Answering the Allegation: `Umar attacked Fatimah and burned her house down

Moulana Ebrahim Rawat: Sayyiduna Ali ibn Abi Talib
May 24, 2022
Answering the Allegation: ‘Ali was appointed as Khalifah at Ghadir Khumm
June 21, 2022

`Umar attacked Fatimah and burned her house down



`Umar was ordered to confront Fatimah and others to take the pledge and kill them if they refused. `Umar executed this order with a group of men, he then threatened Fatimah, set her door on fire, and attacked her so viciously that it resulted in her miscarriage. `Ali was then dragged through the streets and forced to give the pledge. This has been reported in following Books of the Ahlus Sunnah.

  1. Al Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah
  2. Al Isti`ab by Ibn `Abdul Barr
  3. Kanz al `Ummal by `Ali Muttaqi
  4. Tarikh Tabari by Ibn Jarir
  5. Ansab al Ashraf by al Baladhuri
  6. Al Imamah wa al Siyasah by Ibn Qutaybah
  7. `Iqd al Farid by Ibn `Abd Rabihi
  8. Al Mukhtasar fi Akhbar al Bashr of Abu al Fida



The incident of the house being set on fire and Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha—may our parents be sacrificed for her—being assaulted and then miscarrying her child is not mentioned in any book of the Ahlus Sunnah. It is an outright fabrication and pure work of fiction.

As for the references cited for this alleged incident aside from failing to meet the criteria of acceptance, it does not contain any of these exaggerated and false details.


1. Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah

Ibn Abi Shaybah records the narration as follows:


حدّثنا محمد بن بشر حدّثنا عبيد اللّه بن عمر حدّثنا زيد بن أسلم عن أبيه أسلم انّه حين بويع لأبي بكر بعد رسول اللّه صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم كان علي والزبير يدخلان على فاطمة بنت رسول اللّه صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم فيشاورونها ويرتجعون في أمرهم، فلما بلغ ذلك عمر بن الخطاب خرج حتّى دخل على فاطمة فقال يا بنت رسول اللّه صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم واللّه ما من أحد أحبّ إلينا من أبيك وما من أحد أحبّ إلينا بعد أبيك منك وأيم اللّه ما ذاك بمانعي إن اجتمع هؤلاء النفر عندك إن أمرتهم أن يحرق عليهم البيت قال فلما خرج عمر جاءوها فقالت تعلمون أنّ عمر قد جاءني وقد حلف باللّه لئن عدتم ليحرقن عليكم البيت وأيم اللّه ليمضين لما حلف عليه فانصرفوا راشدين فروا رأيكم ولا ترجعوا إلي، فانصرفوا عنها فلم يرجعوا إليها حتّى بايعوا لأبي بكر

Muhammad ibn Bishr narrated to us — ` Ubaidullah ibn `Umar narrated to us — Zaid ibn Aslam narrated to us — from his father, Aslam, the freed slave of `Umar:

When Abu Bakr received the pledges of allegiance after the Messenger of Allah, `Ali and Zubair used to enter the presence of Fatimah the daughter of the Messenger of Allah and consult with her and discuss their affair.

When news of this reached `Umar ibn al Khattab, he came out until he entered Fatimah’s presence and said, “Daughter of the Messenger of Allah, none in all creation was more dearly beloved to me than your father, and none is more beloved to us after him than you. However, by Allah, this shall not prevent me, if that group gathers in your house, to order that their door be set afire!

When `Umar went out, they came and she said, “Do you know that `Umar came to me and swore by Allah that if you were to come back, he shall surely burn the door with you inside! By Allah, he shall certainly fulfil what he swore, so go away in peace, flee from your opinion, and do not come back to see me.”

They left her and did not return to see her until they pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr.


The chain of this narration, despite its flaws, is the strongest of all that has been reported about this incident. Before we discuss the flaw in the chain of narration, let us examine its content:

  1. Sayyidina `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu praised Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha and recognised her virtue, saying she was most beloved to the people and him after her father.
  2. Sayyidina `Umar did not threaten Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha, but warned her about those gathering in her house. This can be seen by the statement Alayhim (them) and not Alaykum (you all) in the statement “if that group gathers in your house, to order that their door be set afire.”
  3. There is no mention of this being ordered by Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu.
  4. There is no mention of a “group” of men going with `Umar, or `Umar actually setting fire to the house and other false emotional propaganda.
  5. Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha herself warned those in her house to leave and not return until they had sorted their affairs out.
  6. All pledged allegiance and that was the end of it. This narration establishes that Sayyidina `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu also pledged his allegiance and any possible conflict was avoided.


