the Unseen (Ghayb) while reciting the Holy Qur’an. An example of this is reported from Salman al-Farsi who got surprised when he noticed one day that while Fatima (a) was besides the grinder reciting the Holy Qur’an, the grinder was moving by itself. He then reported what he saw to the Holy Prophet (s) who responded to him, “God had sent down Jabra’il (a) in order to do the grinding for her.” Lengthy prayers, night vigils, supplicating for others like her neighbors, fasting and visiting the graves of the martyrs were some of the special characteristics of Fatima (a) that have been reported by the Ahl al-Bayt (a), some companions and the Tabi’un (the next generation after sahaba). Hence, it can be seen that many prayers, supplications and praises have been attributed to her in Islamic literature.
Status of Fatima (a) with Allah (swt) and the Holy Prophet (s)
Shia and Sunni scholars concur that the love for Lady Fatima (a) is a Quranic command of God. Based upon the 23rd verse of Qur’an 42, which is known as the Al-Mawadda Verse (Verse of Love), the necessity of loving Fatima (a) is established. In this verse the recompense for the prophetic mission has been explained as the love and affection towards his Ahl al-Bayt (a). According to traditions, those who are considered as the Ahl al-Bayt in this verse are Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn (a). In addition to this verse, traditions have been narrated from the Holy Prophet (a) that equates the pleasure and anger of Allah (swt) with the pleasure and anger of Fatima (a). In some traditions, the creation of Fatima (a) is known as the cause for the creation of all other creation. As an example, in a divine narration (al-hadith al-qudsi) known as the Lawlak Hadith, it has been narrated from the Holy Prophet (s) that the creation of the heavens and the earth were dependent on his creation; whereas his creation connected to the creation of Ali (a) and their creation was connected to the creation of Lady Fatima (a). Even though some may find fault with the chain of narration of this tradition; its contents can be defended.
The Holy Prophet (s) greatly loved Fatima (a) and showed her more affection and respect than to others. In a tradition commonly known as the tradition of Bid’a,” the Holy Prophet introduced Fatima (a) as a part of his very existence and that whoever annoys her, annoys me. This tradition has been recorded by great traditionalists like al-Shaykh al-Mufid (Shi’i scholar) and Ahmad b. Hanbal (Sunni scholar), however with variations in the text of the tradition.
Chief of all Women
In many traditions, reported by both Shia and Sunni scholars, it has been narrated that she is the “Master of all the women of Paradise,” “The master of all ladies in all Worlds” and “The Chief of all Muslim Women.”
The only Lady chosen for Mubahilah
From amongst the Muslim women, it was only Fatima (a) who was chosen by the Holy Prophet (s) to take part in the Mubahala against the Christians of Najran. This incident is mentioned in al-Mubahala verse. According to exegetical sources, in addition to historical and hadith references, this verse was revealed in honor and in indicating the superiority of the Ahl al-Bayt (a). It has been mentioned that Imam Ali (a), Imam al-Hasan (a), Imam al-Husayn (a) and Lady Fatima (a) were the ones who accompanied the Holy Prophet (s) on this occasion.
Continuation of the Prophet’s Lineage through Fatima (a)
The continuation of the Holy Prophet’s lineage and the specifying of the Imams as the children of Fatima (a) have been mentioned as one of her special virtues. Some exegetes of the Holy Qur’an view this continuation of the Holy Prophet’s lineage through Fatima (a) as a referent for al-Kawthar i.e. vast goodness, as stated in the sura al-Kawthar. It is also worth mentioning that the station of Imamate is from this very lineage.
The generosity of Fatima (a) has been recorded as one of her ethical traits. While she was living with Imam Ali (a) at the time when their financial situation was stable, she lived a simple life and would always give in charity. Giving her wedding dress on the night of her wedding to a person in need, giving her necklace to a poor person and giving away all of the food to a pauper, an orphan and a captive are just some examples. It has been reported in Islamic literature that after Imam Ali (a), his wife and their two sons gave their food away for three consecutive days, verses 5-9 of chapter al-Insan, known as the Al-It’am Verse (verses of Feeding), were revealed in their honor.
Her conversing with the angels has been recorded as another virtue of Fatima (a). This virtue resulted in her being called “Muhaddatha” i.e. the one who the angels spoke to. The conversations of the angels with her before the demise of the Holy Prophet (s) and after it, were to console her and give her news of events that would occur in the future to the progeny of the Holy Prophet (s). The future events that were told to her by the angels were written and recorded by Imam Ali (a). These writings became known as the Mushaf of Fatima (a).
Her speeches and spiritual, social and political life are like a heritage that has remained and has been the focus of attention of the Muslims in their writings. The Mushaf of Fatima, the Sermon of Fadakiyya, her tasbih and special prayer are just some of her spiritual legacy.
Traditions reported from her form a large part of this legacy. These traditions in respect to their contents vary and include subjects such as beliefs, jurisprudence, ethics and sociology. Some of these traditions have been reported in the hadith collections of the Shia and the Sunni, whereas others have been reported in specific books dedicated to the traditions of Fatima (a). Many of these specific books over the ages have been lost and only their mention is found in bibliographical books and books dealing with narrators of hadith and traditions, in which the discussion is on the writers of these specific books rather than the books themselves.
The Mushaf of Fatima (a) includes discussions that she heard from the divine angel and were written down by Imam Ali (a). The Shia believe that the Mushaf was passed from Imam to Imam as a heirloom and no one other than them had access to it. Currently it is believed that the Twelfth Imam (a) has it in his possession.
The Fadakiyya Sermon is one of her most famous speeches. This sermon was delivered about the usurpation of the caliphate and seizing of Fadak. A number of expositions have been written on this sermon and have the name of “An exposition on the Sermon of Fadakiyya,” or “An exposition on the Sermon of Lumma (another name for this sermon).”
Tasbih of Fatima (a) is a worship that Fatima (a) learnt from the Holy Prophet (s) and was extremely pleased to have learnt it. In the literature of both the Shi’a and the Sunni, various reports exist on how she learnt the rosary and it has also been reported that once Imam Ali (a) heard and learnt this worship, under no circumstance did he abandon performing it.
The prayer of Fatima (a) are prayers that she learnt from the Holy Prophet (a) or from Jabra’il (a). These prayers have been mentioned in the books of traditions and supplications.
Poems have also been attributed to Fatima (a). These poems can be separated into two time periods, before the demise of her father and after his demise. Monographs have also been written and published concerning these poems.
The Shias view Fatima (a) as a complete role model and her way of life has found its way into the culture and lives of the Shia. What follow are a few examples of this:
Main article: List of works about Lady Fatima (a)
Literature about Fatima (a) has been the focus of Muslims, especially the Shia, from the first/seventh century. Based on one division the works that have been written about Fatima (a) can be divided into three subjects, reference works, works on her virtues and biographies.
The following are some of the reference works that the Shia have compiled about Fatima (a):
Out of the reference books that the Sunni scholars have written, one may refer to al-Saqifa wa l-Fadak, by Jawhari al-Basri, Man Ruwiya an Fatima min Awladiha, by Ibn ‘Uqda al-Jarudi and Musnad Fatima, by Darqutni al-Shafi’i. and from amongst the books written on her virtues reference can be made to al-Thughur al-basima fi fada’il al-Sayyida Fatima, written by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti and Ithaf al-Sa’il bima li-Fatima min al-manaqib wa l-fada’il, written by Muhammad Ali Minawi.
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