Sayyidah Fatimatuz-Zahra (AS)
Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) belongs to the noblest family ever existing throughout the whole history of mankind. Her distinguished father Prophet Muhammad (saw) was the very last messenger of Allah (SWT), a personality that the Noble Qur'an introduces him as the Best Paradigm. The mother of Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was a pure noble lady named Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (sa), a godly woman with unparalleled virtues and merits, who dedicated all her life and wealth for the sake of Islam. Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) is the wife of the Leader of all Believers, Ameerul Momineen, Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), mother of the Masters of the youths of heaven (Syed-e-Shabab-e-Ahlul Jannah) and grandmother of the other nine Imams of Islam. Her name is as beautiful and as peaceful as the garden of heaven.
Her name is Fatimah and her other names are: Zahra, Seddiqah, Tahirah, Mubarakah, Batool, Radiah, Mardiah and Muhaddathah. The word Fatimah means separated. She is named Fatimah because her followers are separated from the Hell because of her. Zahra means luminous. Sixth Imam, Imam Sadiq (as) said: "When Fatimah prayed, she shined for the heavens as the stars shine for people on earth." Seddiqah means someone who says nothing except the truth. Tahirah means pure and clean, Mubarakah means full of favour and blessing, Batool means separated from uncleanness and Radiah means satisfied with Allah's (SWT) fate and destiny and Mardiah means laudable. Muhaddathah means the one spoken to by angels. The following are some of her titles: Ensiah (heavenly lady), Haniah (sympathetic), Shaheedah (martyr), Afifah (chaste), Sabirah (patient), Alimah (learned), Madhloomah (oppressed), Ma'soomah (infallible), Umm al-Hassan (mother of Hassan), Umm al-Hussain (mother of Hussain), Umm al-A'immah (mother of Imams) and Umme Abiha. Umme Abiha means mother of her father. Prophet Muhammad (saw) has given her this title and this shows that Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) treated Prophet Muhammad (saw) as his mother. This fact was proved throughout the history as she cured her father during the wars and when she was at home and many other cases.
According to the Islamic Calendar, Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was born in Makkah on the 20th day of the Islamic Lunar Calendar month, Jumada Al-Thani (615 AD), five years after the declaration of the message of Islam by Prophet Muhammad (saw) and three years afterIsra and Miraj(Night journey and ascension of Prophet Muhammad (saw) to heaven) and eight years before Hijrah (migration of Prophet Muhammad (saw) from Makkah to Medina). Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) lived eight years in Makkah with her father and then she immigrated to Medina. When Prophet Muhammad (saw) died in Madina, Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was eighteen years and few months old.
As a wife, Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was deeply devoted to her husband, Imam Ali (as) and had never asked him for anything in her whole life. As a mother, she cared for and brought up the most wonderful children who have left their marks in history that time will not be able to erase.
Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) was very intelligent, accomplished and cheerful. She had inherited the genius and wisdom, determination and willpower, the piety and sanctity, the generosity and benevolence, the devotion and worship of Allah (SWT) as well as other great qualities like self-sacrifice and hospitality, forbearance and patience, and the knowledge and nobility of disposition from her illustrious father, Prophet Muhammad (saw), both in words and deeds. Her generosity and compassion for the poor was such that no destitute or beggar ever returned from her door unattended.
We, Muslims believe that Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) is the most superior woman through all the centuries and eras. This belief is inferred from Prophetic narratives. In one of these statements (on which both Shiites and Sunnites agree) the Great Prophet Muhammad (saw) says: "Sayyidati Nisa il Aalameen (Fatima is the master of all the women of the worlds.)" Although it is mentioned in the Noble Qur'an that Maryam [Mary, mother of Prophet Jesus (pbuh)] is the best woman in the worlds and has high position and is considered to be chaste and continence and is one of the four greatest women, she was the best woman of her life's period, but Fatima Al-Zahra's (sa) superiority is not restricted to her life's period and is history time. That is why Prophet Muhammad (saw) named her as the greatest women of all the women from the first to the last in another saying. Another point that can be inferred from these narratives is that because Fatima Al-Zahra (sa) is the greatest woman and no other has competence with her, knowing and recognizing all her life and every moment of her life is extremely valuable, as we can reach high spiritual states by deliberating it. Furthermore, by referring to the Noble Qur'an we find out that several verses are descended to state her position: (33:33, known as Ayat-e-Tatheer), (3:61, known as Ayat-e-Mubahila), (17:26), the beginning verses of chapter 76 (al-Insan) , the whole chapter 108 (al-Kawthar).
