Discussion 5: The Janazah of Sayyidah Fatimah

Discussion 4: Burning the House of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha
August 27, 2015
Speculation 1: Da`wat al-`Ashirah
August 27, 2015

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Discussion 5: The Janazah of Sayyidah Fatimah

The Shia boldly claim that when Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha passed away, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed her Salat al Janazah and buried her the very same night because Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was angry with Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Thus, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu neither informed him nor any of the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum nor did he allow them to participate in her funeral. To remove this doubt, a few points are mentioned hereunder.

1. Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha passed away approximately six months after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam between Maghrib and ‘Isha’ on Monday night, the 3rd of Ramadan 11 A.H. This happened in Madinah and the house of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was adjacent to the Masjid on the east. The house of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was adjacent to the Masjid on the west. Only Masjid Nabawi separated their houses. Moreover, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would pray the five daily salah in the Masjid with congregation. It is very obvious that he would meet Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[1] Furthermore, very important to note is that the wife of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidah Asma’ bint ‘Umays radiya Llahu ‘anha, would go to Sayyidah Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha house to care for her in her sickness. All this points to the fact that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was well aware of the happenings and was certainly well informed of her demise. For him to be unaware of her demise is contrary to historical evidences.

From this explanation, we learn that definitely Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the other Sahabah were present at her burial and performed the Salat al Janazah of the beloved daughter of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as proven by the following references:

  • Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed the Salat al Janazah on Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha with four takbirs.[2]
  • After the demise of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu held the shoulder of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and put him forward to perform the Salat al Janazah. He performed the salah after which Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was buried at night.[3]
 

From this we understand that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was present and performed the Salat al Janazah of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. Thus, the objection of his non participation in the funeral is false.

 

2. An Islamic Principle

An Islamic Principle regarding this matter is that the khalifah has the right of imamah in leading the five times daily salah, Salat al Janazah and any other congregational salah. If the khalifah is not present or cannot be present in time, then the one appointed by him will have the right. In accordance with this ruling, Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu put Sayyidina Muawiyah’s representative, Sayyidina Sa’id radiya Llahu ‘anhu, forward to perform the Salat al Janazah of Sayyidina Hasan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

This principle is widely accepted from the beginning of Islam and in every era thereafter. Both Sunni and Shia ‘ulama’ accept this ruling and mention it in the books under the chapter of imamah. Study the following references and be rest assured. Only 2 Shia references will be given here:

Imam Jafar Sadiq rahimahu Llah says:

When the Amir of the time is present at a janazah, he has right over all the people to lead the salah.[4]

 

On the date of the demise of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was present in Madinah Tayyibah and was not on a journey. He certainly knew about her funeral and came for it.[5] According to the above principle, the first khalifah Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had the first right to perform her Salat al Janazah. Hence, he performed it thereby maintaining the ties of friendship he enjoyed with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Further detail can be found in my book Ruhama’ Baynahum (Siddiqi section pg. 179 to pg. 183).

 

3. Historical evidence

According to the shar’i rule, in the early stages of Islam, the Amir or governor of the time would perform all Salat al Janazah, including those of the Banu Hashim. I will furnish historical evidences hereunder to prove that the khulafaʼ of the time performed the Salat al Janazah’s of the Banu Hashim.

  • Sayyidina Nowfal ibn Harith ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim radiya Llahu ‘anhu passed away in Madinah in 15 A.H and the khalifah of the time, Sayyidina ‘Umar al Faruq radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed his Salat al Janazah.[6]
  • Sayyidina ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib passed away in Madinah in 32 A.H. Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu — the khalifah of that time — performed his Salat al Janazah and buried him in Jannat al Baqi’.[7]
  • Sayyidina Hasan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma passed away in Madinah in 50 A.H, according to some narrations. The khalifah of the time — Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu — was in Sham, whose governor for Madinah was Amir Sa’id ibn al ‘As al Umawi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina Hussain ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was present but when the Salat al Janazah was ready, Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu put Sayyidina Sa’id radiya Llahu ‘anhuma forward saying:

If this was not a Sunnah practice, I would not put you forward. You are the Amir of the time, so perform the Salat al Janazah.

Thus, Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As performed the Salat al Janazah of Sayyidina Hasan radiya Llahu ‘anhu while Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu followed him.

For the benefit of the scholars, the exact words of Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be quoted which is accepted by both sects.

لولا انها السنة لما قدمتك

If this was not a Sunnah practice, I would not put you forward.[8]

The senior Shia scholars have also recorded this statement of his in the following places.

