This chapter is dedicated to a personality history has generally neglected to recount in detail and I wished to refresh the minds by promoting the life story of this noble lady of the Ahlul Bayt, Fatimah bint al Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
A great Tabi’iyyah (generation of Muslims who followed the Sahabah), teacher, and narrator of Ahadith. She excelled in the sciences just as she had in art of nurturing with patience and hope of reward from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. The daughter of a Mujahid and martyr regarding whom Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
حسين منى وأنا منه أحب الله من أحب حسينًا حسين سبط من الأسباط
Hussain is part of me and I am part of him. May Allah love those who love Hussain. Hussain is one of my grandsons.
Her teknonym is Umm ‘Abdullah, granddaughter of Sayyidah Fatimah al Zahra radiya Llahu ‘anha, and daughter of the beloved of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. She was a splitting image of her grandmother and father both in beauty and purity. Just as she inherited their physical features and characteristics, she inherited their deep understanding and knowledge of Islam. Adding to this her honourable lineage, one must admit she was quite unique.
Her mother was from the Banu Taym, Umm Ishaq bint Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu—one of the ten who had been given glad tidings of paradise in this world.
Her brothers are the famed Zayn al ‘Abidin ‘Ali ibn Hussain, ‘Ali al Akbar the martyr of Karbala, and ‘Ali al Asghar.
Her uncle is Sayyidina Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the prince of the youth in Jannat.
Her aunts are the likes of Zainab, the intelligent, of the Banu Hashim and Umm Kulthum.
Her husband is Hassan al Muthanna ibn al Imam al Hassan.
Her children are ‘Abdullah al Mahd, Ibrahim al Ghamr, Hassan al Muthallath, Zainab, and Umm Kulthum.
After the passing of her husband Hassan al Muthanna, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu married her. After his death she remained a widow till she passed away radiya Llahu ‘anha.
When Hassan al Muthanna rahimahu Llah proposed to Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu for one of his daughters. His uncle, Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu told him to choose whomsoever he wishes from his daughters, however Hassan ibn al Hassan bashfully remained silent. Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu then chose his daughter, Fatimah bint al Hussain saying to him that she resembles his mother, Fatimah bint Muhammad radiya Llahu ‘anha, the most. This statement of her father goes to show the immense respect he had for his daughter. The similitude was not just a physical one, though she was extremely beautiful, being described as a damsel of paradise. Her likeness to Sayyidah Fatimah al Zahra radiya Llahu ‘anha was deeper than just sharing her beauty. She was an embodiment of her sublime character and mannerisms, therefore known as a pearl amongst those named after Fatimah al Zahra radiya Llahu ‘anha. This marriage took place the same year in which Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred, the 61st year after the hijrah.
She travelled with her father to Karbala’ and witnessed the days of oppression and murder which significantly darkened the pages of history. Fatimah stood on the evening of that fateful day, surveying the spectacle of horror. Her father, brothers, uncles, cousins, and the most noble of her father’s close supporters lay dead. Her response though, was one of patience and hope of reward.
The sun of the 11th of Muharram rose to the troops of ‘Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad tasked with transporting the Ahlul Bayt to Kufah. They were taken along the path of the battle where bodies lay with open wounds that caused their death. Fatimah bid farewell to her blessed bodies of her father and family members with tearful eyes and a frenzied heart. This caravan of grief approached Kufah. The people of Kufah stood observing not moved by the acts of tyranny meted out to the Ahlul Bayt at their hands. Fatimah bint al Hussain stood here and gave a resounding speech which shook the façade of the Kufan betrayers. She said:
O people of Kufah! O people of treachery, betrayal, and conceit! We are a household who have been tried by Allah through you, as Allah has tried you through us. Yet He allowed us to success in our trial. May Allah’s curse beset the oppressors! Woe to you! Do you know which of your hands has stabbed us? Do you know how many souls have set out to kill us? Do you know how many feet marched toward us intent on fighting us? By Allah, your hearts have been hardened, your core has rotted, and your hearts, ears, and eyes have been sealed. Shaitan has whispered to you and dictated your actions, placing a veil over your eyes so that you may not be guided.
May doom beset you, O people of Kufah!
Fatimah, her sister—Sukaynah, her aunt—Umm Kulthum bint ‘Ali, and Zainab were brought to Yazid. Fatimah addressed him thus, “O Yazid! The daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as your prisoners? You are bold beyond measure.” He replied, “Rather, you are all free.” He then gave them residence at his own place where the women of his household consoled them on their losses. He then ensured their safe passage back to Madinah.
Yazid ibn Muawiyah sent them on their way with a Syrian envoy. The envoy would travel with them by night staying close behind on guard. As dawn would break they would take shelter and rest whilst the entourage of Syrian envoys would surround them, a safety net of sorts. They continued shading, being compassionate, and seeing to their needs throughout the journey till they entered the city of Madinah.
The great trials they had faced merely days before did not rid them of their deep seeded generosity and kind heartedness which remains a lesson for the world to remember them by. Fatimah bint Hussain said to her sister Sukaynah, “This Syrian envoy has been good to us, should we then not return the favour of goodness?” They had nothing but their personal jewellery which they gathered and presented before them, apologising for not having anything else to give. The sisters presented the jewellery before them as a token of appreciation for the good during the journey. However, the reply was one of sincerity, “Had I done this for worldly gains I would have been pleased with your offerings and perhaps even less than this. I have done this act solely for the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and due to your close relationship with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
And so, Fatimah bint Hussain returned to Madinah, returning to her devout worship and narrating of ahadith. She narrates from her grandmother, Fatimah al Zahra radiya Llahu ‘anha, and from her father, Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Her demise was in the year 117 A.H, reaching the age of seventy.
Peace be upon this daughter of the Ahlul Bayt, the granddaughter of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the daughter of the great martyr Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
 Jami’ al Tirmidhi, 3775; Sunan Ibn Majah, 144. The wording is of the latter on. Others have narrated it on the authority of Ya’la ibn Murrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Al Albani has certified it as authentic, see Silsilah al Sahihah, 1228. Another narration has the following words, “Hussain is part of me and I am part of him. May Allah love those who love Hussain. Hassan and Hussain are my grandsons.” Al Albani has certified it as authentic, see, Sahih al Jami’, 5457.
 ‘Umdat al Talib, 165; Ansab al Talibiyyin, 62; Sahib al Aghani with his chain of narration, vol. 16 pg. 150
 Al Lahuf, pgs. 65/67.
 Al Durr al Manthur fi Tabaqat Rabbat al Khudur, pg. 361.Back to top