Fatema Zahra (sa) has been the perfect model, who translated every verse of Noble Qur'an into action. In her lifetime, she was a complete woman, being daughter, wife and mother par excellence.
As a true role model of women's rights and respect, Fatema Zahra (sa) cares for her father when everyone else ignore him, encourages her husband when everyone else rebukes him and tends to and raises such children as Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain, Hazrat Zainab and Hazrat Umm Kulthum (pbut).
All the children of Fatema Zahra (sa) are a jewel in the crown of Islam and Fatema Zahra (sa) is the reason behind it. Both religious and secular scholars agree that a child begins learning in the womb of his mother and the foundation laid by the parent is essential in the future character and morals of the child. Fatema Zahra (sa) displays a model for all the God-fearing parents in the upbringing of her four children. It has been narrated by a companion of Prophet (saw) in Bihar al-Anwar that one day, he saw Fatema Zahra (sa) busy grinding some grain. In the meanwhile, her older son Imam Hassan (as) became impatient and started crying. The companion of Prophet (saw) offered help to Fatema Zahra (sa), asking her whether she would like him to take over the grinding of grain or comforting the child. She answered by saying that it would be better for her to take over the grinding, since she would be better at comforting her child. This proves the importance of a mother being present around her child as much as possible, since only a mother can truly comfort and soothe her child and no one else can be as much of a comfort as a mother.
A role model can be defined as a guide, pattern, and as a leader. The term "role model" seeks to identify a person who possesses certain characteristics, which people admire and choose to follow. Different people choose different role models in their lives and try to live their life in accordance to what they see in that role model. A role model may have impact in a single aspect of one's life, or it may have impact on many or all aspects of a person's life. Naturally one's life, goal, and motive may then be shaped and constructed based on his/her role model.
One, who chooses Islam as his school of life, has actually chosen a way and goal that has been based on human nature. Thus such a person will search for a character that possesses all the special characteristics that the school of monotheism has offered in each aspect of life in order to reach his goal of perfection.
In the following verse, the Noble Qur'an introduces Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the prophet of Islam, as the best and perfect role model:
"Certainly there is in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much." (Noble Qur'an, 33:21)
Through a deep study of the life of Lady Fatemah Zahra (pbuh), one can slightly understand her exalted human personality. She is similar to her father, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in terms of her divine and humane character. Her similarity to her father is a truth that can be easily understood through her father's sayings about her. As the narrator quotes, Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came out while holding the hand of Lady Fatimah Zahra (pbuh) in his hand. He said:
"(For) him, who does not know her, she is Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, she is a part of me, she is my soul, which is (located) between my two sides. Certainly, him who harms her has harmed me; and him who harms me has indeed harmed Allah."
ith regard to knowledge, Islam teaches us three things: Learn, apply and teach others. In the life of Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa), we find that she gave importance to all these three stages of Knowledge.
Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa): Learning and Applying Knowledge
One day Prophet Muhammad (saw) came to the house of his beloved daughter Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa). She (sa) asked him a number of questions on religious rights. Among them was a question regarding a wife's duty towards her husband?
One of the many things that Prophet Muhammad (saw) told her was, "O Fatimah! A woman who demands things, which are outside the means of her husband, is removed from the pale of divine grace."
With regard to teaching others, Fatimah bint Muhammad (sa) had a role too in teaching the society. She used to find time, despite all her duties, to gather all the wives of the believers and teach them the principles of their religion, and she used to narrate the sayings and traditions of her father. One of these traditions is "A believer is not a believer, if his neighbors do not feel assured that he will no hurt them. He who believes in Allah (SWT) and the Day of Judgment does not hurt his neighbor. He would either say what is good or remain silent. Allah (SWT) is good and loves those who are good, chaste and tolerant. Allah (SWT) hates the backbiter and those who say obscene words."