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Fatima: A Prophet's Daughter who found Consolation in Death

 

The sun called its near-by stars to come a little closer. Then it opened the arms of its cloak and embraced them tenderly. It sounds strange, but the sun system's most brilliant stars gathered under cover. Their lips froze from excitement. Their breath took on one shape after another under the pounding of their hearts. They had never been this close to the source from which they took their light. Their being under the same cloak reset universal values. Not only them, but the whole universe held its breath waiting for the sun to move its lips. Then there was movement on the sun's lips: "My God! These are my ahl al-bait (my family); protect them from evil and make them pure!" Hearing this prayer, the stars snuggled up to their sun with joy. Fatima, Ali, Hasan and Hussein smiled under the cloak of the Prophet. This family photograph adorned the first page of the believers' album. For without looking at this page, it was impossible to understand the other pages.  In this picture Ali was husband, father and son-in-law; Hasan and Hussein were sons and grandsons; Fatima was a mother, wife and daughter.

She was a child and did not understand what was happening. She was running and her small hands were trying to clean the filth thrown on her father's back. How could they do this! Just when he was bowing in prayer towards the Kaaba! When there was no one purer than him, how could they do this! Fatima grabbed the camel intestine from her father's blessed shoulders and threw it back at the idolaters. The Last Prophet finished his final prayer and raised his hands to the sky. He repeated three times: "My God, I leave the Quraish to you!" Then he hugged Fatima. The soul he lovingly called "the mother to her father." He kissed her cheeks and patted her head. Fatima was so different! The Creator had sent her a year before the coming of prophethood. She was the Prophet's youngest daughter. A girl with a radiant face! For this reason she was called "Zahra." Later she grew into a young girl. A chaste girl! For this reason she was called "Baytul."

They wanted Baytul as a bride from the Prophet. He saw Ali worthy of her. Ali, selling his armor which was his share of the spoils from the battle of Badr, was able to give Fatima's mahr (mandatory wedding gift given by the groom to the bride). In regard to her dowry, no bride was so frugal: a leather cushion stuffed with date leaves, two hand mills, two leather water containers... She would give water in these containers to Hasan and Hussein who were born one year apart, and she would carry water in them to the wounded at the battle of Uhud. What a fantastic day! She not only carried food and water with ten other women, but she served as a nurse as well during this great trial. The small hands that had once tried to clean her father's back had grown, and this time they were trying to stop her father's blood with ashes.

She was the apple of the Prophet's eye. He was extremely caring of Fatima who took her father as an example in every way and who showed that she was the daughter of a prophet in her speech, her modesty, and her way of walking. In order to be with her a little longer, he would say good-bye to her last when he was departing on a trip, and upon his return he would run to her first, having missed her. Seeing Fatima meant "joy" for the Last Prophet. When she came to his home, he would greet her on his feet. He would kiss her cheeks and then, taking her hand, he would seat her in his place. Visiting Fatima's home was another kind of joy to him, because his son-in-law Ali and his grandchildren Hasan and Hussein were there as well. They all raced for Muhammad's (pbuh) affection. Every time he would sit between his daughter and his son-in-law and establish balance between them, for when they were alone each would claim, "He loves me more!"

The Prophet would seek a middle road, a point of balance in every thing he did. His love never overshadowed fairness. Saying, "Even if my daughter Fatima did it, I would apply the law," he opposed discrimination among people regardless of their social status and defended the sovereignty of the law. When his beloved daughter and son-in-law said they needed a servant, he suggested that they renounce this in the name of  the "Ahl-i Suffa" who were poorer than themselves and that, instead, every night they repeat "Subhanallah," "Alhamdulillah" and "Allahuakber" thirty-three times before they went to sleep, reminding them that this would be more helpful to them than a servant.

When the time came for separation, how he reminded his beloved daughter! Normally the Prophet and Gabriel read the Quran to one another once a year, but in the last year they came together twice. This could be seen as a sign. As soon as Fatima heard these words, she burst into tears. To console her, the Prophet told her she would be the first from their family to meet him in the next world.  Can death be a consolation? If the person waiting is the Last Prophet, then yes, of course. How Fatima grieved at the time of parting! But how she loved the time for meeting even it its name was "death"...

The Prophet said, "Fatima is a part of me." When his illness grew heavy and the time for parting drew near, Fatima began to cry, saying, "Oh father, what has befallen you!" The Prophet consoled her one last time, "Your father will not suffer again after today, my beloved child." Finally the time had come; again in tears, Fatima said, "My dear father, the Lord called and you ran to Him! Now the Firdaws paradise is your home! We have surrendered you to Gabriel!"

Love! What it made Fatima say after the burial: "How did your hands throw dirt on the Prophet so quickly! How did your hearts allow this!" Fatima's heart could not bear a long separation. Five months after her father had given her the good tidings, they materialized. The Prophet had said, "Fatima is a part of me. Whoever makes her happy makes me happy; whoever hurts her, hurts me." The months carried Fatima to Ramadan, and in the month of Ramadan the part returned to its essence. 

Poet and writer Ali Ural continues to write about the Companions of the Prophet that reflect his light and radiance
 

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