Defect in the chain

It is extremely strange that an incident as huge as this was only narrated by a single narrator from `Ubaidullah namely Muhammad ibn Bishr al `Abdi. And `Ubaidullah was the only narrator to transmit it from Zaid ibn Aslam’s companions. Moreover, Aslam was definitely not in Madinah at that time, simply because he was from the war booty of Yemen and `Umar got him in Makkah in the year 11 AH.[1] Thus, he did not witness this event, it cannot be ascertained when and from who did he learn of this event. Hence, the one who invented the narration is simply unknown and not included in the given chain of narrators.


2. Al Isti`ab

Ibn `Abdul Barr in his al Isti`ab reports:


حدّثنا محمد بن أحمد حدثنا محمد بن أيّوب حدّثنا أحمد بن عمرو البزاز حدّثنا أحمد بن يحيى حدّثنا محمد بن نسير حدّثنا عبد اللّه بن عمر عن زيد بن أسلم عن أبيه انّ عليّاً والزبير كانا حين بُويع لأبي بكر يدخلان على فاطمة فيشاورانها ويتراجعان في أمرهم فبلغ ذلك عمر فدخل عليها عمر فقال يا بنت رسول اللّه ما كان من الخلق أحد أحبّ إلينا من أبيك وما أحد أحبّ إلينا بعده منك ولقد بلغني أنّ هؤلاء النفر يدخلون عليك ولئن بلغني لأفعلنّ ولأفعلنّ ثمّ خرج وجاءوها فقالت لهم إنّ عمر قد جاءني وحلف لئن عدتم ليفعلنّ وأيم اللّه ليفينّ بها

The above narration is the exact same narration with an identical chain resting upon Zaid ibn Aslam from his father, Aslam, except that this one does not even contain any mention of a threat to burn the door and rather mentions that `Umar said, “I shall do this and that unless you come out (to pledge).” The same defect in the narration of Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah is found here.


3. Kanz al `Ummal

Al Muttaqi indicated his source for the incident in Kanz with “sh” which is a reference to Ibn Abi Shaybah’s Musannaf. We have already discussed this narration above.


4. Tarikh al Tabari

The narration is as follows:


حدثنا ابن حُميد قال حدثنا جرير عن مغيرة عن زياد بن كليب قال أتى عمر بن الخطاب منزل علي وفيه طلحة والزبير ورجال من المهاجرين فقال واللّه لأحرقنّ عليكم أو لتخرجنّ إلى البيعة فخرج عليه الزبير مصلتاً بالسيف فعثر فسقط السيف من يده فوثبوا عليه فأخذوه

Ibn Humayd narrated to us, he said—Jarir narrated to us—from Mughirah—from Ziyad ibn Kulayb: `Umar ibn al Khattab came to the house of `Ali, and Talhah, Zubair and other Muhajirin were inside.

He said, “By Allah I will burn the house down or you will come to pledge allegiance.”

Zubair stepped out to confront him with his sword drawn, but he slipped and the sword fell from his hand. So they jumped upon him and seized him.


Muhammad ibn Humayd:

Regarding Ibn Humayd it states in the Tahdhib of Ibn Hajar:

  • Ya`qub ibn Shaybah said, “Muhammad ibn Humayd: Narrates many Munkar reports.”
  • Al Bukhari said, “There is scepticism concerning his narrations.”
  • Al Nasa’i said, “He is not thiqah.”
  • Fadlak al Razi said, “I have 50000 narrations from him, I will not narrate a word from it.”
  • While others have even called him a liar.[2]


Jarir ibn Hazim

Jarir ibn Hazim was thiqah, but he got confused in the end of his life. Ibn Hajar said that he has errors when narrating from his memory.


Mughirah ibn Miqsam

Mughirah ibn Miqsam’s was a Mudallis and in this narration he has not clarified who he heard the narration from.


Ziyad ibn Kulayb

Ziyad ibn Kulayb Abu Ma`shar al Kufi. He was a reliable narrator but he was not a Sahabi. In Tahdhib al Kamal his date of demise is recorded to be sometime between 110 or 119 AH. Making it unlikely that Ibn Kulayb was an eye witness to this event, thus the person who he heard it from is unknown.