Maqatil al Talibin vol. 1 pg. 51 – Sayyidina Hasan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma

Sharh Nahj al Balaghah vol. 4 pg. 25 – The death of Sayyidina Hasan’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu death and burial

  • Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar al Tayyar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma passed away in Madinah in 80 A.H. At that time, Sayyidina Abban ibn ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was appointed as governor over Madinah by ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan rahimahu Llah. Sayyidina Abban radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed his Salat al Janaza9h.[9]

The Shia scholars have recorded the very same thing about the Salat al Janazah of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar that it was performed by Sayyidina Abban ibn ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[10]

For further detail, study my book Ruhama’ Baynahum (Siddiqi section from pg. 183 to 190).

After studying these historical evidences it is quite evident that the khalifah of the Muslims has the right to perform the Salat al Janazah just as he has the right to perform the five times daily salah. The statement and practice of Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu has authenticated this. According to this rule which is practiced by all the Muslims especially the Banu Hashim, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed the Salat al Janazah of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha while Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu followed him.

4. Removing Doubts

Some narrations mention that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed the Salat al Janazah of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and buried her at night and did not inform Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu about it.

  1. The readers should remember that these words have been added by the narrator as a commentary on the narration. It is not the words of the actual narration. All other narrations are sufficient testimony to this. The narrator who added words to the original narration is Ibn Shihab al Zuhri who has thrown the masses into confusion.
  2. The underlined words are not the words of a Sahabi. It is only the product of the conjecture of Ibn Shihab al Zuhri. And the practice of the Sahabah, the Banu Hashim and the ummah does not support it or verify it whatsoever, but rather contradicts it as explained above.
  3. Worthy to mention is that Ibn Shihab al Zuhri is the only one to add those words. No other narrator has backed him. Such odd statements of narrators are not accepted and are considered as the warped opinions of the narrator which are not proof against anyone. Even if a narrator is reliable, his added words are not proof. Thus, the opinion of al Zuhri is abandoned. The correct version is what has been stated above that according to the shar’i principle; Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed the Salat al Janazah of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.
 

NEXT⇒ Speculations and Assumptions – Speculation 1: Da’wat al ‘Ashirah


[1]Kitab Sulaim ibn Qais al Shia pg. 224, 225

[2]Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d vol. 8 pg. 19 – Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha

Al Mabsut vol. 2 pg. 63 – The chapter of washing the deceased

[3]Al Sunan al Kubra vol. 4 pg. 29 – Kitab al Janaʾiz

Kanz al ‘Ummal vol. 7 pg. 114 – The virtues of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha

Kanz al ‘Ummal vol. 7 pg. 318 – The virtues of Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu; the musnadat of Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Riyad al Nadirah fi Manaqib al ‘Asharah al Mubasharah vol. 1 pg. 156 – The chapter of the demise of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha

Hilyah al Awliyaʾ vol. 4 pg. 96 – Maymun ibn Mahran

Al Badaʾi’ wa al Sanaʾi’ vol. 1 pg. 313

Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah Farsi pg. 45 – The last answer to the 14th allegation against Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu

[4]Furu’ al Kafi vol. 1 pg. 93 – Kitab al Janaʾiz; the chapter concerning the person most rightful to perform salah upon the deceased.

Al Ash’athiyyat pg. 210 with Qurb al Isnad – The chapter concerning the person most rightful to perform salah upon the deceased

[5]Kitab Sulaim ibn Qais al Hilali al Shia pg. 226

[6]  Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d vol. 2 pg. 31, 32 – Nowfal ibn Harith ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib

Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 246 – The demise of Nowfal ibn Harith

[7]  Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d vol. 4 pg. 22 – ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib

Al Isti’ab vol. 3 pg. 100, 101 with Al Isabah – ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib

Tarikh al Islam by Dhahabi vol. 2 pg. 99 – ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib

[8]Al Isti’ab vol. 1 pg. 373 – Imam Hasan radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Al Sunan al Kubra pg. 29 – Kitab al Janaʾiz

Al Mabsut vol. 2 pg. 62 – The chapter of washing the deceased

[9]Al Isti’ab vol. 2 pg. 267 – Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar Tayyar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma

Usd al Ghabah vol. 3 pg. 135 – Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar Tayyar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma

[10]‘Umdat al Talib fi Ansab Al Abi Talib pg. 38 – The discussion of the progeny of Sayyidina Jafar Tayyar radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Muntaha al Amal vol. 1 pg. 205 sec. 7 – Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar Tayyar radiya Llahu ‘anhu

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