Despite the weakness of this narration, it still does not contain the fabricated details which the Shia wish to prove. No house was set on fire nor was anybody harmed.


5. Ansab al Ashraf

The narration is as follows:


المدائني عن مسلمة بن محارب عن سليمان التيمي وعن ابن عون أن أبا بكر أرسل إلى علي يريد البيعة فلم يبايع. فجاء عمر ومعه قبس فتلقته فاطمة على الباب فقالت فاطمة يا بن الخطاب أتراك محرقا علي بابي قال نعم وذلك أقوى فيما جاء به أبوك وجاء علي فبايع وقال كنت عزمت أن لا أخرج من منزلي حتى أجمع القرآن

Al Mada’ini — from Maslamah ibn Muharib — from Sulayman al Taymi and from Ibn `Awn: Abu Bakr called on `Ali, for him to pledge allegiance as he had not [as yet]. `Umar arrived with a torch and met Fatimah at the door.

She asked, “O Ibn al Khattab, do you intend to set fire to my door?”

`Umar said, “Yes, and that is the strongest of that which your father brought.”

`Ali came and pledged his allegiance, and said, “I had taken a vow not to leave my house until I had compiled the Qur’an.”


Before we examine the chain, in this narration too there is no mention of the hyperbolic atrocities perpetrated against the Ahlul Bayt. The most that it contains is a threat and then Sayyidina `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu pledging his allegiance. Nonetheless, the narration is extremely flawed:


Maslamah ibn Muharib

The status of Maslamah ibn Muharib as a narrator is Majhul (unknown). Ibn Hibban may have included him in his book al Thiqat, but Ibn Hibban was known for including people that he does not know (majhul narrators) in this book. Furthermore, no other scholar has discussed his status as a narrator either.


Sulayman al Taymi

Sulayman al Taymi passed away in the year 143 AH, and was not present when this alleged incident transpired.


Ibn `Awn

`Abdullah ibn `Awn died in the year 150 AH and was definitely not present.

Thus, there is a clear break in the chain of narration, with it being unclear as to who they heard this from.


6. Al Imamah wa al Siyasah

Ibn Qutaybah and the book Al Imamah wa al Siyasah

The book al Imamah wa al Siyasah is also known by an alternate name, Tarikh al Khulafa’, and is falsely attributed to Ibn Qutaybah.

`Abdullah ibn Muslim ibn Qutaybah, Abu Muhammad al Dinawari (213-276) was born in Kufah, Iraq, and lived in the East. He served as a judge in Dinawar. He was considered a polymath who wrote on diverse topics including tafsir, fiqh, hadith, grammar, history, theology and philosophy. He was well-known for his contributions to Arabic literature as well as his work on reconciling conflicting hadith titled Ta’wil Mukhtalif al Hadith.

Opinions regarding him varied in the subjects of hadith and theology. Al Dhahabi said:

The man is not an authority in hadith even though he is an accomplished scholar who was grounded in diverse disciplines and skilled at important subjects.[3]

Ibn Qutaybah has a respected position amongst the scholars. He is, according to them, from the Ahlus Sunnah and reliable in his knowledge and his din.

  • Al Silafi says, “Ibn Qutaybah was of the reliable scholars and of the Ahlus Sunnah.”
  • Ibn Hazm says, “He was reliable in his din and his knowledge.”
  • Ibn Taymiyyah says, “Ibn Qutaybah was of those who subscribed to Ahmad, and Ishaq, and the supporters of the famous schools of the Ahlus Sunnah.”[4]

Ibn Qutaybah was a renowned scholar and many scholars have compiled biographical notes about him, as well as an index of his works. None of Ibn Qutaybah’s biographers have mentioned the book al Imamah wa al Siyasah among his works. The only books attributed to him in the subject of history are Kitab al Ma`arif and Tarikh Ibn Qutaybah.[5]

Ibn Qutaybah is not known to have travelled; in fact he never left Baghdad except for Dinawar.[6] There are passages in the book al Imamah wa al Siyasah which are inconsistent with all his other works. These passages infer that he travelled to Damascus and transmitted from its scholars. How is it possible for him to have transmitted from the scholars of Damascus when he had restricted himself to the East? Why is there no indication of these details in all his other works?

The book al Imamah wa al Siyasah contains an abundance of clear historical mistakes. For example, he speaks of Abu al `Abbas and al Saffah as if they were two separate individuals; whereas Abu al `Abbas al Saffah is one person. He also makes Harun al Rashid the direct successor of al Mahdi. Also, he asserts that Harun al Rashid entrusted the khilafah to his son al Ma’mun (first) and after him to his (other) son al Amin. When we review Ibn Qutaybah’s Kitabal Ma`arif he provides us with accurate accounts about al Saffah and Harun al Rashid, contradicting what the author of al Imamah wa al Siyasah stated.[7] The factual and historical contradictions in al Imamah wa al Siyasah with Ibn Qutaybah’s other works are too obvious to ignore.

The methodology and style of the author of al Imamah wa al Siyasah is completely inconsistent with that of Ibn Qutaybah in his other books. Ibn Qutaybah is famous for lengthy introductions wherein he outlines his methodology and the purpose behind the compilation; whereas the introduction to al Imamah wa al Siyasah does not exceed three lines. We have not seen this in any of Ibn Qutaybah’s other works.[8]

What is also noticeable from the book al Imamah wa al Siyasah is that the author does not pay much attention to structure and flow of ideas in his writing. He mentions a narration, then another, then returns later to complete the first. This haphazard, jumbled style is inconsistent with Ibn Qutaybah’s other works which are distinguished by their excellent structure and flow.

From the book one gets the impression that the author is relating the conquest of Andalus directly from some contemporaries as it was occurring. It is well-known that the conquest of Andalus occurred during the year 92 AH, close to 120 years before the birth of Ibn Qutaybah.

The narrations in al Imamah wa al Siyasah show Ibn Qutaybah to have directly transmitted from Ibn Abi Layla. Muhammad ibn `Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Layla was a famous jurist and judge in Kufah, who died in the year 148 AH; whereas Ibn Qutaybah was only born in the year 213 AH. How is it possible for him to have heard hadith from a teacher who passed away 65 years before he, Ibn Qutaybah, was born?[9]

Ibn Qutaybah’s teachers, whom he usually transmits from in all his other works, are completely absent throughout al Imamah wa al Siyasah.[10] Furthermore, the author of al Imamah wa al Siyasah narrates from transmitters whom Ibn Qutaybah has never narrated from in any of his other books, such as Abu Maryam and Ibn `Ufayr.[11] The author of al Imamah wa al Siyasah narrates from two senior scholars of Egypt. Ibn Qutaybah never visited Egypt and never took knowledge from any of its scholars.

If one considers all these inconsistencies, flaws, and contradictions, it becomes increasingly evident that the book al Imamah wa al Siyasah is indeed a forgery and falsely ascribed to Ibn Qutaybah. Even the Orientalists examined the origins of this book and they all came to the same conclusion; that it is impossible to ascribe it to Ibn Qutaybah.[12]

The narration regarding placing the door on fire and so forth is only found in this one book. The previous narrations—even though weak—merely mention Sayyidina `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu issue a warning.


7. `Iqd al Farid

`Iqd al Farid is not a history book at all, but rather it is a literary novel that contains elements of fiction in it. `Iqd al Farid was written by Ibn `Abd Rabihi who was well known for his pro-Shia inclinations. The author is Abu `Umar Shihab al Din `Umar ibn Muhammad ibn `Abd Rabihi. He was born in the year 246 AH and raised in Qurtubah during the rule of the Banu Ummayah. He became well known due to his exuberant poetry and his book `Iqd al Farid. He died in 328 AH. His book, `Iqd al Farid, is a chain-less literary piece in which his inclusion criteria is only that the text be eloquent Arabic; the text in his book was not chosen for its historical accuracy or authenticity, but rather his book was a compilation of any text that was eloquent in nature. As such, the author included texts from Shia sources so long as they were eloquently written.

The Shia spent excessive amounts of time writing poetry about Karbala’ and in fact there are beautiful poems written by the Shia on this incident; however, they lack in historical accuracy and are rather things of legends and myths. Likewise, the Shia spent much time crafting poetry in the name of `Ali and forging supposed counter-responses by his so-called opponents such as Muawiyah and `Aisha radiya Llahu `anhum. The author of `Iqd al Farid included these texts due to their literary value, but the truth is that no matter how beautifully worded these texts are, they cannot at all be considered authentic.

Despite this, the narration in `Iqd al Farid only states this much:


الذين تخلفوا عن بيعة أبي بكر علي والعباس والزبير وسعد بن عُبادة‏ فأما عليّ والعباس والزبير فقعدوا في بيت فاطمة حتى بَعث إليهم أبو بكر عمرَ ابن الخطاب ليُخرِجهم من بيت فاطمة وقال له‏ إِن أبوا فقاتِلْهم‏ فأقبل بقَبس من نار على أن يُضرم عليهم الدار فلقيته فاطمةُ فقالت‏‏ يا بن الخطاب أجئت لتُحرق دارنا قال‏ نعم أو تدخلوا فيما دخلتْ فيه الأمة‏

Those who delayed in giving the pledge to Abu Bakr were `Ali, `Abbas, Zubair, and Sa`d ibn `Ubadah. As for `Ali, `Abbas, and Zubair; they sat in the house of Fatimah until Abu Bakr sent `Umar to remove them from the house of Fatimah saying, “If they refuse then fight them.” He advanced carrying a torch intending to burn the house on them. Fatimah met him and said, “O Ibn al Khattab, do you come to burn down our house.”

He said, “Yes, or you all enter into that which the Ummah has entered.”


It has no chain of narration, and is thus not valid proof. Secondly, it does not contain any of the hyperbolic details mentioned by the Shia despite its unreliability.


8. Al Mukhtasar fi Akhbar al Bashr

The book of Abu al Fida was written by the governor of Hamah, Ismail ibn `Ali ibn Mahmud (d. 732 AH) and is a relatively late source. In his book he states after mentioning the narration regarding Sayyidina `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu threatening Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha:


كذا نقله القاضي جمال الدين بن واصل وأسنده إِلى ابن عبد ربه المغربي‏

This was related by Qadi Jamal al Din ibn Wasil, who attributed it to Ibn `Abd Rabbihi al Maghribi.


Thus it is the same report from `Iqd al Farid.


Every SINGLE narration in the books of Ahlus Sunnah being quoted by the Rafidah are fabrications, weak, or in the best case like by Ibn Abi Shaybah have serious defects. Thus, the Rafidah have no valid proof to substantiate their claim.


Shia Narrations

The sequence of events as detailed in the question above is only found in Shia sources, which have no worth in the eyes of the Ahlus Sunnah. However, even according to Shia standards none of these narrations meet the criteria of acceptance as outlined by their own research scholars. In simple words, they do not have a single authentic report according to their own standards proving this alleged event.

Shia scholars such as Ayatollah Sayed Abu al Qasim al Khu’i, Ayatollah Muhammad Hussain Fadl Allah, Ahmad al Qabanji, Yasser Awde, Ahmad al Katib and others have rejected this myth.[13]

Ibn Abi al Hadid al Shia states:


و أما ما ذكره من الهجوم على دار فاطمة و جمع الحطب لتحريقها فهو خبر واحد غير موثوق به و لا معمول عليه في حق الصحابة بل و لا في حق أحد من المسلمين ممن ظهرت عدالته

Concerning what he reported of raiding Fatimah’s house and gathering firewood to burn it, it is a solitary narration and is unreliable. It is also not relied upon in respect of the Sahabah nor any of the Muslims whose honesty is manifest.[14]


We ask Allah to protect us from deviation and ever straying from the Straight Path.

All praise belongs to Allah in the beginning and the end. May Allah bless and send peace on our leader Muhammad, his family, and his Companions.



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[1] See Abu Nu`aym: Ma`rifat al Sahabah, 1/255.

[2] Tahdhib al Tahdhib, 8/82.

[3] Siyar A`lam al Nubala’, 13/300.

[4]  Kitab al Imamah wa al Siyasah fi Mizan al Tahqiq al `Ilmi, `Abdullah `Ilan, p. 28.

[5]  Kitab al Imamah wa al Siyasah fi Mizan al Tahqiq al `Ilmi, `Abdullah `Ilan, p. 23.

[6]  Op. cit, p. 23.

[7]  Ibid.

[8]  Ibid., p. 24.

[9]  Ibid., p. 24.

[10]  Ibid., p. 25.

[11]  Ibid., p. 26.

[12]  Ibid., p. 22-23.

[13] False Incident of Broken Ribs:

Did Omar kill Fatima?:

[14] Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, 4/631, Beirut print.